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CHAPTER 1 CRIME AND JUSTICE IN AMERICA LEARNING OBJECTIVES After covering the material in this chapter, students should:  Understand how public policies on crime are formed  Recognize how the crime control and due process models of criminal justice help us understand the system  Be able to explain: “What Is a Crime?”  Describe the major types of crime in the United States  Analyze how much crime there is and understand how it is measured CHAPTER SUMMARY This chapter explores the problems of dealing with crime and justice in a democracy. The public policy issues of crime and justice must strike a balance between law enforcement and protection of freedoms, which can be challenging. Living in a democracy means that individual rights are stressed more than in authoritarian-governed countries. Herbert Packer's two models of the criminal justice process provide an ideal version: the due process model, with its emphasis upon freedom and justice, and the reality-based version, the crime control model, with its emphasis on efficiency and order. Defining crime can be a difficult task for the researcher interested in studying criminal behavior. While some acts are easily defined as criminal (such as murder), others are not so easily defined (such as assisted suicide or drug use). Crimes that are mala in se are acts that are wrong in and of themselves. For mala in se offenses, the public generally agrees that the offenses should be illegal. However, crimes that are mala prohibita are defined by the government as criminal, while the American public might not agree that they should be crimes. Examples of mala prohibita crimes include smoking marijuana or public drunkenness. Many scholars argue that the government uses the law to impose values on the public. There are many different types of crime, such as occupational, organized, visible, political, crimes without victims, hate crimes, and cybercrime. Law enforcement authorities focus largely on visible crime, which involves street crimes such as burglary or homicide, because people fear this type of crime more than any other. However, occupational crime and political crimes can impose great financial costs on society. As technological advances increase, cybercrime has become more of a problem to people around the world.


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The crime problem today is a difficult issue for researchers because data on crime are not reliable. The Uniform Crime Reports provides data reported to police but does not track the dark figure of crime, which is crime not reported to the police. The National Crime Victimization Survey interviews residents of the United States about their victimization experience, but respondents may not report accurately due to embarrassment, memory problems, or other issues. CHAPTER OUTLINE I. THE MAIN THEMES OF THIS BOOK Throughout the textbook, you will see the following themes discussed: 1) crime and justice are public policy issues; 2) criminal justice can best be seen as a social system; and 3) the criminal justice system embodies society's effort to fulfill American values, such as liberty, privacy, and individual rights. II. CRIME AND JUSTICE AS PUBLIC POLICY ISSUES Reiman argues that our system is designed not to reduce crime but to project a visible image of the threat of crime. In a democracy, political leaders are greatly influenced by public opinion. However, legislators also know that they can cater to the American public's anxiety about crime and community safety. As a result, policies often appear to be enacted that are popular with the general public but that are thought by researchers to have little potential impact on the crime problem. A. The Role of Public Opinion Crime and justice issues are usually decided by public opinion, but opinion frequently contradicts findings from crime data. B. Contemporary Policies Conservatives and liberals have different opinions of the main focus of crime and justice policy (crime control versus protection of rights, respectively). C. Crime and Justice in a Democracy It is difficult to achieve the goal of enforcing laws and protecting rights of individuals. Unlike in an authoritarian state, rights must be respected in a democracy. In a democracy, we assume all individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty.


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Crime Control versus Due Process Herbert Packer's two competing models describe two methods of how justice is dispensed. Packer recognizes that the administration of criminal justice operates within the contemporary American society and is therefore influenced by cultural forces that, in turn, determine the models' usefulness. 1. Crime Control Model: Order as a Value: The goal of crime control is the repression of criminal conduct. This model stresses efficiency, and the process can be described as administrative and filtering. The main decision point is completed by police and prosecutors, and they use discretion as the basis for decision making. The best analogy for this model is the "assembly line." 2. Due Process Model: Law as a Value: The goal of the due process model is to preserve individual liberties. This model stresses reliability (i.e., accurate decisions about guilt and innocence), and the process can best be described as adversarial. The main decision point is in the courtroom (i.e., trial), and they use law as the basis for decision making. The best analogy for this model is the "obstacle course."

E. Citizens and Criminal Justice Policy Criminal justice policies are developed in national, state, and local political arenas. There are risks that politicians will enact laws that they believe the people want, even though the resulting policies may have little or no impact on crime. The clearest link between politics and criminal justice can be seen in the competing statements and promises of Republicans and Democrats who run against each other for office. Politics and politicians also control the budgets for criminal justice agencies. Large amounts are allocated for the war on drugs but limits are placed on spending for defense attorneys for indigent suspects. Local prosecutors and judges are elected to office through political campaigns. This may affect their priorities (for example, public safety versus re-election). III. DEFINING CRIME We can categorize crimes as either mala in se or mala prohibita. Mala in se crimes are wrongs in themselves (murder, rape, assault), based on shared values or consensus. Mala prohibita crimes are not wrongs in themselves but are punished because they are prohibited by the government. There is often a lack of consensus about whether such actions should be illegal (e.g., use of marijuana, gambling, and prostitution). Crime seriousness: How people rate seriousness of crimes depends on their race, sex, class, and victimization experience.


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IV. TYPES OF CRIME In addition to categorizing crime as mala in se or mala prohibita, we may also categorize them as felonies or misdemeanors. Crime can be described using other categories, based on level of risk and profitability, degree of public disapproval, or cultural characteristics of offenders. A. Visible Crime Consists of street crime or “ordinary crime� primarily by lower classes and run the gamut from shoplifting to homicide (i.e., violent crimes, property crimes public order crimes). Visible crimes make up the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports. 1. Violent Crime: Crimes against individuals, in which either physical injury or death occurs. These offenses are usually considered the most serious. 2. Property Crimea; Crimes involving theft, damage, or destruction of property. Some professional criminals earn their livelihood through the use of property crime. 3. Public Order Crimesa; Crimes that threaten public "peace", such as disorderly conduct, vagrancy, and vandalism. These crimes increase citizen fear of crime, and some view them as contributing to a larger feeling of disorder and thus more serious crime. B. Occupational Crime These are defined as violation of law committed through opportunities created in the course of a legal business or profession. Occupational crimes are sometimes referred to as "white collar crimes," although that does not encompass all categories of occupational crime. Despite sizable financial harm to corporations and individuals, occupational crimes often do not receive stiff punishments. 1.

Crimes for the benefit of the employing organization: price fixing or theft of trade secrets.


Crimes through the exercise of government authority: politicians taking bribes or police officers stealing from the evidence room.


Crime by professionals in their capacity as professionals: lawyers stealing from clients, stockbrokers engaged in insider trading, or doctors sexually exploiting patients.


Crimes committed by individuals as individuals where opportunities are not based on governmental power or professional position: employee theft from the organization or filing false expense claims. Total losses due to employee theft are greater than all business losses from shoplifting, burglary, or robbery. Most such crimes do not come to public


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attention. Many businesses and professional organizations "police" themselves by firing employees who commit offenses. C. Organized Crime Social framework for the perpetration of criminal acts rather than specific acts themselves. Organized criminals provide goods and services to people, and will engage in any illegal activity as long as it is low risk and high profit (e.g., pornography, money laundering, illegal disposal of toxic waste). Organized crime has been associated with many different ethnic and immigrant groups as they struggled to gain access to legitimate economic opportunities when they became more accepted in American society. There is an increasing problem with transnational criminal groups. D. Crimes Without Victims These are mainly offenses that are mala prohibita. Some argue there is no true "victimless" crime, as society is harmed by their commission. The "war on drugs" is one example of enforcement of victimless crime. E. Political Crime Crimes carried out that are ideological in nature. They can be committed against the government or by the government. F. Cybercrime Crime committed using technology, usually computers and the Internet. Possible victims include individuals, corporations/organizations, or the government. V. THE CRIME PROBLEM TODAY Americans generally believe that crime is increasing, but the overall crime rate has actually been decreasing since the 1990s. A. The Worst of Times? The crime rate has been much worse, and much better, in different times. The United States is currently not experiencing “the worst� in criminal behavior. Types of crimes change over time. At times, violent crime is a bigger problem than property crime; at other times, property crime is a more important issue. B. The Most Crime-Ridden Nation? It is difficult to make direct comparisons between countries. We should compare the United States to other similarly situated countries in the world. Compared to other industrialized countries, the United States has a significantly higher homicide rate. This could be due to the prevalence of handguns in the United States. Rates of property crime are lower in the United States than in other industrialized countries.


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C. Keeping Track of Crime The dark figure of crime is crime that is not reported to the police. Many people do not report criminal victimizations due to fear, embarrassment, retaliation or other reasons. 1. Uniform Crime Reports (UCR): uses official crime data from police departments. The National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS): uses incident-based crime data that identifies individual offenses and offenders. 2. National Crime Victimization Surveys (NCVS): surveys victims regarding their household and individual victimization. D. Trends in Crime Analysis of crime trends indicates that crime is not on the increase. Both the UCR and NCVS reflect decreases in crime since the early 1980's. Several factors affect crime rates: 1. Age: Larger groups of people in the 16-24 age group can greatly affect the crime rate, so changes in this distribution over time must be analyzed. 2. Crack Cocaine: The increased use of this illegal drug had significant effects on the crime rate in the 1990s 3. Crime Trends: What Do We Really Know? The causes of crime are extremely complex, and there are rarely simple answers for analyzing the crime rate. LECTURE NOTES When teaching Chapter 1, it is important to create a foundation for the rest of the semester's material. Students need to understand what crime is, what types of crime are most prevalent, how crime is measured, and how public opinion and public policy tie into efforts to reduce its frequency and impact. It is often useful to think of the major crime stories that have made local or national headlines in recent months and bring them up in class. These should be fresh on the minds of students due to their notoriety. As such, a specific case can be discussed with the major components of this chapter in mind. The breakdown of different crimes into logical categories is helpful in understanding their prevention and response. Students must recognize this. For example, law enforcement, courts, and even corrections respond different to street crimes as compared to white collar crime. Current event examples underscore this truth.


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With regard to the perceived severity of certain crimes, it helps to ask students of their own victimization experiences – or those of friends or family members. Then, prompt them to think about how victimization might color or shape the perceptions of those harmed, thereby affecting attitudes (e.g., toward the criminal justice system) and behaviors (e.g., where they seek entertainment on weekends) in their lives. Since this chapter discusses how morality shapes criminal justice policy and practice, it is useful to discuss whether it should have a role at all, the extent of that role, and whether the United States has gone too far in allowing morality to affect our government's perception of, and response to, crime. CLASS DISCUSSION/ACTIVITIES 1. Discuss why crime remains an important issue in the minds of so many people in society, and yet so few individuals are actually mobilized to action to affect crime policy (through calling senators, lobbying for change, creating grassroots movements). 2. Discuss the role of morality in shaping laws against certain "victimless" crimes. Why do we have these laws – and why have they remained on the books – despite our culture's orientation toward individualism and relativism? Why is it important for the "public" or "society" to be considered a victim? 3. If crime is a public policy issue, to where should funds be devoted for its prevention and response? Where should funds NOT be devoted? 4. An increase in gang activity tends to lead to an increase in crime in an area. An increase in employment tends to lead to a decrease in crime. In that vein, discuss how the following are related to crime: Age Immigration Abortion Guns Drug use Violence in the media Pop culture Medical technology Focus of justice policy Historical/Cultural changes Technology changes Day of the month Season Temperature Region


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ASSIGNMENTS 1. Write a paper discussing whether you believe the crime control model or the due process model is most appropriate given the current state of crime in our society. 2. Talk to ten individuals from a variety of backgrounds, and obtain their perspective on whether we need laws against "victimless" crimes, or whether they are detracting from law enforcement's attention on more serious offenses. 3. Create a map of the United States with color and shading gradations to display recent rates of crime (either based on the UCR or NCVS) across states. These data can be obtained using your favorite Internet search engine. 4. Research some of the psychotropic drugs that were legally available in the first part of the 20th century in America, and create a list of the popular consumer goods and products that contained those drugs. Then consider the societal changes and laws that led to their restriction.


Solution manual the american system of criminal justice 12th edition cole  

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