Reaction Essay

Your task, should you choose to accept it, is to find an article
about criminal justice from a popular, well-respected, traditional news
outlet and provide a critique of its content. The following paragraphs
describe the parameters for said outlets, the types of crime stories that
are appropriate, and the grounds for the critique of the article’s content.

News Outlets: In terms of the article’s source, please use one of the
following outlets: The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, Atlantic
Monthly, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The United Press
International, or The Associated Press. Please enclose a digital copy of
the article with your critique. Please avoid blatantly left-leaning news
outlets/websites (The Nation; CommonDreams.org) as well as blatantly
right leaning news outlets/websites (Breitbart News; FoxNews.com).
Please do not go back further in time than the last five years.

Article content: Please select an article that focuses on either a criminal
justice process or a case in criminal justice that is of interest to you.
Please be able to provide a brief description of the events in the story and
then place the story in its larger criminal justice context. To accomplish
the second task, consider responding to the following questions as a way
of structuring your essay: 1) Is this case (or process) typical, in terms of
how the criminal justice system functions?; 2) If your response is
affirmative, how is the case typical of system functioning? If it is
atypical, how is the case atypical of system functioning?; and 3) If you
had to provide the author TWO suggestions on how to improve the
criminal justice content of the article, what would they be? To answer
items one and two, you may need to read a section of your criminal
justice text that we have yet to cover. So, for example, if you choose a
story focusing on a parole or probation topic, you will want to read that
portion of the Masters et al. textbook (Criminal Justice: Realities and
Challenges) before attempting to place the story in its larger criminal
justice context. Please avoid at ALL costs the proverbial “dumb criminal”
story (e.g., the burglar who was recently apprehended because he
“Facebooked” while liberating individuals in the home of their valuables).

Student Writing: Clarity is a dimension on which students will be
evaluated for this assignment. I suggest structuring your essay as
follows: 1) Synopsis of the article; 2) Description of its nature (typical or
atypical of the CJ system); 3) Dimensions on how the article typifies or
deviates from general criminal justice literature (as described in your
text); and 4) Critique of the article (as suggested above). In addition to
this structured approach, your writing should be concise. The KISS
principle – “Keep It Simple, Silly” applies here. There is no need to use
fancy language when a simple term can just as eloquently communicate
your ideas to your reader. A verbose document will receive a lower score
from me than one with an economy of speech.
In addition to clarity, grammar usage and spelling will be evaluated
by me as part of the assignment. Papers possessing errant spelling and
grotesque grammar will suffer significant penalties at the hands of the
instructor. Please make sure that you have spellchecked and proofread
your essay. All evidence or ideas drawn from sources must be cited.
Please use parenthetical citation when attributing authorship to a source
within the text of your document and a ‘References’ page at the end of
your document. Please note that this final page is not counted toward the
overall page limit for the assignment (please see below).

Other specifications:

Papers should be no more than five pages of text with an additional page
for references. Please note that the references page is not counted
toward the overall page limit for the assignment. The document
should be word-processed, double-spaced, with a 12 pt. font. Margins
should not exceed 1” for the top/bottom and 1.25” for the left/right.

Please:
• Use page numbers
• Use the American Psychological Association (APA) format.
A helpful
website is as follows:

American Psychological Association Documentation

Please do NOT:
• Exceed six total pages for the assignment
• Use a title page