Ompare Legalization, Decriminalization and Policies of Marijuana

Policy Analysis Paper Assignment

Criminal justice professionals often have to weigh policy and program options in order to figure out what a?worksa? to alleviate a problem. A policy analysis paper can provide an organized format for describing the problem and evaluating the policy and program options. Typically, this kind of paper ranges from 25 a 50 pages and contains an executive summary as well as the body of the paper. It also requires extensive research of policies.

For this course, you will write a truncated version of a policy analysis paper. In Module 5, you learned the basic structure of the policy analysis paper, and you learned what type of content it should include. For this assignment, your paper should contain the following:

I) Title page
II) Introduction (one to two paragraphs)
a) Briefly describe the policy/program and the problem it was designed to address.
b) Briefly describe your findings on the effectiveness of the policy/program. You may want to compare it to other policies/programs.
c) In one or two sentences, describe the following structure (road-map) of the paper.
III) Body
a) Describe particular policy or program solution
b) Describe problem
c) Describe context of the problem and policy development
d) Evaluate the effectiveness of the policy
e) Identify policy or program alternatives
IV) Conclusion
a) Briefly (in one paragraph) summarize the policy and problem studied in the paper
b) Summarize costs and benefits and make recommendations
V) Bibliography

This paper should be 8 9 double-spaced pages. The body of your paper should present research from your literature review. This is based on what you find others have written about your issue, not your opinion about the issue. If there are two sides to the issue (particularly if it is a controversial one), present both sides and evaluate the arguments. In the conclusion, sum up what the purpose of the paper has been and summarize the costs and benefits, using the evidence you have written about throughout the paper.

Statements that you make about your topic must be backed up with evidence from other sources. This paper is not an opinion piece. These sources need to be cited within the text, and then in a full bibliographic note at the end of the paper, following the documentation style you learned about in Module 6. If you use direct quotes from these sources, these need to be in quotation marks, with a citation noting the page number. If you have any questions about what constitutes plagiarism, please ask me. Plagiarism will result in a failing grade.


You need to cite a minimum of 5 references for this paper. These references can include the newspaper and government research websites (ex. Please get the most up-to-date information as you can. For example, if you are talking about current issues with juvenile delinquency, donat rely on a book from 1967. Acceptable sources do not include opinion websites, as this is not research. Some websites are from research institutes and offer acceptable information. Please contact me if you have a question as to sources. You can find articles on your topic from academic journals with a search through the e-resources link at the library. The most useful link for you will be the SocINDEX with Full Text. For a review of how to access suitable resources, you may want to review the library portion of Module 2.

The paper will be graded on the following basis:
1. Organization
2. Integration of relevant sources
3. Quality of writing (including grammar and spelling)
4. A comprehensive description of the policy/program and problem
5. A well-organized discussion of the effectiveness of this policy/program, particularly compared to alternatives.
6. A conclusion which summarizes the costs and benefits