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Policy Paper 3


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Throughout the semester you will complete 3 brief policy papers. The goal of these papers is to understand the links between theory and policy. This paper will involve the use of Corporate Rap Sheets, created by the Corporate Research Project.



1. Critical theories are varied, ranging from green criminology to queer criminology. But one thing critical theories have in common is that they allow us to look at the role of power and inequality. Traditional criminological theories have focused on “traditional” crimes such as homicide, assault, drug crimes, property crimes, etc. Such theories are often tested on samples that involve who we might term “the powerless.” Consider how many articles we read this semester that involved datasets of delinquent juveniles (though I tried to vary it up here and there!). The focus of critical theories allows us to study up, instead of studying down, to consider the crimes of the powerful (and how they may not even be labeled as crime!).

2. First, read about what the corporate rap sheet database is here.

3. Next, go to the list of corporate rap sheets here. Select one company and read about it. You will notice that the crimes are broken up by type (labor, environmental, fraud, etc.).

4. Then, using the violation tracker here, search for your company using the drop down menu for Parent Companies under Option 1: View Summaries. Once selected it will take you to the summary page. There, review the top offense groups, offense types, and penalties.

5. Answer the following in a formal, written paper, with appropriate APA citations for any study, course readings, or other sources.

a. Summarize what you read about your company. What types of crimes, civil, or environmental violations have they been involved in? What are their top offenses and what were the penalties like? This is open for you to discuss what you learned about the company. (2-4 paragraphs)

b. The Corporate Rap Sheet notes that the term “rap sheet” is used to refer not only to criminal cases but also to civil matters and other controversies. Why might it be important to consider such things when looking at corporate harms, even if they weren’t charged as crimes under the law? Consider what we learned/discussed in Week 12 and 13. (2-3 paragraphs)

c. One thing that critical theories have been critiqued for is the lack of connection back to individuals or other theories. For example, corporations cannot be sent to jail, but they are made up of people, they have work cultures that may promote crime (hello learning theory), and so on. Thinking about this critique, how might you connect your company and its crimes back to more “traditional” theories of crime. This question is clearly a hypothetical, so not looking for a right or wrong, just your thoughts! (2-3 paragraphs)

d. Finally, based on what you have discussed here, discuss some policies or programs that you might implement to stop a corporation from committing such a crime. It might involve anything from a new law, harsher penalties, oversight programs, workplace trainings, or more. So often though, we focus on policies and programs for those “traditional crimes” but how might we take preventative measures for these “crimes of the powerful”? Again, this question is open to your thoughts! (2-3 paragraphs)


Note that the paragraph suggestions for each part are just suggestions—you may have more or less—as long as you meet the 3-5 page requirement it’s fine.





1. Your paper should be 3-5 pages in length, not including the references page.

2. Your paper should be written at a graduate level that incorporates and references course material.

3. Your paper should be formatted as Times New Roman, size 12, double spaced, 1 inch margins, with APA format for any citations. See Week 1 on CourseDen for APA citation style resources.

4. Your paper should be submitted on the due date by 11:59pm.

5. The following rubric will be used to evaluate each policy paper.




Not Met


Needs Improvement

(D Range)

Minimally Acceptable

(C Range)

Meets Expectations

(B Range)

Exceeds Expectations

(A Range)

Quality · No evidence of critical thinking.

· No connections made (or nothing submitted).

· Superficial writing.

· No valid connections made between content.

· No analysis or insight.

· Critical presentation of opinion not present.

· Some connections made, although all might not be valid.

· Analysis of content is evident, although possibly not complete.

· Critical presentation of opinion is not complete.

· Valid connections made.

· Paper is complete with analysis and insight.

· If present, opinions are presented at a critical level.

· Superb connections made.

· Paper demonstrates fantastic analysis and insight with attention to detail.

· If present, opinions are presented at a critical level.

Quantity · Quantity is completely unacceptable (or nothing submitted).


· Length of paper does not meet requirements.

· Proper citation is missing.

· Length of paper meets the requirements but includes considerable “fluff” or “filler.”

· Proper citation used.

· Length of paper meets requirements.

· Proper citation used.


· Length of paper meets requirements.

· Proper citation used.

Stylistics · Content is illegible (or nothing submitted). · Many spelling or grammar errors.

· Content is difficult to understand.

· Few spelling or grammar mistakes.

· Content is generally easy to understand.

· No spelling or grammar mistakes.

· Content easy to understand.

· No spelling or grammar mistakes.

· Content easy to understand.

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