Discussion and Results Chapter: Criminal Justice Theory

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Criminal Justice Policies

Criminal Justice and Policies

M2D1: Applying Due Process and Crime Control

Habert Packer was the core founder of due process model and crime control model that aimed at reducing the alarming rate of crime in America. Crime control model emphasizes more on human freedom and calls for the suppression of crime. The model puts human interest first and encourages efficiency, finality and speed to apprehend any criminal with less effort on human rights. On the other hand, due process model encourages freedom but insists more on reliable data and evidence to support a criminal act for the release of the individual. Unlike the model of crime control, it emphasizes on human rights whenever the person has committed crime (Cole, 2012).

Patriot Act

Patriot Act was put forth by George Bush to control the rate of terrorism in America. The Act emphasized more on monitoring the infrastructure that terrorist might user to commit crimes other than getting down to surveying individuals. Surveillance of communication systems, immigration frauds and mails are used to gather information on possible links of terrorism. It executes warranties of arrest to any individual presumed to be a terrorist, and allows the conduction of mass arrest regardless of the place of warranty issuance.

Patriot Act advances crime control model, in that it allows for mass arrest, as long as he or she is suspected to be a terrorist. Mass arrest implies mass conduction of hearing, which enables the hearing process to be fast as explained by the crime control model. The Act has also abolished any legal barriers that may hinder law enforcement when it comes to terrorists. This, hence, does not focus on human rights but instead on quick conduction of justice, as explained by the crime control model (Regoli, 2012).

Implications of Patriot Act

The Act has changed the relationship between the citizens and the federal government itself. Criminal justice authority, police, courts, and legal justice systems have been affected by the Act, in that ultimate power have been given to the criminal justice team to investigate and deal with any terrorists and related crimes. The citizens lead a quality life, due the surveillance via technology, and constant monitoring of infrastructure to do away with terrorists (Sowers, 2008). Both philosophies of Habert explain how criminal activities should be dealt with and the baseline on how to go about different crimes. Patriot Act is an example of criminal control model, which aims at suppressing terrorist attacks in America. All crimes should follow legal criminal justice procedures whilst seeking justice.

M2D2: Social Construction of Reality

Introduction

Social constructivism builds reality and is gained from the cultures of different societies, societal knowledge on realities matters and societal interaction. For societal constructivism, knowledge is the key role in building societal knowledge. People undergo the same process of learning reality and knowledge, however, the impact is different to all individuals.

This principle explains individual's reactions towards dehumanizing social responses that in the end add up to a crime committed. The theories under social constructivism explain aggressive law enforcement strategies that are laid to prevent illegal activities, and effort made by legal local authorities to prevent criminal activities (Miller, 2009).

The theoretical orientations are a lens for the legal frameworks to control crime and create ample environment for criminal justice to be practiced. Justice is achieved through construction of metaphors and theoretical lens that aid to explain crime and the relevant justice process. Metaphors and theoretical lens are achieved by setting up theories that explain the situation, and aid crime control agencies in controlling crime level (Magwire, 2010).

Chicano youth gang members are always associated with crime and homicide in the Chicano community. The gangs are portrayed via the media as the cause of constant violence and the alarming rate of homicide in Chicano community, which has caused moral panic. The gangs are viewed to be psychologically unfit since they use drugs that constantly take over themselves and cause the violence by the gangs. The gang is portrayed as individualistic, and its members face social problems that prompt them to commit a crime. Consequentially, several policies are laid to aid the youths facing social problems and aid the youths in their study, and interacting with the youths to understand their problems (Stanford News Service, 1993).

The public has a negative picture of the Chicano youth gang due to the moral panic created. The fact that the gang controls over the lives of their community and show a sense of belonging to them shows aggressiveness of the gang to commit a crime. Ethnic differences, gender and poor background results to the gang, as well as geographical differences. The police aid in enforcing the procedures required in minimizing crime, in Chicano community, by fighting the abolishment of drugs used by the youth gangs. The youths of Chicano, who indulge in crime, are understood as psychologically unfit due to drugs and the justice community tends to find opportunities for the youth to minimize the large number of gangs.

The policies made to resolve the high crime rate in Chicano are socially constructed since they are aimed at improving the social welfare of the Chicano community, especially the youths. The high crime rates are associated with poor social interactionism, and appropriateness in addressing the issue is by socially approaching it. The media fail to link the reality with the Chicano youth gangs, which show the gap between crime and justice. With the theories laid on how to tackle Chicano youth gangs, social improvement of their welfare is appealing to minimize the crime rates.

Case Study: Sagging Pants

Sagging is a form of wearing shorts, trousers or slacks below the waistline exposing part of the wearer's underpants. Sagging of pants is believed to originate from the prisons; where inmate prisoners could be given oversized uniforms without belts for fear that they could commit suicide or use the belts as weapons. Hip hop artists later incorporated sagging into their dressing style and popularized it, and it started spreading from that point, it was viewed as a hip-hop style around 1990's. Other people claimed that sagging was a form of flagging to show homosexuality, although these claims are not proven. Laws recently created in U.S. make it a crime to wear sagging pants (Shmoop, pg. 9).

People who support these laws think that the style of sagging pants is indecent while critics say it might violate freedom of expression. The sagging phenomenon goes to prove the degenerating minds of youths, and what they think as they pass through different stages of life. They create a nonchalant, "don't care "attitude which breeds unfavorable lifestyles, which shows they are more influenced by negative ways more than good ways.

Policy implications

According Al Bawaba, some view sagging as being a creative way of expressing individuality in teens. Others argue that those who think of it as offensive should have banned it when it started. Those who support the bill say that, gives an unkempt look; which upon first glance can give negative stereotypes. It is necessary to ban sagging because it is a mirror of the community. It is also argued that the act that sagging of pants is connected to prison culture, gives a reason to oppose this culture. Other people say it is straight up ignorance because some, who are sagging the pants, are also struggling to pull their pants up. Sometimes they are constantly drooping or walking as if they are being pushed from behind, for fear that their trousers will pull down to their ankles.

Other critics think that the same system that provides guns and drugs is the same system criminalizing both the victims and perpetrators. They argue that the system provides sagging pants that end up defining a generation; they implement laws requiring those who sag to risk returning to the prisons the culture originated or to pay fines. Citizens who are concerned with sagging of pants, from Albany, Chicago, Illinois, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Texas, have pushed for law and ordinances to help in curtailing the trend. The city council of Louisiana was among the first to pass the law which banned wearing of trousers and slacks showing underwear.

The policies aim at preventing men and even women from wearing trousers that reveal underwear. Some have a specified length; they should not be lower than a certain inch, and others prevent even wearing of skirts below a certain length. Breaking of these policies can lead to community services and fines depending on the area. These policies have led to fining of young men, and jailing of others in contempt of court. It creates irony because those arrested, go into prisons to continue with the same sagging culture. Other concerns are raised concerning the policy because people think such policies can lead to serious confrontations with the police. According to Niko Koppel, sagging policies are racially motivated because they target the African America. He also says that race and racism are policies… [END OF PREVIEW]

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