Individuals who are working toward political science degrees may have ample opportunities to create new models for social equity.
For example, these degree seekers may choose to research flawed incarceration policies and create reform proposals. The need for such statistically-driven recommendations has recently been highlighted in the news.
In past weeks, lawmakers have criticized the exorbitant costs of maintaining their criminal justice systems. As a result, many states are beginning to eye which policies will save costs while reducing recidivism.
A total of 20 states, including Alabama, South Carolina and Texas have already partnered with the Pew Center, a research organization, to analyze the health of their correctional systems over the past few years.
After partnering with Pew, Texas officials created a plan to invest in residential treatment programs for nonviolent offenders and alternative sentencing. Over the past two years, these measures saved the state $500 million.
Louisiana, which has a recidivism rate of 48 percent, has also begun to reassess its correctional methods through Pew's aid. Analysts will develop recommendations for more fiscally sound policies using data on the effectiveness of current sentencing laws.
Students who are pursuing a master's degree in sociology or political science, and interested in similar reform, may eventually apply for a research position with a think tank or nonprofit organization.