Assignment 2: Executive summary

You will select one of the possible five correctional issues outlined below. It is important to remember that the issue you select to write about for this assignment will also be the issue you write about for Assignment 3: Policy brief. As such, you should think of this as part one of two written tasks regarding this issue.The issue in correctionsSelect one of the following issues to focus on:Reintegration and desistance (Week 10)Prisoner health and wellbeing (e.g. suicide) (Week 4)Indigenous prisoners (Week 8)Young people in prison (Week 6)Women prisoners (Week 7).Important note: As many of the issues listed for this assignment are not covered until the later weeks of our unit, it will be important for you to ‘read forward’ once you have chosen your issue in order to explore the weekly content directly related to your issue.To make it easier for you to locate the relevant learning materials for your issue, we have indicated which week they appear in the unit and have linked all of them directly to the weekly module.The executive summaryYou are required to provide a summary of your selected issue. The executive summary aims to convince the reader that the brief (which will be written in Assignment 3: Policy brief) is worthy of an in-depth investigation. It is especially important for an audience that is short of time to clearly see the relevance and importance of the brief by reading the summary. As such, the executive summary should include a description of the problem, current Victorian policy addressing the issue (if applicable), and why the current approach/policy option needs to be changed.Important note: The issue brief distils or synthesises a large amount of complex detail, so the reader can easily understand the heart of the issue and the players/stakeholders.Outlined sections of the executive summaryTitle pageThe title needs to be brief and represent the issue you are focusing on. Include the key terms that relate to your brief.IntroductionThis section should present the relevant background information of the selected issue. You will need to introduce the general field of the topic area and then narrow to the specific area of your policy brief. This should explain the significance/urgency of the issue and creates curiosity for the rest of brief that will follow in Assignment 3: Policy brief.Summary of the issueThis section answers the question of “why” this is an issue in corrections. What is the issue? What are the current Victorian policies in place dealing with the issue? What are the implications/outcomes? Who do the implications affect? The arguments presented here should be based on relevant theoretical frameworks, empirical evidence and/or relevant case studies. Include relevant statistics where appropriate.ConclusionSummarise the key arguments presented throughout the document.ReferencesThis section should include all of the in-text references that were provided in the previous sections. This should be in Swinburne Harvard format. Aim for a minimum of 12 resources.Tips and remindersAt least two theories relevant to your selected topics should be discussed in detail. Make a case as to why these theories are the most relevant in understanding the trends and issues underlying your topic.This is a research exercise. At least 12 appropriate scholarly sources should be included in your paper. This should include information provided in peer-reviewed academic journals and books, as well as in government reports. You may use sources from the weekly readings provided in the course, however these will not be counted towards the minimum 12 sources—you need to get out there and conduct your own research.Remember critical thinking and discussion is required at this level of study. That means questioning what we are being told, probing arguments for weaknesses and strengths, and making a sophisticated case that demonstrates that your reasoning is balanced, considered and as objective as possible.Things to keep in mindWho are your readers?Who am I writing this brief for?How knowledgeable are they about the topic?How open are they to the message?How can I reach readers?What questions need answers?What are their interests, concerns?What does it take to reach specific readers such as media, decision-makers?Make sure you proofread the brief to avoid any spelling or grammar mistakes.

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