For this assessment, students are required to compose a policy proposal that critically and constructively examines one of the weekly topics discussed in the course (Weeks 6-12). The proposal must address the evidence-base surrounding a particular criminal justice intervention, sanction, or piece of legislation, documenting its strengths and weaknesses and concluding with recommendations for future practice. Exceptional proposals will incorporate research evidence and scholarly theory into actual criminal justice practices.
POLICY PROPOSAL TOPICS
Students must compose a policy proposal related to one of the following weekly topics:
Week 6: Registries and community notification
Week 7: Terrorism
Week 8: Drug courts
Week 9: Indigenous courts
Week 10: Domestic violence courts (MUST DO THIS TOPIC)
Week 11: Conferencing
Week 12: Fines and forfeiture
Students are permitted to choose a broad topic (e.g., the utility of drug courts for Australia) or a narrower subset within one of the above topics (e.g., the analysis of metadata as a counter-terrorism strategy). Students are encouraged to discuss the suitability of their topic selection with their instructor. Each proposal, irrespective of the topic chosen, should include the following components:
An overview of what is included in your policy proposal
An introduction to the topic, from broad to narrow
A description of the penological principles underlying the topic
A discussion of the past and current use of the policy you are proposing
A discussion of the envisioned strengths of the policy, if enacted
A discussion of the possible weaknesses of the policy, if enacted
A clear stipulation of your policy recommendations
Required Reading – Week 10
Bull, M. (2010). Punishment & sentencing: Risk, Rehabilitation and Restitution. South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press. Chapter 8: Responding to domestic violence: Special pleas and specialist courts (pp. 153-172).
– e-book: Bull, 2010
Recommended Readings – Week 10
Eley, S. (2005). Changing practices: The specialised domestic violence court process. The Howard Law Journal, 44, 113-124.
Epstein, D. (1999). Effective intervention in domestic violence cases: Rethinking the roles of prosecutors, judges, and the court system. Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, 11, 3-50.
Gover, A. R., Macdonald, J. M., & Alpert, G. P. (2003). Combating domestic violence: Findings from an evaluation of a local domestic violence court. Criminology & Public Policy, 3, 109-132.
Mazur, R., & Aldrich, L. (2003). What makes a domestic violence court work? Lessons from New York. American Bar Association, 42(2), 5-9, 41-42.