- Traditionally, a biological concept used to distinguish groups of people by their skin color and other physical features.
- Today this concept is controversial
- The amount of Americans with bi-racial backgrounds make looking at race biologically difficult
- Concept used to distinguish people according to their cultural characteristics = language, religion, and group traditions.
- Usually reported by subjects themselves
- The unequal treatment of one group by the criminal justice system, compared to the treatment of other groups.
- Differential treatment of an individual or group without reference to the behavior or qualifications of the same.
Social problems contribute to higher crime rates such as:
* Single-parent families
Most people believe there are 3 solutions to Race & punishment
1. Open corrections system to greater participation by historically disadvantaged groups.
2. Ferret out and refuse to tolerate incidents of blatant racism in justice practices or policies.
3. Recognize that as long as racism is a force in the larger society any attempts to remove it from the CJ system will have only marginal success.
Problems with race in the Corrections Systems can begin to be solved by:
- Allowing more group members from historically disadvantaged groups to participate in decision making.
- Society as a whole must begin to refuse to tolerate examples of racism within the system.
- We must recognize that racism is a societal problem that is reflected as such in the criminal justice system
Forms of Capital Punishment
* Lethal Injections
* Electric chair
* firing squad
* gas chamber
Supporting Corporal Punishment
- Murder must forfeit the murderer's life if there is to be justice
- Paying back killers for their horrible crimes
- Victims' families can be reassured that the murderer received a just punishment
- Prevents murderers from doing further harm
- Death penalty less expensive than life in prison
Opposition to corporal punishment
- Mistakes can and have been made
- Discriminates against poor people and racial minorities
- No deterrent effect of the penalty
- Wrong for government to participate in intentional killing
- Support for capital punishment fails when other options are present
- Almost 3,300 are waiting on death row
- Since 1976 executions have never exceeded 98 in any one year
* Important issues:
punishment is administered fairly?
what should be done about those who are wrongly convicted?
Furman v. Georgia (1972):
Death penalty was itself not unconstitutional, but the way it was administered constituted cruel and unusual punishment.
Gregg v. Georgia (1976):
Upheld laws that required the sentencing judge or jury to take into account specific aggravating and mitigating factors in deciding which convicted murderers should be sentenced to death.
Ring v. Arizona (2002):
Juries, rather than judges, must make the crucial factual decisions as to whether a convicted murderer should receive the death penalty.
Roper v. Simmons (2005):
Offenders cannot be sentenced to death for crimes they committed before they reached the age of 18.
Witherspoon v. Illinois (1968):
Potential jurors who have general objections to the death penalty or whose religious convictions oppose its use cannot be automatically excluded from jury service in capital cases.
Kennedy v. Louisiana (2008):
Capital sentence where the crime did not involve murder was in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth amendments.
typical Death Row Inmates
- Poorly educated men from low-income backgrounds
- 65% have prior felony convictions
- 8.6% have prior homicide convictions
- 29.8% were on probation, parole, or in prison
- Only 58 women, only 11 have been executed since 1976
Mutual trust among neighbors, combined with willingness to intervene on behalf of the common good, especially to supervise children and maintain public order.
Strategy of community justice
- Community policing (Getting to Root Causes of Crime)
- Environmental crime prevention (Analyze why crime trends occur frequently in certain locations)
- Restorative justice (Restore the Community to the same level of functioning prior to a crime occurring)
Series of justice programs:
- Crime mapping.
- Citizen advisory groups help identify and prioritize local crime problems.
- Citizen partnerships between justice agencies and citizen groups improve the legitimacy of justice programs
Community v. Criminal Justice
- Community j. is based on the neighborhood rather than the legal jurisdiction.
- Community j. uses problem-solving rather than adversarial strategies.
- Community j. is restorative rather than retributive.
- Community j. strives to improve the community through a strategy called "justice reinvestment"
- A strategy to redirect funds currently spent on prisons to community public safety projects.
* Advocates envision:
- Work programs in which offenders help renovate neighborhood spaces, Family programs.
- Housing strategies that provide low-cost places to live.
- Health care support for people without health insurance.
Arguments for Community Justice
- Crime control problems are local
- Lack of Resources and Lack of Safety tend to hurt the community
- Crime fighting too often damages the quality of life
- High Incarceration rates significantly impact the community
- Proactive rather than reactive strategies are needed
- Movement towards a more restorative approach will help communities
Problems of Community Justice
- Infringement on individual rights
- State's role in the justice process can be undercut
- Social inequality
*Most effective community organizations tend to be :
- neighborhood associations
- Inequality breeds crime
- Increasing criminal justice costs
Future of Community Justice
- Popularity is derived from dissatisfaction with justice politics.
- Traditional use of collective effort to overcome misbehavior.
- Community j. needs to demonstrate that it is a true alternative to traditional criminal justice.
- Could change the entire criminal justice system, if effective
Four Substantial Forces
1. Evidence-Based Practices:
It is important to find evidence of the effectiveness of correctional practices based on research.
Important to examine the role of technology in regard to techno-corrections.
3. Falling Crime Rates:
Falling Crime Rates are one of the most important dynamics affecting the criminal justice system.
The growth of the criminal justice field brings with it new issues.
Correctional Dilemmas- Structure:
* Internal: Process divided against itself
- Various Elements (Jail, Prison etc) struggle with one another
* External:The culmination of the criminal justice process
2 structural dilemmas:
1. Colleagues are often the ones who put the most immediate obstacles in the way of their attempts to manage their operations effectively.
2. Corrections depends on significant factors outside of its control.
More Future Challenges
- Chain gangs cleaning roads and wearing black-striped shirts
- Men in jail made to wear pink underwear
- Signs in yards and on cars saying the owner has been convicted of a crime
- Children serving time in adult prisons
- Eviction of people from their homes because of convictions of drug crimes
- Refusals of college loans because of convictions of drug crimes
Three tangible results
- Acting in ways that correctional clients see as "legitimate"
- Maintaining safe, drug-free environments in prisons and jails where staff and those confined inside can stay "clean"
- Making management "transparent" so the general public knows how corrections is being run and has confidence in it.
Dilemma is a situation that forces one to choose between 2 unsatisfactory alternatives.
- Corrections lacks a clear mission
- Too Many Clients
- Expectations often come into conflict
- Best correctional strategies and techniques unclear because of lack of clear mission
- Staff Members have difficulty deciding among conflicting methods to perform their work
- Constant Change leads to many negative effects
- Attracting the right kinds of employees
- Motivating them to remain
- Corrections has historically struggled in both areas
- Prison construction does not alleviate crowding
- Incapacitation strategy for crime control is both imperfect and highly prone to error
- Cost per cell of building a prison is $100,000, while cost of processing a prisoner is $25,000