CRJ204: Crime and Justice in Urban Communities
The final paper fulfills the following learning outcome: The student is able to gather, evaluate, interpret, and analyze empirical data about crime, criminal justice, and social inequality. The final paper is a semester long project where you will write on a topic of your choice. My topic is Homicide in the Bronx.
First, you will collect data that is available on public records, on the American FactFinder from the Census Bureau pages (here is the link: (https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml). You will follow these steps.
1. Click on the Advanced Search tab; then on “Show Me All.”
2. Click on Geographies (on the tabs displaying on the left of your screen).
3. Select a geographic type. Scroll down to select Census Tract – 140.
4. Select a state. Choose New York.
5. Select a county. You have the option to choose one of the following five counties: Bronx, Brooklyn, New York (Manhattan), Queens, Richmond (Staten Island). (Census tract maps for each of the five boroughs are provided at the end of this document).
6. Select a census tract; click Add to your Selections, and close the Select Geographies window (button on the top right); then close the “Select Geographies” window.
Now, that you have selected your geographical area, you will provide information on this neighborhood (this is the neighborhood where you will conduct your research).
7. Click on Topics (on the tabs displaying on the left of you screen) and select/expand People.
8. Click on Age and Sex and provide information (percentages) on the age and sex distribution.
9. Click on Education, select Educational Attainment, and provide information on people with no high school diploma, high school diploma, bachelor degree, and graduate degree.
10. Click on Employment, select Employment (Labor Force) Status, select Work Status in the Past 12 Months, and provide the percentage who did not work.
11. Click on Income, select Income and Earnings, select Income/Earnings (Individuals), click on Income in the Past 12 Months (in 2017 Inflation-Adjusted Dollars) and provide the median household income.
12. Click on Poverty, select Poverty, and click on Poverty Status in the Past 12 Months, and report the percent below poverty as well as the percent below poverty for white, black, and Hispanic individuals.
13. Click on Origins, select Foreign Born, click on Place of Birth by Nativity and Citizenship Status and report the percent foreign born.
14. Click on Race and Ethnic Groups, then select and report percentages for White (Not Hispanic or Latino), Black or African American, and Hispanic or Latino (use ACS Demographic and Housing Estimates for 2017).
• Category 1 – Violent and Property Crime:
o Possible Topics: homicide, robbery, gang affiliation, juvenile delinquency, vehicle theft, carjacking, burglary
• Category 2 – Intimate Partner Violence:
o Possible Topics: rape/sexual assault, domestic violence, parental abuse
• Category 3 – Public Order Offenses:
o Possible Topics: prostitution/sex work, gambling, drug use
• Category 4 – Social Control of Crime:
o Possible Topics: law enforcement bias, use of deadly force, probation/parole enforcement, bail, prison/jail visits
The final paper should consist of the following elements.
1. Introduction: This consists of an introduction to the topic, a brief background on the topic, theories/literature review, and thesis statement.
2. Methodology: This is where you describe how you collect and analyze the data.
3. Conclusion: This is the section where you summarize your thoughts, findings, limitations, and guidance for future studies.
4. Citation page: This is the section where you list your sources. Make sure to follow proper citation procedures. (MLA).
The main emphasis should be on documenting problems people experience in the neighborhood you chose to investigate. Keep in mind, this is a full paper. In addition to conducting a literature review and seeing what others have written on the topic. Therefore, it is imperative that your topic is contextualized in the neighborhood. For example, if the neighborhood has high rates of poverty, unemployment, and so on, does that affect why a particular type of crime is prominent or why the police are too neglectful or too harsh?
Furthermore, when writing a research paper, all components should come together. In essence, the paragraphs and the organization of the paper should be thought about carefully. When you pick a topic, you should address why the topic is important, what others have written on the topic, and what you intend to write on (your thesis). Afterwards, you need to pick the proper methods for your research question; the methods should reflect and measure your idea.
Finally, the back end should follow coherently the setup in the front end of the paper. Your discussion of results should be concise, match the thesis of your paper, and be based on the methodology you used. Offer arguments and avoid speculative language as much as possible.
The paper will be graded in three steps: on choosing a topic and outline, on collecting quantitative data, and on the final draft. The topic and outline is worth 2%, the data collection 3%, whereas the final draft 10%. Here are some expectations for each component.
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