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The Criminal Justice System

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					The Criminal Justice System
Approaches to Crime Control
• Deterrence: the threat of punishment does deter
  crime if the individual knows:
 ▫ They are likely to get caught
 ▫ Punishment will be severe
• Deterrence doesn’t have that effect in the US
  because punishment for crime isn’t certain,
  swift, or severe
Approaches to Crime Control
• Retribution
 ▫ Criminals are forced to pay compensation for their
   acts
 ▫ Doesn’t give individuals the ability to take the law
   into their own hands
Incarceration
• Theory: Criminals that aren’t on the street
  cannot commit crimes
• 3 strikes law: if an individual violates the law 3
  times, on the third time they receive life in
  prison
Prison rehabs
• Most prisons have programs to help prisoners
  develop social and work skills
• Recidivism: more than ½ of the individuals that
  are released end up back in jail in 3-5 years
 ▫ Why?
      Basic nature of offenders
      Influences of more hardened criminals
      Stigma of being an ex-con
      The toughness of jail transfers over to real life
Alternatives
• Shock probation: part of the time served in
  prison, the rest on probation
• Community-based programs: reintroduce
  criminals into society
  ▫ Half-way houses
• Diversion strategy: no prison, referred to a
  community based treatment program
  ▫ Ideas is to reduce the stigma of being a criminal
Inequalities in the Justice System
• Why are some individuals treated differently?
 ▫ Some people can’t afford good legal service
 ▫ Crimes against whites are punished more severely
 ▫ Victim discounting: reduces the sentence of crime
   directed at members of lower social classes
Inequalities in Punishments
• White collar crimes are more lenient than other
  crimes
 ▫ Probation is given more than jail
 ▫ If jail time is handed down:
    Its shorter than the average sentence
    Offenders are placed in prisons with extra amenities

				
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