I’m working on a sociology question and need an explanation to help me understand better.
here is the question: By now you have equipped yourselves to form opinions about criminality
using sociological research. With your newfound knowledge, explain one
component you find inadequate about the criminal justice system and tell
us how you would change it. By the same token, identify one component
of the system you would leave unchanged because you believe it works
well. Lastly, tell us your opinion about the course, identifying
positive aspects as well as things that need improvement. In reading
your classmates’ opinions about the justice system and this course, do
not be afraid to identify why you think some of their ideas would not
work based on practical considerations such as politics, funding, time
constraints, lack of interest, lack of resources, etc. Here is the answer: The law enforcement component is inadequate as its members can be biased and there are no checks to make them treat citizens well. There has been a worrying issue of systemic racism and inequality in law enforcement officers. Police officers have been on the receiving end from the public concerning the abuse and treatment people of colour receive from them. Multiple black citizens are being mistreated whenever they interact with police officers. We are seeing videos of police officers mistreating people of colour during arrests, and traffic checks. Whenever a person of colour is seen by a police officer they immediately become suspects even though they have committed no crimes, this is racial profiling by law enforcement. This leads to random police searches, frisks. There have been studies and the data that shows people of colour get arrested by police officers for very minor infractions while white people receive no punishment for the same actions Miller, J. G. (1996). Another study showed that black men were about 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police than white men, and there was a 1 in 1000 odds of them being killed at the hands of a police offer. Latino men were also 1.3 to 1.4 times more likely to be killed by the police than white men. There has also being widespread condemnation from the public concerning the excessive use by police officers. I would introduce policies and laws that would make it mandatory for the police department to release body cam footage of police officers who use violence and excessive force during work. I’d scrap off paid leave during investigations concerning misconduct. I’d push for the reeducation of police officers in matters concerning the arrest of citizens, de-escalation techniques, and push for police officers to directly pay for any damages that they are charged with.The course is important as it allows us to discuss issues affecting the criminal justice system and ways on how it can be improved. Some of the positive aspects include: it allows us to discuss issues that are shunned in normal public conversations, educates us about certain aspects of criminality that we are not aware of. A group of my classmates propose the abolition of for profit prisons (Silberman, C. E. (1978) this prisons act as modern day slave labour camps, the prisoners are used for doing work that they are note paid for. Politics would make abolishing them hard. There would be massive lobbying from the prison owners to Congress to ensure that such a law is never passed and enacted. classmates:
1-Cassidy: I think that one component in the criminal justice system that I would
consider to be inadequate is the level of support for those who are
released from jails and prisons. I feel that there would be less
recidivism is we could provide adequate support for these individuals
and give them a “step up” to get their life back on track. If we
continue to just toss them in jail and hope they take a plea bargain so
we can move quickly then we are not serving the individual. We need to
set these individuals up for success or else they will continue to tax
our resources and bog down our judicial system instead of adding to
society. I think one positive thing that came from this course is the
change in policing. It seems that many police departments are moving to
hire well rounded and knowledgeable individuals who can look at each
case through an educated rather than a military perspective. I think
that overall the course had valuable material that applies to all of us
especially amongst all of the different things happening with police
violence. I feel that this gives us an inside look to the workings of
the criminal justice system to give us all ideas to change what we don’t
see as beneficial to society as we are all the future. I also liked
that the material stayed relevant to the current times. I appreciate
that we aren’t focusing on cases that happened decades ago where we
won’t be able to relate to them or comprehend them. Write a reply here…
2- Jon : So for this discussion board I wanted to open it up with a quote that I had found from Martin Luther King Jr. which states: “Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.” As a whole I think that there are many things that could be fixed within the Justice System alone. If I had to narrow my scope down to one specific thing that I would recommend changing with, it would have to be the proposal for ensuring decent detention conditions. According to this PDF titled Prisons in the United States of America, it talks about how many local jails were dirty, unsafe, vermin-infested, and lacked areas in which inmates could exercise or even get fresh air. In other scenarios of the article, it explains how there is overcrowding of public prisons and the budgets are fueled from the growth of private corrections companies (approximately 100,000 adults were confined into 142 privately operated prisons and jails nationwide. I think a potential way that we could fix this issue is if state governments abolish the use of solitary confinements as a disciplinary measure for incarcerated people. It should further be completely banned for juveniles and individuals with mental, psychiatric, and/or physical health issues (Human rights Watch: Prison conditions in the United States).
If there is one thing that was good that we had placed within the Justice System here in the US i think that it would have to be the concept of how the law has to presume every person is proven innocent until proven guilty. I think that this empirical process has worked pretty well up to this point in time. I am well aware that the overwhelming majority of criminal trials result in verdicts of guilty. My final thoughts on the class were that this class is very informative and you truly get to realize that this major makes you see all the grey areas in between. I truly wish that I had more time to actually enjoy class for what it was. Write a reply here…
3- kathryn: One component of the criminal justice system that I believe is inadequate is how the criminal justice system works in favor of those who have power and privilege. What I mean by this is, someone of higher socioeconomic status is able to afford better resources than your average defendant, this opens up opportunities such as hiring better attorneys, being able to post bail, along with other benefits that money can buy. This bias towards certain individuals is unjust and brings to light other injustices such as racial profiling and excessively harsher sentences for select individuals. This issue is discussed in an article titled Criminal Justice as it says, “policies often have a particularly harsh impact on youth, racial minorities or low-income populations accused of or victimized by crime”. A concept that I believe works well would be plea bargaining. This topic was discussed in week 10 or 11, and I feel that plea bargaining has many pros to the criminal justice system. I enjoyed this course! I felt the discussion boards were meaningful and filled with interesting topics and information. The Monday lectures were long — to no fault of our Professor — but they were always very entertaining and easy to follow. It was nice virtually meeting everyone this semester! Write a reply here….
4- Adrian: One thing I do not like that’s in the criminal justice system is racial profiling. I think that it is unfair to judge someone by their race. Darren Martin, a former White House staffer, was moving into his New York apartment when his new neighbors thought he was an armed burglar. About half a dozen police officers came to the apartment ready to confront a dangerous armed burglar. Darren believed that had he made one wrong move, he could have been killed. That’s when racial profiling gets really dangerous. One thing I do like about the criminal justice system is the Adversary System. It allows for fair opportunities for all criminal defendants by using the concepts of due process and equal protection. I really enjoyed the course because it taught me how to think outside of the box when considering the law and real life situations that do occur. Something that might need improving for the course is maybe less discussion questions, I would consider 1 every other week or only respond to two classmates opinions weekly. Write a reply here...
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