Correctional Setting

Literature Review

At several points along the flowchart of the criminal justice system professionals are required to make judgments as to the likelihood an individual will commit a criminal act or another criminal act. For instance:

  • Pre-trail release – Is the person who has merely been accused of a crime such a danger to the community that they must remain confined while awaiting trial?
  • Post-Conviction sentencing – Is this person a viable candidate for supervision under probation or is they likely to commit another criminal act?
  • Correctional classification – What institutional environment (level of confinement, program availability, etc.) is most appropriate for this individual for their safety as well as that of staff and other inmates?
  • Release to community-based supervision (e.g., parole)- In light of the changes that have occurred since incarceration, is this individual suitable to complete their sentence under community-based supervision ?

To assist in this determination, risk assessment instruments have been developed which, usually in combination with a clinical interview, will provide some scalable predictability of future criminal/violent behavior. Do they work?

The student will conduct a literature review as follows:

1. Conduct research on the topic of criminal/violent risk assessment.

2. Identify a minimum of two (2) professional literature articles using the UMUC on-line Library resources

3. Compose a review of the articles selected, to include:

a. An introductory statement regarding the risk factor and/or processes identified and the articles selected

b. A brief summary of the article

c. A statement of the thesis (purpose) of the article

d. The method, evidence and/or evaluation the author used in support of the thesis

e. The conclusion or finding

4. For each of the 2 articles selected the student must also identify one (1) supportivearticle. (See the bibliography of the selected article for potential articles or conduct a literature search using the UMUC on-line Library resources.)

5. Compose a review of each of the supportive articles, consisting of:

a. A brief summary of the article

b. A description of how the supportive article relates to the selected article

6. A concluding statement

NOTE: This project consists of a total of four (4) articles:

 -Two (2) articles that address risk factors and/or assessment processes, and

 -One (1) article that supports your review/conclusion for EACH of the first two articles.


The evaluation of this project will focus on:

1. The strength of the relationship between the selected articles and the identified risk factor or assessment process topic

2. The comprehensive review of the article

3. The relationship between the supportive articles to the selected articles

4. Overall quality of the composition

5. Compliance with the format requirements.


1. A minimum of 2,500 words (approximately 6 narrative pages) not including cover page and references page

2. The cover page should include the name and number of the course, the name of the student, title of the project and the date of submission.

3. The narrative composition is to be 12 pt. font, double spacing, with 1 inch margins

4. Resources, including course materials, must be cited both in the narrative where appropriate and on a separate references page, using APA citation rules.

5. Projects should be submitted using the Assignment Folder unless instructed otherwise.

6. At the instructor’s discretion, this project may be submitted to Turnitin or other services for verification of originality.

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