Gather evidence (laws, policies, procedures, data) and evaluate for relevancy: Research jail populations that exist in California. Are they currently in decline, and what might be contributing to the trends you see? What guidelines are used for jails in CA?

Jails house both those awaiting trial for offenses when they cannot make bail, as well as those who have been sentenced to offenses, typically for a term of imprisonment of a year or less. Although imprisonment has recently been on the decline, the jail population is still estimated at about 11.7 million per year.

Consider the first three steps of the Criminal Justice Decision Making Model:

Step One: Define the problem (and the questions that need to be answered): Read the sections titled “The Contemporary Jail,” “Pretrial Detention,” and “The Sentenced Jail Inmate.” What strategies should be used to deal with the needs of the two types of jail inmates discussed? What are some of the main issues in jail administration, and how can they best be addressed? Is there such a thing as “rehabilitation” in jail, and should there be more or less emphasis on this concept? What does the future hold for jails, and how could they be improved?

Step Two: Gather evidence (laws, policies, procedures, data) and evaluate for relevancy: Research jail populations that exist in California. Are they currently in decline, and what might be contributing to the trends you see? What guidelines are used for jails in CA?

Step Three: Weigh moral considerations and direct and indirect consequences: Discuss the typical characteristics of the jail population. What is problematic about these characteristics? Is our criminal justice system biased against the poor and minorities, and why do you feel that they are or are not? What are some strategies that could be used to alleviate disparities in jail populations?

Following Steps 4 and 5 of the Criminal Justice Decision Making Model, write a three-page essay in which you discuss the issues facing jail administration and the best strategies for dealing with those issues. As you write your essay, focus on correct usage of direct and indirect quotes to support your points. Your essay should contain a minimum of three direct quotes and three indirect quotes. Be sure to cite your sources in APA format.

Step Four: Write your position paper, argument, or proposal, using the material above.

Step Five: Balance your position by addressing alternatives and potential pitfalls.