Critical Race Theory Application Essay

500 Words2 Pages
My undergraduate studies, volunteer service, and employment have prepared me for study and future employment in criminal justice policy and administration.

While studying criminology and criminal justice (CCJS) at the University of Maryland, College Park, I had the option of completing three additional CCJS courses that were not required for my major. I chose to take classes about drugs, race, and human trafficking because I believed they were critical criminal justice issues.

In my course on race, one of my assignments was to respond to “The Space Traders,” a science fiction short story by the late New York University Law Professor Derrick Bell. This paper introduced me to Critical Race Theory and sparked my interest in the racialization
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I continued to assist with the Depravity Standard Study, an ongoing project funded by the Panel to enhance fairness in criminal sentencing.

I was primarily assigned to supervise interns as they reviewed case materials for evidence of depravity according to the Depravity Standard, 25 elements of a crime, based on public opinion, that merit more severe punishment. It is anticipated that the Depravity Standard will someday be used by judges and jurors to disregard extra-evidentiary factors when decision-making.

Several months later, I applied for the Child Psychiatric Epidemiology Group internship program at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. I decided to become involved in their Stress and Justice Study, a longitudinal research project that investigated ways children are affected by stressful events, particularly parental contact with the criminal justice system.

The study aimed to understand mechanisms of familial transmission of stress, trauma, and substance abuse. The samples were mainly composed of families from the South Bronx. While recruiting participants and conducting structured clinical interviews, I observed first-hand the social context and consequences of
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