SOC 319: Juvenile Justice Research Project

Image of child outline behind red barbed wire.

Building upon a semester-long survey research project, you will complete a policy brief recommending ways UB could better support its students, particularly those who have had prior juvenile justice system contact.

Project is Not Currently Available

This project has reached full capacity for the current term. Please check back next semester for updates.

Project description

This experience is embedded within SOC 319: Juvenile Justice. Along with introducing students to some of the theoretical and practical issues in the field of juvenile justice, this class introduces students to some of the research methods used to study juvenile justice. By the end of the course, students will be particularly skilled in the method of survey research, one of the most common research methods used in sociology and many other fields. Through a semester-long research project, students learn:

  1. The benefits and limitations of survey research
  2. The logic of survey construction, data collection, and coding
  3. How to form and test a hypothesis
  4. How to present quantitative data clearly and concisely
  5. How to extend your research to make policy recommendations

Project outcome

Students are responsible for summarizing the findings from the class survey project and combining them with independent research and/or class material in order to identify and propose a policy solution/change for the University at Buffalo. By focusing on a policy recommendation for UB, students are encouraged to think about the implications of juvenile justice issues for the transition to adulthood. The final product is a 2-3 page policy brief with a formal recommendation to the University at Buffalo regarding the content covered in the course.

The policy brief must be a maximum of 3 pages, and contain the following sections, although it may contain more sections or subsections, if necessary:

  1. Title, Name, and Course #
  2. Identification of problem
  3. Current approach
  4. Policy recommendation(s) (including justification)
  5. Barriers to implementation
  6. References

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment About a semester
Start time Spring 2022
In-person, remote, or hybrid?
Level of collaboration Final project is individual work; semester-long research is class-wide and in small groups
Benefits Research experience; academic credit
Who is eligible Undergraduate students enrolled in SOC 319

Project mentor

Ashley Barr

Associate Professor


Phone: (716) 645-8453


Start the project

  1. Ensure you are enrolled in the course for the correct semester.
  2. Click the button to start the digital badge below.

Preparation activities

Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase. 

  • Successfully complete the proper CITI training
  • Successfully complete and submit a literature review and annotated bibliography, as stated on the syllabus and project instructions document