Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice
1. The State of Connecticut has chosen to create a new pilot program that diverts troubled adolescents from Juvenile Courts into community based juvenile diversion programs. These new community diversion programs are primarily designed to reduce the expected negative impacts of labeling; opponents of the program are concerned that the diversion program will reduce the deterrent impact of the court system. Describe how you would design a study to determine the effectiveness of this new program. Include the specification of outcomes, the best type of research design, measurement issues associated with independent and dependent variables and the statistical test you would expect to employ.

2. You have been hired as an advisor to the Mayor of “Our Town” Connecticut. The Mayor is going to create a program to reduce crime as part of the plan to revitalize “Our Town.” The mayor would like to know what we can do about crime and has asked you to prepare a report on the causes of crime and what could be done to reduce crime, your task is to select two different theories of crime from different perspectives (Rational Choice; Psychology; Biology; Strain; Control; Critical; Social Learning) and prepare a summary for the Mayor of how each theory explains crime and how you would recommend the mayor use each theory to develop programs/initiatives to help reduce crime. The mayor will make the final program selection and also wants to know he will be able to tell if the program is working (how will you evaluate the program).

3. Discuss the concept of competence to stand trial, why is it important to the criminal justice process? What is the standard used to determine competence to stand trial? How is the concept of competence to stand trial different from the concept of insanity?

4. Ray Researcher has reported his experience with a cognitive skills based anger management correctional treatment program. Ray reports that inmates participating in this program report virtually no recidivism in a six month follow-up study. In Ray’s report it is noted that all participants in the program were volunteers and that they were selected by Ray Researcher based on Ray’s perception of the likelihood that they would benefit from the program. You work for NIJ, what additional information would you like to see and what potential problems do you see from reading of the summary above? What questions should NIJ ask before funding a continuation of Ray’s program and what kind research enhancements are needed to create a more reliable and valid test of Ray’s program?

5. Routine Activity Theory is an important type of rational choice theory of crime. Describe the rational choice model of crime and describe how Routine Activity Theory differs from Deterrence and Incapacitation based models of crime control. Assume that your police department has develop a crime prevention program for predatory crime based on Routine Activity Theory and is going to target juvenile offending, outline the steps that would need to be taken to implement the program and evaluate the effectiveness of the program.
6. Describe two different standards for insanity that are used in the United States, and discuss the requirements for each standard. Compare and contrast the two standards including a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of each standard and examples of the application of each standard. How might we be able to evaluate the impact of changing from one standard to another in a jurisdiction? (The state decides to change standards and we would like to measure the impact of the change).