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Unformatted text preview: 1: Crime and Justice in American Society 01:08 Sociological Perspective-guides the discussion of criminal justice Debunking motif-challenging of conventional wisdom by looking beyond surface reality and uncovering inconvenient facts Attention to race and ethnicity, social class, and gender as the major elements of society’s stratification system The Problem of Crime Government estimates that approximately 21 million violent and property crimes occurred in 2008 Gov estimates high lifetime risks of being victimized by crime: 30% of Americans will be a robbery victim at least once 74% will be an assault victim 72% will have their homes or apartments burglarized Americans think crime is a major problem and worry that efforts to deal with crime and criminals are not working The US crime rate has actually remained fairly stable during the last several decades and even declined considerably from 1993 through the early part of this decade Media Coverage and Myths bout Crime Media tend to “overdramatize” crime in 2 ways 1. Report many crime stories in an effort to capture viewer or reader attention 2. Devoting disproportionate attention to violent crime Media coverage tends to distort actual trends in violent crime rates Often highlights the involvement of minorities and teenagers—greater proportion of offenders are African Americans and Latinos than is true in actual crime statistics Crime Myths—false beliefs about crime and criminal justice Media coverage leads the public to believe: That crime is rising To think that most crime is violent To exaggerate the involvement of people of color and youths in crime and to understate their victimization by crime To worry more about street crime To call for tougher treatment of criminals The Get-Tough Approach Involves the arrest and incarceration of many more offenders than in the past Emphasizes the need to arrest and punish criminals over the needs to rehabilitate them and to address the many social factors underlying criminal behavior By neglecting the underlying causes of criminal behavior, the get tough approach makes it likely that crime will continue no matter how many offenders are arrested and imprisoned Approach has destabilized urban neighborhoods by putting so many of their young males into prison Created a force of hundreds of thousands of inmates who are released from prison back into their communities with the same personal problems that helped put them into prison and with bleak chances of stable employment of social relationships The Criminal Justice System System—implies a coordinated and unified plan of procedure---in US only partly...
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- Spring '12