Does the hypothesis fit the research question? Do the Variables fit the hypothesis? Do the conceptual and operational definitions adequately define the Variables?
Research Question: Has the privatization of the United States (US) Jail system increased the severity of judicial punishments for misdemeanors?
Hypothesis: The privatization of the United States prison system has led to an increase of Lower Class citizens receiving stricter sentencing for often minor crimes
Dependent Variable: Lower Class Citizens
Conceptual Definition: a class of people below the middle class, having the lowest social rank or standing due to low income, lack of skills or education, and the like
Operational Definition: Citizens making less than $30,000 a year, with the equivalent of a high school education or lower, and at least 18 years or older. Citizens making more than $30,000 a year with education at a higher level than High School will not be included in this study. Participants must also currently reside within the continental US, the 48 mainland states located between the borders of Canada and Mexico.
Independent Variable: Private Prison Systems
Conceptual Definition: A private prison, or for-profit prison, is a place in which individuals are physically confined or incarcerated by a third party that is contracted by a government agency
Operational Definition: An institution owned and operated by a private or third party organization with the purpose of Jailing criminals in coordination with a contract with the US government. The institution must be located and operated within the continental United States. State or Federally regulated prison systems will not be included in this study.
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