But whatever the choice may be in this case, I have come to learn that the U. S. criminal justice network will never be 100% representative of either being a liberal, the due process or a conservative, the crime control model. Rather, our criminal justice network attempts to stay in balance, by upholding individual Constitutional protections while effectively fighting crime. Gottfredson (1999, p. 27) writes: “Because we value freedom, we react strongly to violations or threats of violation of our persons or property. We resist any threat to our liberty by agencies of our government.
But] because we value safety, we expect the criminal justice system to protect us. We want both protection for ourselves and for our own liberty. ” The most important lesson I learned from the discussions is that there is an inherent conflict between protecting individuals’ Constitutional rights and fighting crime. It is difficult to do one well without being somewhat of a failure at the other. References: Gottfredson, D. (1999). Exploring criminal justice: An introduction. Los Angeles: Roxbury. Packer, H. (1968). The limits of the criminal sanction. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.
Discussion 2 Why is it so important that we be able to separate fact from fiction when attempting to develop criminal justice policy? Discuss at least two examples of criminal justice policy that could benefit from an open discussion of fact and fiction or myth and reality. I find it very necessary to separate fact from fiction when developing criminal justice policy since criminal justice policy development is affected by groups other than lawmakers. It also includes the media, voters, lobbies, and other special interest groups, the politicians play the largest role in setting the crime control agenda.
But it`s the politicians who have the greatest ideological influence on what we do in criminal justice; this is because of their power or “the ability to have a say, or to have influence, in what the government’s policies are going to be. ” Kappeler, Blumberg, and Potter (2000), in The Mythology of Crime and Criminal Justice, argue that since crime is defined in a political process, crime issues and criminal justice policy decisions will be affected by the same factors that influence all political issues.
These factors include partisanship (e. g. , Democrats fighting Republicans) and symbolic crusading (e. g. , by moral entrepreneurs, claims-makers, the media, and others with vested interests in bringing crime problems to the public’s attention). What may get lost in the shuffle are key truths about crime and criminal justice. One notable example of criminal justice policy that could benefit from an open discussion of fact and fiction or myth and reality happened in September 1994.
Then President Bill Clinton signed a $30 billion crime bill (the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act). Its stated purpose was “to prevent crime, punish criminals, and restore a sense of safety and security to the American people. ” This law allowed for the hiring of 100,000 new police officers for the streets and the construction of thousands of new prison cells, changes that would supposedly make it easier to catch suspected criminals and provide living spaces for those who were ultimately convicted of criminal offenses.
Yet it was highly unlikely that such criminal justice policy would produce large declines in crime, given that crime rates are driven by factors beyond the control of the criminal justice network, such as employment rates, poverty rates, and the age of the population. Here’s one example of how ineffective this crime bill will likely be: Imagine the promise of 100,000 new police on the street. Assuming that we eventually achieve this goal (we have not yet), keep in mind that there will never actually be 100,000 more police on the streets at one time.
It takes at least five additional officers to provide one additional officer on the street around the clock because of varied shifts, vacations, illnesses, and so forth. This means that if an additional 100,000 new police officers were hired, only 20,000 additional officers would be on the streets around the clock. If these officers were hired to police the 50 states equally, each state would gain only 400 additional officers. How many would this mean for your town or city? It is pretty clear that 20,000 additional “around-the-clock” officers will not prevent much crime.
Reference: Kappeler, V. , M. Blumberg, and G. Potter. (2000). The mythology of crime and criminal justice. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press. Getty (2001) discusses the impact of the media on public understanding of corrections in the U. S. Does she think the image constructed by the media is accurate? What are the consequences for corrections resulting from media portrayal? Give some specific examples in which media reports concerning crime where inaccurate or misleading as a result of lack of context or sensationalism.