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Unformatted text preview: Article: Ideology & Criminal Justice Policy Article: There is currently in the U.S. a widespread impression that our country is experiencing a major transitional phase – a period where long established social arrangements and the moral and conceptual notions that undergird them are undergoing substantial change. Optimists see this as a natural transition, pessimists see it as a road to catastrophe. Current Issues Current Since criminal behavior, ways of thinking about crime and methods of dealing with crime make up a basic component of any social order, the notion of a transitional phase also impacts the perceptions and actions of criminals and criminal justice personnel. Striking change Striking stability Ideology Ideology Ideology is a central element in the complex pattern of change and stability, and the key to their understanding. Ideology – a set of abstract and general beliefs or assumptions about the correct or proper state of things, particularly with respect to the moral order and political arrangements, which serve to shape one’s position on specific issue. Aspects of Ideology Aspects Ideological assumptions are generally not explicit but broad in nature. Ideological assumptions bear a strong emotional charge and can be readily activated by appropriate stimuli, especially when directly challenged. Ideology is influenced by many things (inputs), and often resistant to change. Aspects continued Aspects The major contention of the article is that ideology and its consequences exert a powerful influence on the policies and procedures of those who conduct the business of criminal justice, and that the degree and kinds of influence go largely unrecognized. Ideology is the permanent hidden agenda of criminal justice. Article Format Article Crusading issues that provide the basic impetus for action or change in the CJ field. General assumptions that lead to desired states or outcomes. Charts 13 (appendix) that present three major policy issues from extreme right to left. Differentiated Positions on Left and Right and Statements are presented in a highly condensed and simplified manner. “Ideal type analysis” formulated to bear a logical analysis, rather than reflecting the actual positions of real people. Statements reflect the general gist of a position. Not included is a theoretical “centrist” position which may include positions on both sides. Obvious inconsistencies? Ideological Composition of CJ Agencies Agencies Academic Criminologists Police Judiciary Corrections Consequences of Ideology Consequences Assumptions are susceptible to rational consideration. Their strengths and weaknesses can be debated, evidence can gathered to test their validity, contradictions among them can be considered, and attempts made to explain or reconcile differences among them. What stands in the way of this happening? Polarization Ideological selectivity Catatrophism Distortion of opposition Implications Implications ...
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This note was uploaded on 04/05/2011 for the course CJ 470 taught by Professor Hughes during the Winter '11 term at Grand Valley State University.
- Winter '11
- Criminal Justice