Thinking Like a Criminologist

The planning director for the State Department of Juvenile Justice has asked for your advice on how to reduce the threat of chronic offenders. Some of the more conservative members of her staff seem to believe that these kids need a strict dose of rough justice if they are to be turned away from a life of crime. They believe juvenile delinquents who are punished harshly are less likely to recidivate than youths who receive lesser punishments, such as community corrections or probation. In addition, they believe that hard-core, violent offenders deserve to be punished; excessive concern for offenders, and not enough concern for their acts, ignores the rights of victims and of society in general. The planning director is unsure whether such an approach can reduce the threat of chronic offending. She is concerned that a strategy stressing punishment will have relatively little impact on chronic offenders and, if anything, may cause escalation in their serious criminal behaviors. She has asked you for your professional advice.

Writing Assignment:

  • Write an essay explaining both sides of the issue, comparing the potential effects of stigma and labeling with the need for control and security. 
  • Explain how you would handle chronic offenders, and tie your answer to the aging-out process.
  • Page requirement for Assignments, 2-3 FULL pages. (not including COVER and reference pages)
  • A full page consists of text only: headers/footers, titles, name/date, etc., are NOT calculated in the full page requirement.
  • If the paper fails to be comprehensive in integrating all the material and/or does not meet the minimum requirements, the student will receive half-credit.

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