Criminal Justice

For this paper, your task is to reflect on one theory of criminal behavior and one theory of victimization. You are required to pick a movie or TV series for each theory you choose and apply that theory to the storyline or one of the main character’s experiences. You may choose a TV series, a movie, or a documentary/documentary series. You may NOT choose a single episode of a show. Which criminal behavior theory fits best with your media choice #1? Which victimization theory fits best with your media choice #2? Remember that you need a total of two media choices and two theories. One theory for each movie or series.

Use the following questions as a guide to writing your paper:

You should address all of these prompts in order to get an A on the assignment.

  • First, identify which theory fits best with your media choices. Is it a micro theory or a macro theory?
  • Then, interpret the theory and find research on its application. Discuss the theory’s main assumptions in relation to your media choices.
  • Think critically about which aspects of the theory apply to your media choice and which aspects don’t fit with your media choice. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the theory?
  • Develop a logical and evidenced explanation for why criminalization or victimization occurred in each of your choices.
  • Analyze each of the factors that led to the criminalization or victimization in each of your media choices. Some factors could be: social class, prejudice, education, poverty, politics, bad parenting, neighborhood factors, peer factors, illness, genetics, opportunity, lack of guardian, etc. Can you think of any others?
  • Was the criminalization or victimization preventable? If so, how could it have been prevented? Use research evidence to support your answer.
  • Analyze the criminal justice system response and/or the social response to the crime and argue whether this is an appropriate response. What role did the criminal justice system’s personnel and process have in shaping the outcomes of the main characters? How did the criminal justice system respond to law violations for each of the main characters?
  • What policy decisions or laws should be made to address the problem (if one exists)?


  • Minimum of 4 academic, peer-reviewed sources. I suggest you find 2 articles to support each theory, but I’ll leave this decision up to you.
  • You may use the textbook, but it does NOT count towards your 4 minimum sources.
  • Do not use websites that appear after a quick Google search. Your references must be academicSee Research Tools module on Canvas.
  • Follow APA in-text citation and reference list guidelines. See Research Tools module on Canvas.
  • Include a cover page and reference list in APA format.
  • Make sure you have an introduction and a conclusion.
  • Your paper must be between 1,000 and 1,500 words, not including the cover page and reference list. You will automatically lose marks if you submit a paper with less than 1,000 words.
  • Use 12pt font and double space your paper.
  • Do  NOT use long quotes from any of your sources. A long quote is considered anything that is a sentence or longer. These will not count towards your number of words. Use your own words.
  • Prepare your assignment for someone who has seen the movie but doesn’t know about criminological theory or how the criminal justice system works. I don’t want you to provide a detailed summary of the movie. You can reference certain significant events, but do not explain the whole movie in your writing.

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