Do you know someone were involved in a diversion program (e.g., teen court, traffic court, etc). What were the procedures? Were there sanctions? How did involvement impact the person? What were the perceptions? Did the individual engage in similar behavior later? If so, how long after? If not, why not? Given the concept of net-widening, should there be intervention for those who engage in minor offenses or should they be left alone as eventually they will desist?
Is home confinement with electronic monitoring a deterrent? Are there negatives to being confined to one’s home? What type of person should be on home confinement?
Many programs exist that are not faith-based that received funding prior to President Bush’s faith-based initiative. Many believe that such programs receive less funding or have less access to more funding as they do not fit the requirements to receive funding under the faith-based initiative. Given the proposition that there is no evidence that faith-based treatment programs are any more or any less effective in reducing crime than are secular treatment programs, should the initiative and office developed under the Bush Administration be dispensed and funds distributed among secular and faith-based grant offices? Or should the initiative remain as it provides common ground of treatment between conservatives and liberals? Additionally, determine if students have a preference for the type of faith that is funded (e.g., Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, etc). What are the reasons they may have preferences? Address religious biases as needed.
Drug courts seemingly have a positive effect on those who are processed through them. Other focused and well-designed programs include mental health courts and domestic violence courts, should there be specialty courts/units for other crimes or behaviors? What crimes? Why?
In order to understand the racial profiling debate and how certain communities may perceive unfair treatment, students should address if they believe they are profiled based on age and treated differently by campus and/or local police departments.
Should certain categories of drugs be decriminalized? What might the impact be – in the short- and long-term?
Is sexting an overreach? Are there other behaviors that should be considered an overreach of the criminal law?