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Chapter One Course Notes

by: Milliana Notetaker

Chapter One Course Notes CRM-101-I010

Marketplace > Rock Valley College > CRM-101-I010 > Chapter One Course Notes
Milliana Notetaker

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Intro to Criminal Justice
Ronald S. Geary
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Milliana Notetaker on Thursday September 1, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CRM-101-I010 at Rock Valley College taught by Ronald S. Geary in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views.


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Date Created: 09/01/16
Chapter One: Criminal Justice Today Green Wednesday 1. On January 1, 2014 it was the first state­regulated sale of recreational marijuana in the  US.  2. At about 40 shops around the state buyers paid as much as $70 for an eighth of an ounce  which had been selling for about $25 per eighth on the black market.  3. 13 months’ prior residents in Colorado and Washington set the stage for legalized  marijuana by voting to regulate the drug like alcohol within state lines. (Washington open its pot stores later in 2014) 4. Supporters predict that the new laws will significantly reduce public costs associated with the criminal justice system by removing low­level drug offenders from state courtrooms  and prisons. Economic benefits of taxing marijuana are highlighted as well and it was  expected to bring generate as much as about $70 million of extra revenue for Colorado in  its first year as a legal commodity.  5. Critics of the measures countered that the new measures would lead to a spike in  underage marijuana use, with disastrous public health consequences.  6. Law enforcement officials pointed out there would be an increase in their workload in  Colorado and Washington due to having to determine whether or not the marijuana being  offered for sale is state licensed.  What is Crime? 1. The recreational use of marijuana is heavily regulated.  2. All sellers must be licensed by a state regulatory agency.  3. Buyers must be at least 21 years old.  4. Locals can’t purchase more than one ounce of the drug in a single transaction.  a. Those who live out of state the limit is a quarter­ounce per transaction.  5. It is still illegal to smoke the drug in public and transport it across state lines.  6. A crime is not just simply an act that seems dishonest, dangerous, or taboo. It is a  wrong against society that is proclaimed by law and that, if committed under specific  circumstances is punishable by the criminal justice system.  Determining Criminal Behavior 1. A society is not static it evolves and changes.  2. Communities can have vastly different ideas about what constitutes as a crime.  3. In twenty states and the District of Columbia, marijuana can be used for medicinal  purposes.  4. The federal government still considers it a dangerous drug.  5. Different countries have differing ideas of criminal behavior.  a. EX: Police is West Sumatra, Indonesia arrested Alexander Aan for writing “God  is not great” on Facebook. An Indonesian court sentenced Aan to two and half  years in prison for violating a criminal prohibition against “inciting religious  hatred”. It wouldn’t be allowed in the US due to our country’s tradition of  freedom of speech and religion.  6. The two most common models of how a society decides which acts are criminal is the  consensus and conflict model.  The Consensus Model 1. The term consensus refers to a general agreement among the majority members of any  particular group.  2. The consensus model rests the assumption that people as gather together to form a  society, its members will naturally come to a basic agreement with regard to shared norms  and values.  3. Those individuals whose actions deviate from the established norms and values are  considered to pose a threat to the well­being of society as whole and must be sanctioned  (punished).  4. The society passes laws to control and prevent unacceptable behavior, thereby setting  the boundaries for acceptable behavior within a group.  5. The model assumes that a diverse group of people can have similar morals which are  an ideal of what is right and what is wrong.  6. As public attitudes toward morality change so do laws.  a. EX: In 17  century America a person found guilty of adultery could expect to  publicly whipped, branded or even executed. Today, social attitudes consider it to be a  personal issue, beyond the reach of state.  The Conflict Model 1. Some people reject the consensus model on the grounds that moral attitudes are not  constant or even consistent.  2. In large democratic societies such as the US different groups of citizens have widely  varying on controversial issues of morality and criminality (abortion, the war on drugs,  immigration, and assisted suicide). The groups and their elected representatives are constantly  coming into conflict with each other.  3. According to the conflict model, the most politically powerful segments of society  based on class, income, age, and race have the most influence on criminal laws and are therefore  able to impose their values on the rest of the community.  4. What is deemed as criminal activity is determined by whichever group happens to be  holding power at any given time.  5. Since some groups do not have political power their interests are not served by the  criminal justice system.  a. EX: with the exception of Oregon, Vermont, and Washington, physician assisted  suicide for the terminally ill is illegal in the US. Opinion polls show that the general public is  evenly divided on the issue. Highly motivated individuals and special interest groups have been  able to convince lawmakers that the practice goes against America’s shared moral and religious  values.  An Integrated Definition of Crime 1. Crime is an action or activity that is punishable under criminal law, as determined by  the majority or, in some instances, by a powerful minority. Considered an offense against society as a whole and prosecuted by public officials, not by victims and their relatives or friends.  Punishable by sanction based on laws that bring about the loss of personal freedom or life.  2. Deviance is a behavior that does not conform to the norms of a given community or  society. 


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