For your first assignment, you will compile a short annotated bibliography on the potential disparate treatment of individuals in the criminal justice system based on race and/or ethnicity. These articles can be on any part of the criminal justice system and do not need to all be on the same topic– they just need to be empirical (i.e. they collect and present data on the issue of disparate impacts of the criminal justice system across race and ethnicity). For example, you might research the relationship between an individual’s race and/or ethnicity and their experiences in the court system. You would most likely look for articles that talk about things such as the variation in drug sentencing laws and how those are tied to race, or the negative impact of the bail system on defendants who are poor, which are communities that are disproportionately represented by minorities. Please note, the research and sources that you find do not have to support the hypothesis that the criminal justice system negatively impacts racial and ethnic minorities. There may be empirical research out there that argues in certain areas of the criminal justice system that race and ethnicity play no role in how an individual is treated.
Annotated bibliographies help researchers to organize the information on a specific topic, take notes for literature reviews, and also assist others in understanding what research is available on a specific topic. An annotated bibliography presents the appropriate citation for each source along with a brief summary (e.g. for a research article, an entry should be approximately 250 words). In addition to identifying appropriate sources and developing a short summary for each, your annotated bibliography should have a 500-word reflection that discusses and provides a general overview of your thoughts on racial and ethnic disparity in the criminal justice system based on the readings you identified and the readings/documentary assigned for this module. For your annotated bibliography, you will only need to find four academic articles. Points will be subtracted for poorly written entries, entries that do not fit the required criteria, citations that are not properly formatted, and typographic or grammatical errors. Plagiarism, the unattributed use of someone else’s work, will result in a failing grade (e.g. copying and pasting the abstract of the articles you found).
If you have any questions about this assignment, feel free to email me or post on Student Questions for Module 1: Foundations. Please do not wait until the last minute to start your assignment.
Potential Resources: Although these are not all the resources you have access to, I recommend starting with the below:
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