SOC SCI & AM CRIME PROBLEM
SOC SCI & AM CRIME PROBLEM CRJU 2200
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Mr. Destiny Lindgren
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Mr. Destiny Lindgren on Monday September 21, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to CRJU 2200 at Georgia State University taught by Ranee McEntire in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 16 views. For similar materials see /class/209878/crju-2200-georgia-state-university in Criminal Justice at Georgia State University.
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Date Created: 09/21/15
Reading Notes Beckett amp Sasson Ch1 O 00 O 00 ltgt ltgt ltgt 0 00 O 0 9Ne0 0 0 Between 1980 and 2001 the number of people incarcerated grew by more than 0 65 million people are under some form of correctional supervision 10 of all African American males between the ages of 25 and 29 were incarcerated in a state or federal prison Over the past two decades female prison incarceration actually grew at a faster rate than male incarceration Roughly 110000 juveniles are living in locked residential facilities in the Us It costs approximately 30000 to house a prisoner for a year even with cuts in prison programs The US now spends nearly 150 billion annually fighting crime and drugs Much of the growth of the prison and jail populations is a result of policies and practices that target these nonviolent offenders In 2000 police arrested more than 2 million people for such consensual or victimless crimes as curfew violations prostitution gambling drug possession vagrancy and public drunkenness Only about 1A of these more serious index crimes involved violence In state prisons in 2001 21 of inmates were serving time for a nonviolent drug offense In the smaller federal system 57 of inmates are serving time on drug charges US crime rates have been stable or in decline since the mid 1970s Prominent politicians declared war on crime and drugs as part of a broader political and economic strategy aimed at rolling back the reforms of the 1960s The expansion of the criminal justice system in recent decades is not a consequence of a rising or unusually high crime rate The US s unusually high crime rate results from The ubiquity of guns High rates of economic and racial inequality Trade in illegal drugs Emergence of code of the streets that encourages the use of violence Conservative politicians highlighted the problem of street crime and argued that this problem was caused by an excessively lenient welfare and justice system that encouraged bad people to make bad choices and reward them for doing so Media imagery of crime and drugs has tended to amplify rather than challenge the claims of national politicians Reading Notes The tendency of many Americans to support the gettough on crime rhetoric of politicians a tendency rooted deeply in American culture has grown more pronounced The intensi cation of popular punitiveness is largely a consequence rather than a cause of political initiative on the crime issue Marshal evidence to show that although popular attitudes and beliefs have hardened they remain ambivalent and contradictory Crime related grassroots activities neighborhood anticrime efforts the victim s right movement human rights activism against the death penalty mandatory drug sentence and police brutatitly Crime political structures and culture in the background to indicate that these are important but indirect sources of support for the policies that produce mass incarceration By breaking up families disrupting communities reducing the job prospects of hundreds of thousands of eXcons and consuming resources that might otherwise be directed toward drug abuse and crime prevention these new polices are increasingly important causes of contemporary urban problems including crime Political activism is needed to induce politicians to reconsider the policies associated with the war on crime Reading Notes Beckett amp Sasson Ch4 The Politics of Crime 0 0 1960 s Conservative political leaders began to highlight the problem of street crime in an attempt to steer policy toward social control and away from social welfare Crime may be depicted as evidence of the breakdown of law and order of the demise of the traditional twoparent family or of social and economic inequality 1960s When southern officials first mobilized the discourse of law in order in their efforts to discredit the civil rights movement Both political sides identify permissiveness as the underlying cause of crime and imply the need to strengthen the state s control apparatus In the years following Brown v Board of Education civil rights activist across the South used direct action tactics and civil disobedience to force reluctant southern states to desegregate public facilities The rhetoric of law and order became more prominent in 1964 by the means of Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater The discourse of law and order provided a compelling means by which these concerns about social change racial reform and increasingly unruly reforms of political protest could be expressed Civil and welfare activists argue that inequality of opportunity and racial discrimination ensured that poverty would remain widespread and concentrated in minority communities Conservative argument crime and related social problems originate in individual choice and greed rather than in social conditions acting as though crime is affected by social conditions is not only wrong but lets people off the hook when they make irresponsible choices Mid1960 s Liberals social conditionsespecially racial inequality and limited opportunities for youth were the root cause of poverty crime and addiction It is only by addressing these social conditions that we may begin to ameliorate the problems they cause ltgt ltgt ltgt ltgt ltgt ltgt ltgt ltgt 0 Conservatives social pressures such as racism inadequate employment lack of housing low wages and poor education do not cause crime Instead people are poor criminal or addicted to drugs because they made irresponsible or bad choices Richard Nixon argued that the lenience of the criminal justice system is to blame for crime and violence By 1972 attitudes on racial issues rather than socioeconomic status were the primary determinant of voters political selfidentification Conservatives opposed rehabilitation on the grounds that punishment must be harsh and painful if it is to deter crime Liberals argue that openended sentences designed to facilitate the correction of offenders created the potential for the intrusive discriminatory and arbitrary exercise of power All efforts to undermine criminal defendants rights were rooted in the notion that the excessive lenience of the criminal justice system was an important cause of crime ltgt ltgt ltgt ltgt ltgt 0 Reading Notes Reagan moved to establish a task force to recommend ways in which the federal gov can do more to combat violent crime and began to pressure federal law enforcement agencies to shift their focus from whitecollar crime to street crime Studies investigating the relationship of welfare and crime have found that greater welfare spending id associated with lower crime rates By 1985 78 of the funds allocated to the drug problem went to law enforcement only 22 went to drug treatment and prevention Clinton emphasized the need for greater law enforcement and boot camps for juvenile offenders and he touted his record on capital punishment The only meaningful differences between the two parties proposals were their positions on gun control crime prevention programs and the requirement that federal aid to local law enforcement be used to bolster community policing efforts Contract with America proposed further strengthening truthinsentencing mandatory minimum sentencing and death penalty provisions and weakening restrictions on the admission of illegally obtained evidence
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