A)Establish the problem – provide details on the extent and severity of the problem. Purpose is to convince the reader (me) that this is an issue that needs immediate attention. While few would argue that any of these crimes are not important, keep in mind that the competition is stiff (i.e. there are many serious issues that need attention, so you need to put forth an argument that would prioritize your issue). This would include statistics that indicate prevalence, costs to both society and victims, etc.
B)Review of crime prevention efforts targeted at your offense type highlighting approaches that have been effective as well as approaches that have not been effective. This section of your paper should constitute a comprehensive review of the literature that effectively summarizes results from studies (the more studies you cite the stronger your argument) that have been conducted to reduce this type of offending (remember, recidivism or re-offending is the desirable outcome). This should inform your “position” in that you will likely side where the preponderance of evidence lies. The following are some of the key questions that must be answered in the context of the information that you present:
a.Have sanctions (i.e., stricter laws, prison sentences, etc) been effective (deterrence)?
b.Has rehabilitation (i.e. interventions designed to change the behavior) been effective?
c.Have situational crime prevention techniques been effective?
C)Conclusion should summarize the findings in a way that makes clear the exact position you are taking (i.e. What is the most promising approach for crime prevention as it pertains to your offense type?). You should also include a discussion of why some of the other approaches to crime prevention (sanctions or treatment) have not been effective. So, for example, if you are arguing that situational crime prevention techniques are the most promising for reducing shoplifting, you would make your argument as follows:
a.Briefly review the evidence that makes the strongest argument for your position
b.Explain why you think these situational crime prevention techniques have been so effective and whether you think they will continue to remain effective. If you anticipate or have knowledge of any evolutions in these approaches that are likely to be used going forward, discuss those.
c.Explain why sanctions aimed at deterrence have been less effective
d.Explain why rehabilitation (i.e. treatment interventions) has been less effective
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