Background: The growth of prison gangs and the increased violence and illegal enterprises that result from that growth has resulted in new interest regarding prison threat groups control strategies and a renewed vigilance for the potential violence and disruption of civil society from prison gangs. Prison gangs have proven to be a rich breeding ground for terrorist recruitment (radicalization) as well as a serious corrections problem that saps fiscal, personnel, and physical facility resources from correctional systems. All correctional administrators must address the threat of such groups in the facility, which encourages further study of this important criminal justice issue.
Assignment: The objective of this assignment is to select for study one (1) of the prison threat groups listed below that currently operate in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Develop an essay and insure that the following topics are discussed and documented in this essay:
1. Define the terms that will be used, such as prison gangs or security threat groups, etc. Do not use a generic dictionary. Use peer reviewed, refereed or academic journals or use definitions provided by governmental web sites. These definitions should be direct quotes with proper citation and references. Keep in mind that the APA format for a governmental web site differs from the format for a journal reference.
2. Provide background information including the history and development of this group including:
The history and development within the state you have chosen to investigate (California). For example, there should be a detailed section concerning the history and development of the specific gang you select in California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Pay particular attention to the dates and location of the gang inception.
Include specific dates, locations, and inmate names whenever possible.
Include a discussion describing the membership characteristics, gang goals, mission, reason for the group’s existence, etc. This is a good issue to use peer review journals in addition to the departmental web sites for documentation. Avoid web sites with no authors, etc. because there is no way to confirm or challenge that data. You will note this prohibition in the syllabus. Discuss each element in some detail; do not just list issues. For example, if you discuss a goal or process, include as much information as possible about the purpose of the goal or process, etc. DO NOT WASTE SPACE RETYPING THEIR OATH, ETC. That is also merely a waste of space. Instead, discuss the fact that there is an oath, if appropriate, and the purpose of the oath, etc.
Evaluate the degree to which this group is a threat to that prison system and provide concrete examples of the threat.
Discuss the specific strategy used in California to identify and control gang membership and activity. Identify the names of their programs, names of their specific databases, departmental organizational design (chain of command) of any specific gang units, etc. Be specific in their approach to gang control. Name specific gang units and refer to specific policies and procedures. Include in the discussion some summary of the effectiveness of the strategy being discussed.
3. Discuss a variety of options and strategies used by the following states to control and contain threat groups:
Identify the names of their programs, names of their specific databases, departmental organizational design (chain of command) of any specific gang units, etc. Be specific in their approach to gang control. Name specific gang units and refer to specific policies and procedures. This will require some research in the department’s web site and publications.
4. Finally, arrive at a conclusion as to whether the current strategy is working in California and provide any alternative approaches that have a proven track record in the comparative states you selected that California should consider. Include in the conclusion and discussion of the merits of either continuing the current approach (such as statistics on membership decline, etc.) or the advantages of using specific alternative strategies.
To this end, the instructions for this assignment follow:
Students are to use library resources to find at least three peer review, academic or refereed journal articles (or other reference documents once this minimum requirement is achieved) which can be used to identify and validate the history and characteristics of the selected threat group, definitions of threat groups (gangs), or the variety of strategies implemented to contain and control threat groups in a prison environment. It is also recommended that you document the management approach from the web site and rules and regulations of the agency you are studying as well as possible statutes implemented to assist in gang control. One of the purposes of this assignment is to develop the student’s ability to do graduate level research on this topic. The essay must be a minimum of five complete pages of text. In addition to the required number of 3 peer reviewed, academic or refereed journals required in this question, students may additionally use resources (studies, statistics, etc.) from the U.S. Department of Justice, the Office of Justice Programs, the Bureau of Justice Statistics the National Institute of Corrections and National Gang Crime Research Center (NGCRC) for applicable studies and data. You may not use an abstract or any subheadings in your essay. The title page and the reference page(s) do not apply to this minimum requirement. This is an exercise in academic research, graduate level thinking and academic writing ability. Do not discuss jail gangs at all in this essay. This essay is focused on prison gangs which may be quite different in operation and controls from a jail system. The laws governing detention facilities can be quite different from a prison that houses convicted felons. Do not discuss juvenile gangs in this essay. This course focuses on adult corrections.
The following elements should be included in your essay’s rhetoric (Remember not to use any subheadings! These are identified merely to assist you in developing a framework for your response).
Cover page: Include the title of the paper, your name, class title and date of submission. Please see the sample essay provided in the Course Content for additional assistance. Remember not to use an abstract!
Introductory paragraph(s): Make an introductory statement about the topic of your paper and what threat group you intend to examine. These first paragraphs should provide the purpose of your paper (the thesis). This is also an excellent place to define your terms such as prison threat group, prison gang, etc. Avoid using generic dictionaries to define terms. In addition to academic journals, federal research sites can be useful here where definitions are often included in their studies.
Rhetorical content: discuss the history of the group Include a discussion of the strategy employed by California to identify membership and to control gang activity. What strategies does the research of the other two other specific states recommend and to what degree have they been effective? How do they differ and where have the competing strategies been ineffective? How do you measure program success for an intervention program such as this?
Conclusion content: This paragraph(s) is based on your research. Based on your analysis of the threat group, the articles and their conclusions, and information regarding the efforts of the jurisdiction under study, what are your conclusions as to the solutions currently in place? Can you provide a viable alternative if you are not satisfied with the status quo? Remember not to have a subheading of “Conclusion” etc. Just move right into the final discussion and let your rhetoric carry the day. Your choice of wording will make the conclusion clear to the reading. The better your writing, the clearer your conclusion will be to the reader.
Reference Page: References must be correctly cited on a separate reference page in perfect APA format.
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