Criminal Justice Question


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I am working on a project and need some advice.


You must select 2 practitioners who work at two different agencies/organizations/ groups, who have direct experience working with your crime topic to give you information. The persons you select should represent different perspectives/areas, so you would NOT want to interview two police officers, or two people who work at the same non-profit, or two lawyers or two deputies. You are seeking to gather information from people who work with your crime in different capacities to include law enforcement, courts, non-profit organizations, advocacy groups, insurance companies, schools, health care, addiction centers, etc. Please do NOT do a group interview. You should be speaking to just one person at a time. At least one of your interviews should be someone who works in law enforcement, courts, or corrections in some capacity.

The persons you select to interview should have a good understanding of the topic through their recent professional work experience (i.e. they have worked in some capacity with your crime). The person you select needs to be able to speak about the crime in the community you selected. If they can’t speak to it in that community, pick someone else. Also, the experience should be recent. You want to interview people who are currently employed in the CJS.

Please do not pick a family member or friend. You also cannot interview your professors, coworkers (current or past), neighbors, classmates, someone you volunteer with, or anyone else you personally know. Your goal is to network and meet NEW people. The goal is to get out of your comfort zone and practice your networking skills.

You can use the discussion thread called “interview help” to ask on the discussion board if someone in the class knows someone you can interview regarding your topic.

Pleas note you cannot interview victims or offenders, they must be current working professionals that you just met.

You need to do 2 separate interviews. The interviews should take place either in person or via ZOOM or other video conferencing options, please do not just do it over the phone. You will be asked to redo it you do it over the phone. You all have access to Zoom to set up a video conference call. Please see here. opens in new windowThe videos should NOT be recorded. There is NO expectation that you meet with the practitioners in person. The location that you meet should be at their work place or some other public venue. Do NOT meet with the person in a private location, like a residence.

As you select the persons to interview, ask yourself the following questions.

  • Is this person someone I have met before in any capacity? If yes, pick someone else.
  • Is this person qualified to speak about my crime topic and community? If no, pick someone else.
  • Does this person have experience working in the community of my topic? If no, pick someone else.
  • Is this person available to meet with me before the deadline of when this assignment is due? If no, pick someone else.
  • Is this person willing to have their name, organization, and work email address identified for a school project (the info. will not be made public, but needs to be identified in this assignment)? If no, pick someone else.
  • Does this person work at a different organization than my other interviewee? If no, pick someone else.
  • Does this person work in a different type of capacity than the other person I interviewed? If no, pick someone else.
  • Is the person willing to do a Zoom or in-person meeting? If no, pick someone else.

Please note, if you interview someone who does not meet the requirements, the interview will NOT be graded, and you will be asked to redo it.

Interview basics:

When conducting the interviews you want to start by gathering general background information of the person.

1) Name and title of the person

2) How long the interview lasted

3) When it took place

4) How it was conducted (video or in-person- it can only be in one of these two formats). If it was in person where did you specifically meet- it can only be in a public space.

5) How you got connected with this person

6) Have you ever met this person in any capacity prior to this interview (if the answer is yes, this will not be graded)

Background questions of interviewee:

6) How this person is informed about your topic AND community

7) Why you wanted to interview this person in particular

8) Short background of the interviewee- education and professional background- how did they get to where they are today?

9) Contact information (must include work email address of the interviewee).

Standard Questions:

You should ask each person you are interviewing these 5 questions:

1) Why they think (your selected crime) is occurring in the (selected area)?

2) What are the main issues associated with (your specific crime) in the (selected area)?

3) What do they think should be done to reduce the (specific crime) from occurring in the (selected area)?

4) What community resources/programs are available to community members/victims/offenders to respond/prevent/reduce the crime?

5) What advice would they give someone going into criminal justice/law enforcement today?

Additional Required Questions for each interview: You need to ask 5 additional questions where you tailor the questions to the profession the person works in, so these five questions will NOT be the same for both interviews. The questions that you ask should specifically be about the crime, not what they like, don’t like about their job, a memorable experience, etc. rather the focus of these questions are on the crime that you have been writing about this semester.

6) A question of your choice related to the specific crime (not about the person)

7) A question of your choice related to the specific crime (not about the person)

8) A question of your choice related to the specific crime (not about the person)

9) A question of your choice related to the specific crime (not about the person)

10) A question of your choice related to the specific crime (not about the person)

If the interviewee gives very short answers, ask additional probing questions to get further details/more substance. You want each response to be at least a paragraph so if you need to ask for more details/clarification, please do it. Again, don’t be satisfied with a one word/short response. Ask additional questions if needed. Aim to have the interview last about 15 minutes.

If the person you want to interview is not available, pick someone else. You will NOT get an extension on this assignment because the person you want to interview did not respond or was not available.

Please be respectful of their time. If you tell them the interview will last 15 minutes, try and keep it close to this time.

If you need help finding someone to interview, please post a note here and hopefully one of your classmates can assist.

Please do NOT record the interview. Your task will be to takes notes from what they said during the interview, but you will not be submitting a full video or audio recording of the interview.

It is always a good idea after the interview takes place, to send a follow-up email thanking the person for their time.


Each interview summary should be approximately 1.5-2 pages pages long.

Start each summary review by including answers to the interview basics and background questions. Please be sure to include these details or your paper will be sent back to you to include (with a 5 point consequence) to add it and resubmit it.

You will then summarize the questions you asked and their responses. In your write up, please write the question and then the response after it. Repeat for all questions (interview basic, background, 5 required, and 5 elective).

So, for example,

Question 1, why is the crime of human trafficking occurring in St. Paul?


The interviewee said that human trafficking occurs because……

Your write-up should also be proportional. If you say the interview lasted an hour, but your write-up is the same length as the interviewee that lasted 15 minutes, it begs the question, what else was discussed?

You will repeat for the second interview, so each interview will have a total of 20 questions and answers (6 for interview basics, 4 for background questions, 5 standard questions, and 5 additional questions about the crime).

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