Over crowding in the US Corrections system
As with research papers, there is not just one way to write a policy paper. Paper should include the following basic elements:
Part I. Introduction. Pick a problem topic and then specifically define a public policy problem. What is the problem faced? Where does it exist? Who or what is affected? How did it develop? What are the major causes? Discuss the importance of the problem. Why is this something that your audience needs to deal with now?
Part II. Evaluate Existing Public Policies–Evaluate the main existing policy or policies to deal with a social problem is an important step in the public policy analysis process. Analyze both the advantages and disadvantages of the existing policies(s). Suggest what
parts of the current policy should be kept or strengthened, and what parts should be changed. Which of the four policy-making models (rational model, institutional model, elite model, group model) outlined in class does this policy appear to follow? Provide a detailed analysis. What is your operational measure for determining the effectiveness/ineffectiveness of this problem?
Part III. Propose Alternative Solutions—Construct policy alternatives by considering: strengths and weaknesses of existing policies, the effect of eliminating or lessening the causes or contributory factors for the problem, and to what degree the existing policy fails to deal with the problem. Should the existing policy be totally eliminated and replaced or can it simply be modified? Ultimately, how do you propose to solve the problem?
Part IV. Develop evaluative criteria and assess the policy alternative. What criteria are most suitable for the problem and the alternatives? What are the costs of the action? What will be the costs if no action is taken? What is the likely effectiveness, efficiency, equity, impact on liberty/freedom, social acceptability and the political, administrative and technical feasibility of alternatives? Also consider using economic evaluative criteria such as cost benefit analysis, cost effectiveness analysis and risk assessment.
Part V. Draw Conclusions. Which policy alternative is the most desirable given the circumstances, operational measure and the evaluative criteria? What other factors should be considered?
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