Final Project


For the final project you will write an essay that analyzes a major issue within the juvenile justice system. For example, you could write about recidivism, disproportionate minority confinements, mental health in juvenile justice facilities, disproportionate treatment in the juvenile justice system due to gender, or other issues, etc. You may also select a relevant topic of your choice. The main goal of this project for you to analyze, evaluate, and discuss the ways that the juvenile justice system has addressed your chosen issue, and to propose a solution to any problems in the system. 


Your paper should start with a summary and definition of your topic, including a clear thesis statement of the problem you will be analyzing. You also should select a theoretical context for the issue based on the theories we learned about in class, and discuss the relevance of the theory to your topic. 


Within your paper, you should include a discussion of current relevant research from a minimum of seven academic sources. You also should use your sources to help you discuss proposed solutions for the juvenile justice system, and your analysis of new methods to manage or address the problem you are writing about. 


Your paper needs to be a thoughtful and critical analysis on the topic that is written at a graduate level. Your sources should be peer-reviewed, academic sources from the John Jay Library databases. You should not use websites, Wikipedia, or media sources for this paper. You should make sure to include your own opinion on the issue, but be able to validate your opinion with your research sources. 


Your conclusion should relate your topic to the broader juvenile justice issues that we have discussed in class. 


In addition to the final paper, you will have two related prep assignments. During week 5 of the class, you will discuss your proposed final paper topic with the class. You will give each other feedback and suggestions about your proposed topics. At the end of week 6, you will post an annotated bibliography assignment with at least five relevant sources to your topic. This is to ensure that you are reviewing the literature in advance. An annotated bibliography worksheet will be posted for you to fill out and submit. Both of these prep assignments will be graded separately from the final paper. 


      Paper should be 10-15 double spaced pages – with numbered pages

      1-inch margin all around

      12 point Times New Roman font.  

      Please use APA style to cite your sources in-text and format your reference page. Make sure to reference any direct quote and to include a reference list at the end of the paper.  

      Refer to the rubric in Blackboard for grading expectations.


 Annotated Bibliography


Create a reference list of at least 5 scholarly sources that you will use in your final project. References should use APA format (6th edition). 

Finding scholarly sources 

For this part of the final project, you will use the John Jay library databases or Google Scholar to locate 5 scholarly or credible sources on your chosen topic

What is a scholarly or credible source? For your project, you should be relying on sources that have credibility. Appropriate sources would be articles written by experts in the field, articles found in peer-reviewed journals, published documents from well-known research groups  (e.g. Pew Research), and reports published by government agencies (e.g. NIH, CDC). Inappropriate sources would include popular websites (e.g.,, Wikipedia) or media outlets (e.g. Fox, MSNBC, WSJ, NY Times, Forbes, etc.). These sources do not always accurately report their findings and are sometimes prone to bias. If a website or article fails to report the credentials of the author and does not provide citations for the information contained in the article, chances are it is not a scholarly source and therefore should not be used. 

Submit a summary of each article using the attached worksheet. In your own words, identify the key findings of the article. Do not simply state what the article was about (e.g. “This article talks about cyberbullying.”). What specific information did you learn from your source? (e.g. “Cyberbullying has become a popular means of abuse among teenagers, affecting about half of all young people.”) The purpose of this summary is to prove that you have actually read and understood each of your sources. Your summaries should be 2-3 paragraphs in length. Do NOT simply copy and paste the abstract or any other part of your source! This is plagiarism and is a violation of university policy.  

The purpose of this assignment is to 1) ensure that you are using appropriate, scholarly sources, and 2) to make sure you are on track for your final project. . 

Complete and save the worksheet as a document and submit as an attachment in the Assignments area. 

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