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Unformatted text preview: CRIM LECTURE 9/15 One of the strongest influences on the criminal justice system is crime. Crime is the underlying reason we have a criminal justice system. While we will be defining crime later on, it is important to note that crime is the reason we have a criminal justice system. It should also be noted however, that crime is socially defined. This means it can change based on what a group of people feels crime should be. Simply stated, crime constitutes anything that the government, through criminal law, as made illegal. This has changed and evolved over time throughout our history; we have outlawed certain sexual acts between consulting adults, drinking of alcoholic ever inches five adults, and the regulation of many other human behaviors. As time passed, many of these activities were no longer considered criminal and removed from the criminal codes. When they think of crime, most people tend to think of those crimes that occurred day in and day out, such as murders, rapes, robberies, burglaries, and automobile thefts. These are the "ordinary crimes" that today are so often noted in the crime rates provided by the Federal Bureau of investigation and its uniform crime reports. While the commission of “ordinary” crime may have an impact on the criminal justice system, the more sensational and extraordinary crimes also influence the system, promulgating change. As noted in your text, exceptional crimes tend to be the top tier in what is known as the "wedding cake model." I refer you to your textbook for further explanation. Suffice it to say at this point, that the top layer of the cake is reserved for the most sensational criminal activity. Although to this point we have stated that both ordinary and extraordinary crime can cause change in the criminal justice system, we have not discussed what we mean by the criminal justice system. Criminal justice generally means anything revolving we mean by the criminal justice system....
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This note was uploaded on 02/26/2012 for the course CCJS 100 taught by Professor Gaston during the Fall '07 term at Maryland.
- Fall '07