Use of police discretion in your community

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Reference no: EM131397504

The Use of Police Discretion in Your Community

Using available sources, select a recent (within the past year) news article(s) that describes an incident involving police in your community. The article(s) may be about a specific criminal event, a series of criminal incidents, an on-going police investigation, or a police-related incident that is before the courts. Drawing from the information included in your news article(s), include a short description about the event, incident, or case.

Using your description and other available resources, discuss how officer discretion, the task environment, and legislation/policies influenced the outcome of the event. Do you believe police officers have too much discretion? If so, how should the discretion of police officers be confined or controlled? If not, why is it important to maintain or increase police discretionary powers?

Remember that your answers to these questions are likely to have real-life consequences so you should think critically about your responses. Be sure to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of increasing/maintaining/limiting police discretion.

For this assignment, you will need to locate and use at least one recent news article that discusses crime in your community. You will also need to obtain and use at least six academic (peer-reviewed) journal articles.

Paper Guidelines

In addition to adhering to the above information, each of the following components should be included in your paper:

Title Page
The title of your paper should convey the subject matter in approximately 15 words or less. Do not call it anything like "Crim 1120" (this gives no information about content), or "Criminology Paper" (not specific enough). Your title should capture what the paper is about. Your name, student number, title of the course, institutional affiliation, date and your instructor's name should appear somewhere on this cover page.

The abstract should provide a concise (less than 200 words) summary that includes the purpose, findings, and conclusions of your paper. This should be on its own page following the title page.

The introduction should do exactly that - it introduces your topic and contextualizes it within the broader literature as appropriate, states your objective (thesis statement) and should end with an outline of what your paper discusses. Most importantly, it should provide a useful framework to the paper. My advice is to be specific about the topic you are addressing and if appropriate be sure to explain your approach to the topic. Make sure that you properly cite sources of the information you include (see below).

The body of your paper should provide a discussion that addresses each component of the topic you selected. It should also include a discussion of the newspaper article(s) you selected for inclusion in your paper. Do not forget to attach the newspaper articles to your paper. Academic journal articles do not need to be attached.

The conclusion should provide a summary of what you found. Having examined the literature and comparing it to the media source(s) you found, what can you conclude about your topic? Are there questions that remain unanswered? If so, be sure to discuss them briefly.

The importance of editing:

The final step you engage in prior to submitting any paper you write should be to edit your work meticulously for grammar, punctuation and spelling errors. In addition, you should proofread your work carefully for unnecessary wordiness, repetition, and space-filler. Your paper should be 4-6 pages in length; part of your challenge is to remain within the page limit.

Including Academic Sources

Outside research for your paper is required in addition to using the course readings and lectures (NOTE: you should only cite the lecture as a last resort when there are no readings available that make the same point; cite the course texts whenever possible). At least six additional academic articles should be included as resources for your paper. Your paper should be referenced using APA 6 style and follow the Instructions for Referencing below. Please consult the Library website noted below for guidance on how to properly cite your work if you are unsure. Please note: you must include full APA 6 style reference citations for material that you include in your paper.

Reference no: EM131397504

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Academic citations must be included throughout the written assignments that you produce; you must appropriately cite the sources of information that you include. 1. Note: APA 6th edition notes that page numbers are preferred whether or not you are using a direct quotation or paraphrasing information. For this class, page numbers are required for both quotations AND paraphrases. 2. Footnotes, endnotes, references and bibliographies must be complete. NOTE point 5 below which must be followed. 3. Long quotations (4 lines or more) must be formatted in block quotations. Specifically, the quotes must be single spaced, indented from both the left and right margins, and not include quotation marks. They should also be in reduced size font (Times New Roman 10 or Arial 9) and include a full citation (including authorship, year of publication, and page number).


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? Direct quotes that are over 35 words or 4 lines of text need to be put in block paragraphs with .5 inch indents on both sides and single spaced. The citation appears at the end of the quote and quotation marks are not used in this instance only. The block format indicates it’s a direct quote. ? Please pay particular attention to how to provide the correct citation for an edited text. See point 8 – Instructions for Referencing Assignments. ? You MUST include the page number in your citations whether you are providing a direct quote OR paraphrasing. All paraphrases must be cited. If you are using an online article that is not available in pdf format then use the pages as they appear when the online article is printed in html format. ? Technically, titles in APA format are in “sentence case” with the exception of proper nouns (only the first word in the title and proper nouns are capitalized). If you choose to use typical “title case” format you will not be penalized.


2/17/2017 4:57:39 AM

? Avoid inappropriate capitalization. For example, unless it is the first word in a sentence or part of a title, the names of theories are not capitalized. e.g., Merton’s strain theory NOT Merton’s Strain Theory. Similarly, criminal justice system is not capitalized. ? Avoid using semi-colons (;) unless you know how to use them properly. Semi-colons are used: 1) to separate two independent clauses (complete sentences) that are clearly connected; or 2) in lieu of a comma to separate items in a list that is preceded by a colon (:). ? Titles of publications (including newspapers, magazines, movies, cases and the like) should be underlined or italicized. ? Use Canadian punctuation: quotation marks follow commas and periods (,” or .”). Quotation marks precede colons and semi-colons (”: or ”;). ? Use Canadian spellings – set your word processor’s dictionary to English Canada. ? Spell check and proofread/edit: a good trick to notice spelling/grammar errors is to read the paper from the back to front.


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Course materials and additional sources ? Selection, understanding and use of relevant course materials ? Selection, understanding and use of relevant outside academic resources ? Selection, understanding and use of relevant newspaper article(s) Content: Critical thought and analysis ? Clarity, focus, topic well circumscribed ? Synthesis ? Critique ? Use of sources to inform analysis ? Addresses potential counter-arguments


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1. Understanding and incorporation of course materials 2. Appropriate use of academic sources (this should include at least six academic journal articles outside of the course materials) 3. Appropriate use of at least one newspaper article 4. Evidence of critical thought and analysis 5. Meets instructions re: Paper Guidelines provided below 6. Grammar, syntax, spelling, organization 7. Proper referencing and citations


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This document provides a summary of the following (please review before emailing with questions): ? The general criteria used for grading papers ? Instructions for the written assignment ? Paper guidelines ? Suggestions for how to locate academic articles and newspaper articles for inclusion in your paper ? Detailed instructions regarding referencing in your written assignment

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