Abuse of Power Capstone Project

Abuse of Power Capstone Project

The statement of the problem tells the criminal justice executive what the difficulty is; what problem is to be solved. No discussion is necessary at this point. In later sections you will be elaborating on the facts, issues, solutions, etc.

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The Problem does not count in the total number of pages required.


  1. Factors Bearing on the Problem

This section includes facts or statements of truth which can be sub­stantiated. For example, “The average education level of the police officer in this city is 14.5 years (or high school plus 2 1/2 years college).” Another example might be, “Last year the citizens of this county only reported 200 crimes in progress to the police” or “the jail population averaged 20% above maximum capacity in fiscal year 1983/84.”

List each fact separately. (use bullets to identify factors, however each factor MUST be a complete sentence). Each bullet item must ONLY be two sentences.  You are to have no less than 4 factors (preferable) and no more than 6 factors.

Also at the end of the listed factors, the student must list any assumptions which lend weight to their final recommendation/solutions. Examples: “It is assumed that if the victims of crimes are compensated for their time spent testi­fying in court, more citizens will be willing to become involved in pro­secutions; or, “It is assumed that better trained officers will be able to more effectively communicate with the public.”  The assumption goes after the last factor.

It is recommended that you color each of the factors.  Then when you are writing your information on a factor in the discussion section, you color the wording to match the factor.  This way you have a clear visual on how much information you have written on the topic.  You may keep the colors on the paper for each of the submissions, except the final submission.

The Factors does not count in the total number of pages required.

II. Discussion

The discussion section is the “meat and potatoes” of the Administrative Position Paper. It contains the critical analysis of the problem and all possible factors researched. This is the critical area for the student to show the professor and your administrator you have done your research properly. This is the longest section. Cite all facts by using in-text citations. Nothing in the Discussion Section should contain personal knowledge, experience, or opinion from the author.  Only facts—and —each fact must be formatted with an in-text citation according to the APA format.  Do not uses case studies and if you are going to use a personal communication, you are only permitted to use one and it should be no more than one (1) short paragraph.  No charts, diagrams, case studies or long quoted material is to be used in the Discussion area.  If you need to use charts, diagrams, case studies or quotes, you must put them into an Appendix and only refer to them in the Discussion Section.  Material must be paraphrased and provided a citation; however we will allow 15% of your entire paper to have quotes.  If you are unsure of what the difference is between paraphrasing and direct quoted material, get with your instructor.

The Discussion does count in the total number of pages required.  The Discussion should be no less than 12 pages and no more than 18 pages.

Rule of thumb:      Four (4) Factors- Each factor should have 3.5 pages on each one

Five (5) Factors- Each factor should have 3.0 pages on each one

Six (6) Factors- Each factor should have 3.0 pages on each one.


  1. Conclusion

Now that you’ve shown how you reasoned through the problem, state a conclu­sion. The conclusion is nothing more than a brief statement of the best possible solution or solutions which you have described in detail in the Discussion section. You do not need to continue the discussion. You should not introduce new material in this section. Example: “Although new jails could be constructed to house more inmates, a new program of com­munity custody for first offenders convicted of nonviolent crimes would prove more cost-effective.”

The Conclusion does count in the total number of pages required.  The Conclusion should be no more than 1 page.


.     Action Recommended This section does not have a Roman Numeral and goes after the conclusion section.  In this section you tell the instructor (and the criminal justice executive) what your final recommended action is. Alternate possible actions have already been reviewed in your Discussion section. You’re making a commitment to a single course of action. Example: “It is recommended that the city hire five more prosecuting attorneys and three more judges in order to make the court system more expedient.” You include several steps that must be done in support of your action recommended, including a time frame for possible action steps, and a budget if appropriate.

The Action Recommended does not count in the total number of pages required; however, it must not be less than 2 pages.  Be detailed in your assessment.



Finally, include a section entitled References which lists all of your references as an annotated references using the APA** format.  If you are unfamiliar with how to write an annotated reference, please review the following website for this information    The references must be in alphabetical order.  Your paper WILL NOT be accepted if the references are not annotated.

The References do not count in the total number of pages required.



If applicable, must be located after the References and identified by letter.

The Appendix does not count in the total number of pages required.

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