Topic 10 - The Criminal Justice System: prevention, policing and punishment

Victor Mendon
Mind Map by , created over 5 years ago

A level Sociology (Crime and Deviance) Mind Map on Topic 10 - The Criminal Justice System: prevention, policing and punishment, created by Victor Mendon on 04/27/2014.

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Victor Mendon
Created by Victor Mendon over 5 years ago
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Topic 10 - The Criminal Justice System: prevention, policing and punishment
1 Situational Crime Prevention (Clarke and Felson)
1.1 Examples of SCP; cctv, security guards, metal detectors, neighbourhood watch schemes, re designing housing
1.2 Clarke and Felson argue that if society is to limit crime, it is more effective to make the 'costs' of committing crimes higher
1.3 Approach to crime which ignores the motivation for offending and instead concentrates in making it more difficult to commit crime
1.4 A pre-emptive approach that relies on reducing opportunities for cime
1.5 For theft - target hardening, make it more difficult to steal e.g. buying locks or having neighbourhood watch schemes
1.6 For violence - by limiting the opportunities such as having plastic gasses at pubs at night or having security guards.
1.7 Criticisms of Situation Crime Prevention (Clarke and Felson)
1.7.1 It may lower types of minor crime but is irrelevant for crimes of the powerful e.g. white collar crime which is more costly to society
1.7.2 Often just displaces crime to another area
1.7.3 Does not solves the causes of crime in an area
1.7.4 Fails to explain why people would commit crime in the first place
1.7.5 Marxists note that CSP creates a new type of social inequality; the poor will be the main victims of crime because the middle class can afford to invest in making themselves harder targets and take crime out of their lives
2 Crime Reduction
2.1 This approach argues that alongside crime prevention measures 2 other actions must also happen ...
2.1.1 Intervention - important to identify groups most at risk of committing crime and put actions in to limit offending
2.1.2 Community - important to involve local community in combating crime
2.2 Intervention
2.2.1 Farrington and West in there positivistic longitdudinal study of the backgrounds of young males who offended with those males without any police records They found clear differences between the 2 groups, some of the main 'risk factors' which were linked with early offending ... Risk factors - family and social factors which statistically most likely to predict future offending Intervening with these 'risk factors' would lead to lower crime Low income, poor housing, bad neighbourhoods, low school attainment, poor parental supervision, harsh discipline, single parent families
2.3 Community
2.3.1 Community approaches to crime reduction have been heavily influenced by Wilson's, Broken Window Theory; the idea that if less serious crimes are allows, more serious ones are likely to occur later E.g. vandalism, graffiti, drugs, littering, all create a sense of 'everything goes'
2.3.2 Willson uses the idea of broken windows; if signs of disorder such as a few broken windows are left unrepaired or graffiti not removed, it encourages further deviance Failure to deal with these problems sends out a clear message to criminals and deviants that no one acres, encouraging more of the same
2.3.3 Governments should find ways of strenghening local communities to fight crime and anti social behaviour
2.3.4 Should adopt a 'zero tolerance' approach adopted in New York to tackle graffiti, drug dealing and fare dodging, over a period of several years these crimes decline dramatically
2.4 Preventitive method of stopping crime from happening
2.5 Theoretical Perspectives to Crime Reduction
2.5.1 Functionalists see the criminal justice system as operating to look after the interests of society as a whole and without it society would drop to anomie
2.5.2 Marxists argue that criminal justice system operates to benefit the ruling class, law and police are both agents of ruling class
3 Actuarialism
3.1 Modern governments look for risk factors and then focus on the group identified as most likely to commit crime
3.2 Studies of actuarialism have shown that the criminal justice system no longer operate on the basis of catching offenders in order to punch and rehabilitate them
3.3 In contemporary society the stress of social control has changed from controlling deviants behaviour to controlling potentially deviant people
3.4 This is reinforced by the high number of policing patrolling working class areas with ethnic minorities as they are potential troublemakers and are characterized by some risk factors
4 The Relationship of the Police to Society
4.1 There are 2 main approaches in understanding the relationship of the police to society
4.1.1 Consensual Approach
4.1.2 Conflict Approach
4.2 Consensual Approach
4.2.1 Police have a close relationship with the local areas, works with people in the community, officers reflect the characteristics of the community
4.2.2 Individual offenders are caught as a result of complaints from community
4.2.3 Police may be more lieniant, may be unlikely to enforce laws, officers may have close relationship with individuals in society Could be some problems with this
4.3 Conflict Approach
4.3.1 Police are best seen imposing their force upon working class and ethnic minority communities
4.3.2 Police impose law and order that reflect the interests of more powerful groups Marxist approach
4.3.3 This approach of policing is more dominant and also more fair, as rules enforced for everyone
4.3.4 Laws may be too rigid in some cases, situations may not be fully understood
5 Police Discretion of the Law
5.1 Police Discretion - fact that the police have to use their own judgement about when to use the force of the law
5.2 There are 3 ways of explaining police discretion - Individualistic, Cultural and Structural
5.3 Individualistic - particular police officers have their own discretion, specific concerns and interests and applied it to the law accordingly, one study notes that racist police officers were a lot harsher to ethnic minorities
5.4 Cultural - Police officers are overwhelmingly white and male , they work long hours in each others company and are largely isolated from the public, due to this they develop their own culture, know an the 'canteen culture'
5.4.1 Studies have shown 4 main components of this police subculture ... As part of police training they are taught to discriminate between 'decent' and deviant people, this involves labelling young males and ethnic minorities as potential troublemakers Police officers spend large amount of time with their peers, isolated from the public, they also rely on each other for support Police officers must abide by the law, those who join police force rarely have political attitudes, this generates conservative values Most police officers are male and working class, culture of police officers very much reflects working class values of heavy drinking, hetrosexuality, racial stereotyping is empahsized and part of role of police officer
5.5 Structural - this is a marxist view, who say the definition of the law is biasedin favour of the powerful , police officers definition of crime derives from their role as agent of control in capitalist society
6 The Courts
6.1 Once a person has been caught by the police, the decision to press charges will be made by crown presection service aand person will be taken to court
6.1.1 Less serious offences are judged in te magistrates courts and serious crimes in the crown courts
6.2 Magistrates Courts
6.2.1 Studies of magistrates courts have shown that the vast majority of senior judges are male, white and educated at either Oxford or Cambridge
6.2.2 Less than 5% of judges were from ethnic minorities
6.2.3 Critics have argued that these judges are drawn from such a narrow band of social backgrounds they are unable to understand the situation of those they are judging
6.3 Trends in Sentencing
6.3.1 Males in prisons to female ratio in prison is 20:1
6.3.2 It is very difficult to prove which form of punishment is more effective in stopping offending
6.3.3 Approximately 50% of those punished (community and custodial) will re-offend
7 Punishment
7.1 One measure that most people believe is effective in preventing and reducing crime is punishment, especially prison, which they believe can reduce crime in a number of ways ...
7.1.1 Deterrence - right realists say that prison work as prison deters many potential offenders away from crime, so increases costs of crime
7.1.2 Incapacitation - use of punishment to remove the offenders capacity to offend again e.g. cutting off their hands
7.1.3 Rehabilitation - punishment can be used to reform or change offenders so they will not return to criminal careers, education and training encourage prisoners that they can earn an honest living once released
7.2 Functionalist Perspective of Punishment
7.2.1 Functionalists argue that the function of punishment is to uphold social solidarity and reinforce shard values Links to Durkehim's positive aspects of crime
7.2.2 Punishment is different in different societies, 2 different types of justice ... Mechanistic societies will use retributive methods of punishment Organic societies will use restitutive methods of punishment (more complex societies)

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