Criminal Justice Experiential Project

In this project, you will conduct one of the following: practitioner interview or police ride-along.

Practitioner Interview

Your task is to interview an individual of your choice involved in the criminal justice system: a police officer, attorney, judge, probation officer, researcher, current or former inmate, etc. (Note: Military personnel have the option of interviewing an equivalent person in the military.) Should your “expert” not be listed here, contact your instructor.

1) Provide the purpose of the paper and background information on the selected person.

2) Record the person’s views on the criminal justice system—whether the criminal justice system works, in what ways it doesn’t work, and the future of the criminal justice system.

3) Write the paper in a narrative format, detailing what you learned as the result of speaking with this person. Do not submit a “question-answer” paper.

4) Compare and contrast what your expert practitioner had to say with relevant instructional material from this course.  Additionally, include one outside source that either supports or challenges what your expert practitioner said.

5) When using the instructional material or other sources, properly document and reference them, and cite all web sources.  You must include the name your practitioner.

Police Ride-Along

This is an observational assignment that focuses on the use of discretion by the police officers who patrol our communities. (Note: Military personnel may participate in a ride-along with a military police officer.) Your task is to ride with a police officer for a few hours and observe who is stopped and why. Who is arrested and why? How does the use of discretion play into the patrol officer’s job?

1) Begin with a cover page with your name, project title, course, and date submitted.

2) Write an introductory section that includes the purpose of the paper and information on the assignment of the officer, his or her department, and the date, time, and duration of the ride-along.

3) Using a narrative format, provide the officer’s views on the use of discretion in his or her job, then follow this with your observations and conclusions based on his or her performance. Use the questions above to guide your observations and questions.

4) Use research information from class materials to analyze the information obtained.  Additionally, include one outside source that either supports or challenges what your officer said.

5) When using the text or other sources properly document and reference them.  The name of your officer must be included.


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