Sociology More Prisoners Versus More Crime Discussion




A policy brief is the culmination of extensive analysis of a policy based on in-depth knowledge about the social problem for which a policy is being proposed. A policy brief presents an issue clearly and concisely in approximately four pages to assist readers in understanding an issue, solving a problem, or making a decision.

Each student will read professional articles, newspaper commentaries, and news magazines stories to become familiar with current public policy debate around the policy sector of the debate (e.g. criminal justice, immigration, education, child & family, mental health, safety-net, gerontology, and healthcare) but does not have to be the exact debate topic. Once a topic of interest has been identified, it must be approved by the instructor.

The policy brief is 4 pages minimum, 12 point, Times New Roman font, 1-inch margins, and double spaced. At least 3-references are required. References are NOT included in the 4-page limit.  A title page is optional, and the title page will not be included in the total page count. Additional information and examples can be found in “Assignment Resources (Policy Brief Resources).”

(Note: Be sure to cite your sources!)

Structure of the Policy Brief


Summary of the Issue

Brief (2-3 sentence) statement describing the issue. What is the problem that this policy brief addresses?

Background & Research evidence

Background related to the issue; an explanation of the problem and its significance; information pertinent to the issue (e.g., current policy or debate about the issue, data about the issue), including research evidence

Policy Recommendations

  • Provide all feasible recommendations about what different actors should do. Can be formatted as a bullet list if appropriate.

Implementation Considerations

  • Describe how the recommendations would be implemented.


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