Prison Reform in California

Students will focus on ONE policy issue that has implications on a state/local level. If you want to cover a federal policy, (ex: DACA) be sure you focus on the actors/effects on a state/local level, rather than the actors/effects at the federal level. Examples of Policy Domains: Education, state parks, state prisons, homelessness, waste management, etc…

This policy paper will be 6-8 pages in length, double spaced, with 1-inch margins in APA format.

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Below you will find a detailed guideline with prompts to help you cover the issue fully.

I. Introduction and Background

The purpose of this section is to provide the reader with background information about the policy issue. Questions to consider are as follows:

How did the issue originate? What is the historical background of the issue? Are there critical incidents which emphasize the importance of the issue?
Why is this an important issue for society at large and policy makers to address? Why should citizens be concerned with this issue?
What philosophical or ethical issues underscore the importance of the issue?

II. Statement of the Problem

The purpose of this section is to analyze the specific issues related to the problem and the societal consequences if this problem continues un-addressed by policy. Questions to focus on in this section are as follows:

What evidence is there suggesting a change is policy is needed? What is the specific problem and the major causes of the problem? (define the specific problem.)
How does the problem affect critical populations, groups, and society at large, especially on a state/local level?
What are the ethical debates, or controversies associated with the problem? How are those ethical considerations related to principles, values, or biblical truths in the Christian Bible?
What is our civic responsibility as Christians to address this policy problem?

III. Current Policies

The purpose of this section is to analyze current policies (or programs) that deal with the problem. The questions to address are as follows:

Have the current policies solved, alleviated, exacerbated, or had no effect on the problem? Why or why not?
Who supports the current policies? Why do they support them?
Who is in favor of changing the current policies? Why do they want to change them? (These questions can serve as a transition to the next section of the paper.)

IV. Alternative Solutions

The purpose of this section is to analyze two to three alternative solutions to the problem. In selecting the alternative solutions, choose alternatives that have been seriously proposed by advocates or policy makers. You do not have to analyze every possible alternative, but you should analyze alternatives that have been or are being seriously considered. Expanding (or modifying) current policies (or programs) can be treated as one of the alternative solutions. For each alternative solution, analyze its strengths and weaknesses and discuss which groups, opinion leaders, or policy makers support or reject it. Ultimately, keep in mind that you might be rejecting these alternative solutions or using parts of them for your own policy proposal in the next section of the paper. The questions to address are as follows:

List alternatives to the current policies?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the alternatives? Why?
Who supports and opposes the alternatives? Why?
Why haven’t these alternatives been made into policy? Is there some fatal flaw inherent in them or in the way that society views them? Could there another reason why these alternatives haven’t been implemented?
Are their ethical considerations surrounding alternatives?
V. Policy Recommendations
The purpose of this section is to choose one of the policy alternatives you presented in your previous section that you would most recommend. These questions are hypothetical and can be answered (all or in part) as such. You do not need to provide empirical evidence for what your proposed policy will do.

What is the specific policy recommendation that you are proposing to solve the problem?
What legislative body, agency, or other policy-making group will need to approve your proposal in order for it to be implemented? What agency or group will be responsible for administering your proposal?
What reasoning and/or evidence can you provide that demonstrates your proposal is feasible and workable?
What spokespersons or policy makers or administrators might realistically be interested in supporting your proposal? How will you gain their support? What policy-makers or groups might be opposed to your proposal? Why?

VI. Summation and Conclusion
This section is the capstone of your policy paper, and, as such, should briefly summarize the argument you have made. This section should also include a final persuasive appeal to your reader(s).

This section is the capstone of your policy paper, and, as such, should briefly summarize the argument you have made. This section should also include a final persuasive appeal to your reader(s).

VII. Reference Page

This section contains the reference page (in APA). Minimum of 10 sources must be used. Only list references cited in the text of the paper. Follow APA procedures when formatting each reference.

I ask that you write in a center political viewpoint on this policy. Not too conservative and not too liberal

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