Criminal Justice

The Social Justice Project Paper will involve trend analysis, fact-finding policy analysis for
practitioner evidence-based decision-making, and a triangulation of criminal justice, social
justice, and responsible stewardship. The paper must be a minimum of 3,800 words in
length, but must not exceed 4,500 words.
The paper requires a minimum of 5 different non-worldwide web internet references. The
paper must be typewritten, double-spaced, standard margins, and follow the APA style and
format. The paper will be submitted through No previously submitted papers,
articles, reports or projects, in whole or part, to any university or college will be accepted. It
is expected that this will be your original work. No more than 15% of your entire document
can be quoted. The Social Justice Project Paper is 25% of your overall grade for this course.
The criminal justice system is the action mechanism for enforcing social ideologies and
policies related to acceptable and unacceptable behaviors. Moreover, the socially acceptable
sanctions and penalties are applied to law violators through the criminal justice system.
Certain sanctions carry periods of incarceration which can result in structural impediments
to re-entry as noted by convict criminologists. To place the re-entry issue into perspective,
according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), more than 700,000 state and federal
prisoners returned to their communities in 2010. Furthermore, 95 percent of state inmates
will be released into their communities at some point in time according to BJS. Today,
recidivism rates remain high though states invest more than $50 billion annually in
corrections. According to one 2011 Pew Center on States report, despite significant
increases in state funding of prisons, from a national perspective more than four in ten
offenders return to state prison within three years of their release. Recidivism is measured
by criminal violations or violations of conditions of parole or probation that resulted in the
re-arrest, reconviction, or return to prison with or without a new sentence during a three-
year period following the prisoner’s release at an average annual cost of $24,000 per
offender. Recidivism can represent new victims, higher tax expenditures associated with law
enforcement, prosecutorial, and judicial processes and re-incarceration, unsupported
families, public assistance, and other negative social ramifications. A 2007 forecasting
report by the Public Safety Performance Project of the Pew Charitable Trusts, stated “If
current trajectories continue, state and federal prisons will grow by 13 percent by 2013,
adding an additional 192,000 prisoners at a cost of $27.5 billion.”
Society is responsible for the laws and the sanctions, and society as a whole benefits from
the laws and sanctions when applied. Therefore, does social justice demand the removal of
impediments to reentry for those persons that have been subject to the societal sanctions
and deemed releasable by societal agents? Does social justice exist if intended and
unintended “social sanctions” deny access and opportunity which exceed the socially applied
legal sanctions in which it is implicit “the societal debt is paid”? If not, what is being done
from public and social policy perspectives, to achieve social justice by ultimately reducing
victimization, improving outcomes for offenders returning to their communities, and
favorably impacting recidivism by strengthening prisoner reentry?
To the latter question, it should be noted in April of 2008, Public Law 110-199, the Second
Chance Act of 2007: Community Safety through Recidivism Prevention (Title 42 U.S.Code,
Section 17501), was signed into law. The Purposes and Findings provided in Section Three
of the Act are detailed and significant in terms of insight into national reentry and recidivism
issues. You are required to review the full Act incident to this research and your review of
the Act must be evident in your paper. The Act passed with exceptional bipartisan Congressional support in addition to considerable support from interdisciplinary leaders in
the public and private sectors.
An evidence-based approach to reducing crime and improving public safety is provided by
the Act in support of reentry programs and policies. The Act supports the following:
 Employment assistance and job-skills training
 Substance abuse treatment
 Housing assistance
 Family-based programming
 Individual and group mentoring, and
 Victim support
From Fiscal Year 2009 to Fiscal 2012 Congress authorized $171 million in aggregate funding
as a result of the Act. More than 300 local, state, or tribal public agencies and nonprofit
organizations from 48 states have received funding for reentry programs serving adults and
The Act reflects concerns raised by Convict Criminologists which embody what many would
consider to be social justice interests; particularly as related to so called “structural
impediments to reentry” into communities being among the catalysts contributing to
recidivism. For example, Ex-convict professor Edward Tromhauser, a convict criminologist,
asserts every “convict” requires a place to stay, employment, and emotional support
incident to reentry. The convict criminology group was formed at the American Society of
Criminology annual beginning in 1997. The term convict criminology was coined by Stephen
C. Richards and Jeffrey Ian Ross. The Convict School of Criminology is said to have been
formalized with a 2001 journal article and in the 2003 book Convict Criminology.
The States of Oregon, Michigan, and Missouri have experienced considerable success in
addressing prisoner reentry issues and reducing recidivism. Your paper must provide a
comprehensive overview of the National prisoner reentry and recidivism issues and recent
rates, and also provide details relative to the multiple initiatives and efforts undertaken in
the States of Oregon, Michigan, and Missouri that have produced success.
You will be graded with the following criteria:
 Provided a comprehensive National perspective and overview of recidivism rates and
trends and prisoner reentry issues; both impediments and initiatives for successful
 Detailed, described, and explained the wide array of practices and policy initiatives in
the States of Oregon, Michigan, and Missouri, to successfully address re-entry
structural impediments and recidivism rates.
 Clearly addressed the potential future National applications, implications, and
ramifications of the identified successful practices and initiatives in the three States.
 Provided National recidivism rate trend data.
 Conclusion is evaluative, clearly stated, rational, logical and factually based.
 Writing and grammar skills are appropriate to the graduate level.
 Resources are completely and appropriately cited and referenced using APA Style.
 The SLU focus core value of responsible stewardship addressed speficically.