Each question will require students to go back to the reading(s) covering the topic of the question and apply this material in order to earn full credit. The suggested length of answer per question is about two (2) to three (3) pages, or about 500-750 words. Questions should be answered fully, including each specific part of the question, and the responses to the essay questions should be informed by the readings. What I am assessing with these essay exams is (a) your understanding of the course material, (b) your ability to synthesize multiple pieces of information related to a topic into a cohesive answer, and (c) your application of the course material.
Please choose two out of the three questions provided below:
1. Please discuss the criminal justice system within the United States. Include an analysis of each of its core elements and functions. How is discretion applied within each of these core functions by differing actors within the criminal justice system? How do these discretionary actions hinder or benefit individuals who are processed through the criminal justice system?
2. Using relevant empirical research and normative theories, concepts, and approaches, please explain how a specific criminal justice practice or policy should be changed to increase the quantity or quality of justice currently on offer. What obstacles do you anticipate could hinder the successful realization of your vision of justice and how might these best be overcome?