Louis L. Manderino Library

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JUS 331: Juvenile Justice System: Class Page

Subject Liaison

Bill Meloy's picture
Bill Meloy
Contact:
Office: Manderino Library 116
meloy@calu.edu
724-938-4067

Topic Ideas

1. Ask your professor or a librarian

2. Textbook or other books 

3. Library databases

Find these on the library's Criminal Justice Guide, such as Criminal Justice Abstracts. 

Keep the search broad at this point, e.g., juvenile justice drugs, juvenile courts african americans.

4. The Web

Narrowing a Topic

Broad topic: drugs and the juvenile justice system

Narrower topics: Sentencing disparities and african american juveniles convicted of drug crimes

Drugs courts and mandated treatment programs

Gender differences in the prosecution of juvenile drug use

 

Use these questions to get you thinking of ways to narrow your topic. This will help you focus your thoughts and give you good terms to use as you search for information.

What is the group or population?

This can be gender, age, sexual orientation, minority groups, chronic violent offenders, or other groupings.

What is the place or context?

Think of specifics of place (urban, rural, suburban, inner city), institutions (prison, school, juvenile courts), etc

What is the problem(s)?

Isolate the specific problem, such as drug abuse, sexual exploitation, truancy, prostitution, poverty, "stop and frisk", violent crime, status offenses, etc.

What are the interventions or solutions or outcomes?

How is the problem being addressed (treatment programs, group counseling, community outreach, parental involvement)?

How is it measured?

Incarceration rate, disproportionate minority contact, etc

 

Turning a Topic into a Research Question

Topic: Drugs courts and mandated treatment programs

Research Question: How effective are treatment programs mandated by juvenile drug courts in preventing future drug use? 

Helpful structures for Research Questions:

What effect does....have on...?

How do ....and ... compare in...?

What are the most effective....?

What are the similarities and differences between....?

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