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Criminal Justice. Chapter 9: A Peacemaking Perspective By John R. Fuller. Violence:. America have a contradicting relationship with violence. Media including news, movies, and television continue to numb us all to the human suffering and pain.

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Criminal Justice

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criminal justice

Criminal Justice

Chapter 9: A Peacemaking Perspective

By John R. Fuller

  • America have a contradicting relationship with violence.
  • Media including news, movies, and television continue to numb us all to the human suffering and pain.
  • Children are exposed to tens of thousands of violent images during their childhood and teenage period
  • We wisness an unprecedented numbers of our citizens in prison, street violence is on the rise and Americans are willing to take extreme measures to protect themselves.
  • This sets in motion cycles of alienation from neighbors, institutions, and society in general.
  • We need to ask the questions; how do we raise and educate our children?
Peacemaking requires major changes in the way our criminal justice system, schools, and work place deal with violent criminals, changes in our families, and society must work to create, celebrate, and contribute to a culture of violence.
  • History of violence in America: according to Gurr 1990, the willingness to use force is deeply ingrained in the national character because of a history that rewarded accomplishment of desired end over legitimate humane means
  • American history has left a legacy of violent behavior which is dysfunctional in the modern world, political, racial, and socila violence has formed our historical events.
Independent war, civil war, violent against Native people:
  • Violence celebrated by war has become prevalent feature of our culture and military is the primary institution in our society.
  • Consequently, men and women's’ accomplishment all fade a way when compared to the glorification of military leaders.
  • Institutional violence is learned as a necessary part of our history.
  • We believe it is the cost we pay for our birthright.
Violence is portrayed in our media all attest to a violent history that has been in television into US institutions.
  • Yet violence, have been rejected by many as a part of the American value system, but our historical involvement with violence has become part of our un acknowledged value structure.
  • How is violence being expressed through individual behavior?
  • According to the prevailing child rearing practices and socialization patterns, violence is regenerating violent individuals.
As American institutions fail to care and educate our troubled youth, so is the justice systems are faced with generation with multitude problems which if left un treated will most likely be manifested in emotional and physical violence.
  • Socialization into violence:
  • Violent behavior is the result of class, race, economic, and multi factors that may influence the intensity of violent event on daily level.
  • One of the roots of violent behavior concerns the dysfunctional American Ideal of masculinity in America.
To be a man is to adopt certain patterns of behavior that alienated the individual from a positive relationship without critical self-examination.
  • Anthony Rutendo in his book; American manhood, observes how the 1800s boy culture developed a separate young man from girls socially.
  • This boy culture has its own values and symbols which emphasized violence and predatory masculinity.
  • Boy culture sanctioned certain impulse such as dominance aggression while curbed any expression of lender and vulnerable emotions
By allowing free passage to angry and destructive emotions, boy culture sanctioned intentional bullying, cruelty towards others and violence
  • Today, manhood requires a set of responses that were tolerable in the 19th century while it is considered an inappropriate behavior in the 20th century.
  • The rights of passage adolescents had to go through are no longer relevant to our current society.
  • Also due to feminism, women changed the way they think of themselves and how they relate to men.
  • Growing indolence and assertiveness of women have put pressure on men to change
Rights of passage of endurance and courage that involved tests as a transitin from boyhood to manhood that were designed to socialize youth into adult values of hunter and warrior.
  • Today, socieyt does not need these qualities for current jobs and other social and political tasks.
  • Young men are socialized into masculinity that emphasize violence through media and schools such as; peer pressure.
  • With the current changing nature of relation between men and women due to the lack of ways of establishing men’s masculinity results in tension which lead to violent behavior including violence against women!
  • There is a direct link between domestic violence and the culturally leaned images of what it means to be masculine.
Institutional support for violence:
  • Our institutions relying on physical force to solve problems, it is not just some bad apples are the cause of violence of our society, violence being the dominant motif of the culture
  • Hence, it is our culture reinforcement that engender violence.
  • The Ideal of male privilege roles is translated into control; authoritarian relationships and discipline become our cultural products during the socialization process
  • Many child discipline patterns are abusive cased and sooner or later children emulate and reenact those patterns
School, sports and violence:
  • An athlete cherishes nothing more than control over an opponent, and nothing lifting him higher than the sense of victory over the other
  • It is the same animating force of control behind men who batter their wives.
  • Military and criminal justice systems employ violence as a response to problems.
  • Peacemaking perspective need to be applied in all settings and by all institutions to help individual learn to manage problems in a way that is effective for all involved.
  • The utilization of violence often signals a giving up on finding genuine solutions to problems
Responding to violence:
  • If harsh pending are ineffective in reducing the level of violence in the society, then peacemaking perspective suggest that we look for alternatives.
  • No violence through prevention, conflict resolution and treatment.
  • No matter how harsh penalties we may inflict on old criminals, new criminals will replace them unless reasons are addressed as to why violence is happening in the first place.
Prevention of Violence:
  • Prevention strategies examine structural, cultural, and organizational features of the society and its institutions.
  • Structural factors and Prevention Strategies:
  • At structural level male dominance is identified as a cultural value related to homicide, poverty, the breakdown of nuclear family, institutional racism, and racial segregation, urban density and economic deprivation all are contributing factors to violence.
  • Zahn suggests as preventing measures, eliminating economic marginality, sexual inequality and notions of masculinity.
Zahn’s structural prescription of society her peacemaking perspective begins with advocating social justice in society as an important factor in addressing violence.
  • Cultural responses and Prevention Strategies:
  • American culture support many values that are associated with violence.
  • Changing these values will help reduce violence a great deal.
  • Zahn identifies cultural risk factors as sexism and male belief in physical control.
  • Alcoholism, drugs, and the availability of guns, support of the bad boy in the media roles are contributing factors.
Also, lack of community support and involvement encourages violence.
  • Zahn’s approach of preventing violence, by addressing cultural risk factors including increasing verbal ability, empathy, and community intolerance for violence.
  • Peacemaking perspective also advocates treatment and reintegration into responsible society.