¶ … Justice Systems
What are the main factors that determine high or low incarceration rates?
The last twenty years have witnessed a significant and historic shift with regards to the use of imprisonment within the United States. In 1980, less than half a million people were imprisoned in the jails and prisons of America. Today there are almost 2 million inmates and still rising. Annually, the U.S. is spending about $35 billion every year on correctional facilities while many other government departments such as transportation, health and human services and education do not have enough funds to fulfill their functions effectively. The most alarming fact about correctional services in the U.S. is that imprisonment is used mostly on African-American and Hispanic males. It was recently estimated by the Department of Justice that about a third of all African-American males will be incarcerated at least once in their lives. It is also known that the increase in utilization of imprisonment is directly linked to America's war on drugs policy. The high incarceration rates have resulted in approximately 1.5 million children having a parent imprisoned (Austin, Bruce, Carroll, McCall, & Richards, 2000).
A simple explanation for the high rates of incarceration in any given country would be that it has higher crime rates than other countries. All factors held constant, more crime results in higher rates of incarceration (Mauer, 2003).
Criminal Justice Policies
While the high rates of violent crime explain the high rates of incarceration in the U.S., the key question is to what level or extent have the changes in crime rates over the last thirty or so years contributed to the 600% rise in inmate populations. In the early years of the increase in inmate population, the changes in crime rates were responsible for only a portion of the increase (Mauer, 2003).
Social indicators and general well-being
The utilization of imprisonment is influenced by several social factors. The measures of general well-being are seemingly associated with the severity and quality of criminal justice systems. The social factors include social and economic equality and the level of social protection offered by the State. One widely used measure of social equality is income distribution. For example, in EU-member states there is a clear positive link between prisoner rates and income inequality (Lappi-Seppala).
Why does the U.S.A. have a higher incarceration rate than our other model countries?
Other countries successfully utilize creative programs to reduce crime and recidivism
Project Turnaround in New Zealand, for example, allows the victim, offender, and community members to try and come to terms with the crime committed and create an action plan that enables the offender to make amends both to the victim and the community. Statistics show that less than 10% of the offenders are taken back to court for failing to fulfill the agreed-upon plans.
Different philosophies utilized in other countries with regards prisoner treatment
In Cuba, more emphasis is put on rehabilitation and a return to the community instead of punishment. Prisoners are allowed to work and wear normal clothes and are imprisoned in their home province regardless of what crime they committed. Moreover, these prisoners are also eligible for release halfway through their sentence, a time whereby they are allowed to work in factories and on farms (their co-workers are not informed about their prisoner-status).
Many programs in other nations have reduced crime pre-emptively
Encouraging social development (of families and children) reduces crime and yields impressive returns of up to $7.16 for every $1 spent. This means that poverty reduction programs and improving the livelihoods of families in disadvantaged communities can help reduce crime rates significantly (political Research Associates, 2005).
How is the conflict in the Middle East related to terrorism around the world today? How might that information help us combat terrorism?
The current state of global terrorism originated and is driven mostly by events in the Middle East, especially the ongoing Israeli-Arab conflict. Many of the most violent terrorist acts have been committed in the name of destruction of Israel and its allies and the Palestinian self-determination. The official formation of Modern day Israel in 1948 resulted in the conflict which exists even today. Palestinians argue that the Israeli lands were promised to them by the colonial authorities of that time, Britain. Israel's Arab neighbors have attempted so many times to destroy the country with no success. Therefore, radical Palestinians believed and some still...
Eventually in 1964, several Palestinian terrorist groups joined to form the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) under the patronage of Yasser Arafat. PLO's mission was destruction of Israel and the formation of a Palestinian State. The terror increased to global levels after the 1967 Six Day War when Israel annexed Palestinian lands on the west bank of the Jordan River and Gaza Strip near the Sinai Peninsula (Towson.edu, n.d.).
The attitude of the West, led by the United States, to fundamentalist Muslims is distinguished by the abuse and inequality of capitalism, which is an idea based on the individual. However, Islam is founded on a more group-focused and democratic philosophy. The primary reason as to why Muslims counter Western influence relates to the beauty of capitalism. Marxists have tried to portray capitalism as corrupt and evil but have, however, not succeeded to justify its comparative competence in the distribution of resources and consequent improvement in living standards. Accompanied with the fact that the media depict life in the West as glamorous, there is fear among the religious leaders that Muslims shall be corrupted by Western greed and eventually end up forsaking their faith. This particular fact is a good depiction for the rise in Muslim fundamentalism at the Middle East. The global wave of terrorism has promoted terrorism in the Middle East since quite a number of terrorism groups (Baader-Meinhof Gang, ETA, Japanese Red Army, IRA, etc.) have obtained support and training from the Palestinian terrorist groups, specifically the PLO (Towson.edu, n.d.).
What role can/should the U.S.A. play in fighting international organized crime in other countries? What are the positive and negative consequences of your strategy?
In essence,, transnational organized crime refers to self-perpetuating organizations of people who function across multinational borders and in other countries with the aim of achieving influence, power, monetary and/or commercial profits, completely or partially via legal means. At the same time, safeguarding their undertakings through a pattern of violence and/or corruption is the ploy they are won't to use. Alternatively or additionally, they safeguard their unlawful undertakings via a transnational association structure and the utilization of transnational communication or business systems.
1. Assist the partner nations reinforce transparency and power, end the corruptive influence of transnational criminal systems, and break state-crime groupings.
1. Safeguard the strategic markets in addition to the U.S. financial system from Transnational Organized Crime (TOC) misuse and penetration and disintegrate the economic power of transnational criminal systems.
1. Conquer the transnational criminal systems which create high levels of threat to national security, through aiming at their infrastructures, robbing them of their enabling means, and inhibiting any criminal assistance of terrorist activities (The White House, 2011).
Consequences of the strategy
The U.S. requires reliable, willing and able partners to fight the instability and corruption caused by TOC and other associated threats to authority. Attack on the financial foundation of the top transnational criminals; taking away their illegitimate wealth; cutting off their right of entry to the financial system; and safeguard strategic markets and the financial system of the U.S. (The White House, 2011).
Rank the three main punishment philosophies that you think can best be used to deal with the problem of juvenile delinquency.
Rehabilitative ideologies appreciate the developing character of the adolescent mind. They consider that juveniles are more impulsive and less likely to utilize their rational abilities. In addition, rehabilitative ideologies realize that majority of what manipulates the thought process of a young individual may be destructive and negative, which eventually play a role in poor decisions-making capability. By keeping in mind the nature of the adolescent mind, it is sensible that any system aiming to decrease adolescent crime would want to intercede in this area of decision-making (Rhodes, 2008).
This approach aims to restore the juvenile and the community, the victim and the aggressor. It pushes the youth to take responsibility for their wrong actions by apologizing to the victim. Community service is also encouraged as a mode of punishment. This mode of rehabilitation bears in mind the susceptible nature of the young mind in addition to encouraging direct responsibility (Rhodes, 2008).
Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative
JDAI's aim is to show that jurisdictions can safely decrease the dependence on secure detention. Its objectives are: remove the unsuitable use of secure detention; reduce re-arrest and failure-to-appear rates pending arbitration; guarantee suitable confinement conditions in secure facilities; decrease ethnic and racial differences and convey public finances to maintain successful changes (Ramirez, 2008)
Austin, J., Bruce, M.A., Carroll, L., McCall, P.L.,…
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