Editorial Policy and Author Guidelines

Editorial Policy

Criminology & Public Policy (CPP) is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the study of criminal justice policy and practice. The central objective of the journal is to strengthen the role of research findings in the formulation of crime and justice policy by publishing empirically based, policy-focused articles. Authors are encouraged to submit papers that contribute to a more informed dialogue about policies and their empirical bases. Papers suitable for CPP not only present their findings, but also explore the policy relevant implications of those findings. Specifically, appropriate papers for CPP do one or more of the following:

  • Strengthen the role of research in the development of criminal justice policy and practice.
  • Empirically assess criminal justice policy or practice, and provide evidence-based support for new, modified, or alternative policies and practices.
  • Provide more informed dialogue about criminal justice policies and practices and the empirical evidence related to these policies and practices.
  • Advance the relationship between criminological research and criminal justice policy and practice.

The policy focus of the journal requires articles with a slightly different emphasis than is found in most peer reviewed academic journals. Most academic journals look for papers that have comprehensive literature reviews, provide detailed descriptions of methodology, and draw implications for future research. In contrast, CPP seeks papers that offer literature reviews more targeted to the problem at hand, provide efficient data descriptions, and include a more lengthy discussion of the implications for policy and/or practice. The preferred paper describes the policy/practice at issue, the significance of the problem being investigated, and the associated policy relevant implications. This introduction is followed by a description and critique of pertinent previous research specific to the question at hand. The methodology is briefly described, referring the reader to other sources if available. The presentation of the results includes only those tables and graphs necessary to make central points (additional descriptive statistics and equations are provided in appendices). The paper concludes with a full discussion of how the study either provides or fails to provide empirical support for current, modified, or new policies or practices. The journal is interdisciplinary, devoted to the study of crime, deviant behavior, and related phenomena, as found in the social and behavioral sciences and in the fields of law, criminal justice, and history. The major emphases are theory, research, historical issues, policy evaluation, and current controversies concerning crime, law, and justice.

Manuscript Submissions

Manuscripts are to be submitted electronically to CPP. The manuscript should be submitted in one Word file with tables and figures in the same document as the manuscript text. Additional documents, including cover letters or memos to the editor, may also be emailed as supplemental files.

A two-section abstract of approximately 150 words (see below) and a brief biographical paragraph describing each author’s current affiliation, research interests, and recent publications, should accompany the manuscript.

Papers accepted for publication should comply with American Psychological Association guidelines concerning nonsexist language. There are three preferred formats for digital artwork submission: Encapsulated PostScript (EPS), Portable Document Format (PDF), and Tagged Image Format (TIFF). We suggest that line art be saved as EPS files. Alternately, these may be saved as PDF files at 600 dots per inch (dpi) or better at final size. Tone art, or photographic images, should be saved as TIFF files with a resolution of 300 dpi at final size. For combination figures, or artwork that contains both photographs and labeling, we recommend saving figures as EPS files, or as PDF files with a resolution of 600 dpi or better at final size. More detailed information on the submission of electronic artwork can be found here.

The American Society of Criminology regards submission of a manuscript to this journal as a commitment to publish herein; simultaneous submission to another journal is unacceptable. Every effort will be made to notify authors of editorial decisions within three months of manuscript receipt. Note that CPP publication decisions arrive via postal mail, so please indicate whether you prefer email correspondence to postal mail upon submission of your manuscript.

Manuscript Style Sheet

In preparing the final draft of your manuscript, please note the following:

Our style provides for three levels of headings. Leave extra space in the double-spaced draft before all levels of headings. The three heading levels are:

Centered Uppercase and Lowercase Heading (12 pt)
Flush Left, Italicized, Uppercase and Lowercase Side Heading (10 pt)
Indented, italicized, lowercase paragraph heading ending with a period. (10 pt)

In a draft manuscript, which will undoubtedly undergo revision, it is most efficient to place all tables and figures, even small ones, on separate pages at the end of each manuscript. Tables and figures should be numbered consecutively throughout the article. Insert a location note at the appropriate place in the text, e.g. “Table 2 about here.” Be sure the text refers to all tables and figures, and that their placement corresponds to the place in the text where they are discussed.The title of the tables and figures should be as short and concise as possible. The correct format is (for figures, substitute “Table” for Figure”):Table 4. Effects of LLEBG Funding on Crime, Controlling for Police Levels and Other Federal Grant ProgramsAdditional table guidelines:
(1) Each table should have only two full horizontal rules (underscores), one between the title and top of the table and the other at the end of the body of the table
(2) Set the first column heading and column flush left; other headings and columns can be arranged in whatever format best presents the data, as long as all data within a column are aligned with the heading and with other data in the column.
(3) Consult the APA (2001) publication manual for style and placement of general notes to the table, specific footnotes, reporting of significance levels, and the source.Figures submitted with the final draft must be of professional quality and ready for reproduction.Equations must be typed. Expressions should be aligned and compound subscripts and superscripts clearly marked if there is any potential for confusion. Indicate boldface characters by drawing a wavy line under them; a single underline indicates italics to the printer. Clarify all symbols with notes in the margin of the manuscript.

We use an author-date citation style, with complete bibliographic entries appearing in a reference list at the end of the paper (up to six authors). In text, all source references (including subsequent citations of the same source) are to be identified at the appropriate point in the text by the last name of the author, year of publication, and (where needed) pagination. Examples:

  • If the author’s name is not in the text, insert the last name and year in parentheses (Gibbs, 1981)
  • Pagination follows year of publication after a colon: (Kornhauser, 1978:73)
  • Give last names for up to the first six authors. When there are six or more authors, use the first author’s name and et al. (Johnson et al., 1985:3-4)
  • Separate a series of references with semicolons and enclose them in alphabetic order within a single pair of parentheses: (Miller, 1958; Sellin, 1938; Sutherland and Cressey, 1955; Sutherland, 1956)
  • For unpublished materials, use “in press” for material that is scheduled for publication; use “unpublished” otherwise.

The reference appendix, headed by the word “References”, follows the last page of text. All sources cited in the text must appear in the References. Facts of publication for each item must be complete (e.g., authors’ first names, Internet websites and retrieval dates, government report numbers). For sources with multiple authorship, invert only the name of the first author. List the first and last names of the first six authors.

List all items alphabetically by author(s). If there are two or more items by the same author(s), list them in order of the year of publication. If there are two or more items by the same author(s) within the same year, distinguish them by adding (in order of first text mention) the letters a, b, … order.

Type the references double-spaced. As of July 2008, CPP adopted APA style regarding the formatting of references, and examples of some of the more common forms appear below. Please consult the APA (2001) guidelines for more specific information.

If the author’s name is in the text, follow it with the year in parentheses: Thrasher (1927)

  1. Books
    Clinard, Marshall B. and Peter C. Yeager. 1980. Corporate crime. New York:
    The Free Press.Coleman, James William. 2006. The criminal elite: Understanding white-collar,
    crime 6th Edition. New York: Worth Publishers.
  2. Periodicals
    Berk, Richard A. 1983. An introduction to sample selection bias in sociological
    data. American Sociological Review, 48: 386-398.Hagan, John L. and Ilene H. Nagel. 1982. White-collar crime, white-collar time:
    The sentencing of white-collar offenders in the Southern District of New
    York. American Criminal Law Review, 20: 259-289.Rossi, Peter, Emily Waite, Christine E. Bose, and Richard E. Berk. 1974.
    The seriousness of crimes: Normative structure and individual differences.
    American Sociological Review, 39:224-237.
  3. Collections
    Hagan, John, Ilene H. Nagel, and Celesta Albonetti. 1982. The social organization
    of white-collar sanctions: A study of prosecution and punishment in the
    federal courts. In (Peter Wickman and Timothy Dailey, eds.), White-collar
    and economic crime: Multidisciplinary and cross-national perspectives
    Lexington, MA and Toronto: D.C. Heath and Company.
  4. Electronic Resources
    Pasha, Shaheen. 2006. Skilling gets 24 years: Ex-Enron CEO sentenced for his
    role in the grand-daddy of corporate frauds. CNNMoney.com. Retrieved
    August 29, 2007 from cnnmoney.com.Florida Department of Corrections. 2007. 2006-2007 annual report. Retrieved
    March 28, 2008 from dc.state.fl.us/pub/annual/0607/cs_spo.html.
  5. Technical and Research Reports
    Cohen, Mark A. Roland T. Rust, and Sara Steen. 2002. Measuring the public         perceptions of appropriate prison sentences (Grant No. 1999-CE-VX-0001).
    National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of

Because the citation-reference style for CPP eliminates the use of notes for bibliographic material, only substantive comments on the text should appear as notes. In a draft manuscript, place all substantive notes in footnotes (not endnotes), with the in-text footnote numbers following punctuation (e.g., a period, comma, and parentheses) and not in the middle of a sentence.

When you submit your manuscript, please include an author biography (of less than 100 words) for each author, listing affiliations, research interests, and recent publications.

Please follow the APA (2001) style for grammar and formatting, including hyphens, acronyms, numbers, display lists, quotes, punctuation, and concise and consistent language.The abstract must be divided into two sections with the headings “Research Summary” and “Policy Implications.” See the sample below:

“A Couples Analysis of Partner Abuse with Implications for Abuse-Prevention Policy”
Terrie E. Moffitt, Richard W. Robins, and Avshalom Caspi

Research Summary
We studied a representative sample of 360 young adult couples from a birth cohort. We found abuse was a dyadic process; both partners’ personal characteristics increased abuse risk, and both sexes participated in abuse, particularly in clinical abusive couples having injury and/or official agency intervention. Treating only men may not reduce risk completely for most young couples.

Policy Implications
If replicated, the findings would suggest policy encouraging development and evaluation of programs to reduce physical abuse by women. Prevention programs could aim to reduce abusive behavior by both sexes and promote victim safety among both sexes. Policies against treating women in abusive couples may act counter to prevention.

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