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Chapter 1 Crime and Justice in the US. Crime in the United States. Crime is a top concern of the American public. Crimes presented by the media are usually more sensational than the crimes routinely committed. Crime in the United States.

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Presentation Transcript
slide1
Chapter 1

Crime and Justice

in the US

slide2

Crime in the United States

  • Crime is a top concern of the American public.
  • Crimes presented by the media are usually more sensational than the crimes routinely committed.
slide3

Crime in the United States

  • Most police calls involve responding to complaints of disturbances:
  • Domestic quarrels
  • Neighbor squabbles
  • Gang altercations
  • Loud music
slide4

Criminal Justice:An Institution of Social Control

There are a variety of responses to crime in the United States, from punishment to prevention.

slide5

Criminal Justice:An Institution of Social Control

  • Criminal justice is an institution of social control, as are:
    • The family
    • Schools
    • Organized religion
    • The media
    • The law
slide6

institution of social control

An organization that persuades people, through subtle and not-so-subtle means, to abide by the dominant values of society.

slide7

Criminal Justice:An Institution of Social Control

  • Criminal justice differs because:
    • It is concerned only with behavior that is actually criminal.
    • It is society’s “last line of defense.”
slide8

Criminal Justice:The System

Criminal justice in the United States is administered by a loose confederation of more than 50,000 agencies of federal, state, and local governments.

  • The police
  • The courts
  • Corrections

The criminal justice system

=

slide9

Criminal Justice:The System

The criminal justice system operates differently in some jurisdictions, but there are also similarities.

jurisdictions

A politically defined geographical area.

slide10

Police

The criminal justice response to crime begins when a crime is reported to the police, or when the police discover a crime has been committed.

slide11

Arrest Warrant

On rare occasions, police may obtain an arrest warrant from a lower-court judge before making an arrest.

arrest warrant

A written order directing law enforcement officers to arrest a person.

slide12

Courts

  • After a suspect has been arrested and booked, a prosecutor reviews the facts of the case and decides whether to charge the suspect with a crime.
  • If no charges are filed, the suspect must be released.
slide13

Pretrial Stages

About 90 percent of criminal defendants plead guilty to the charges against them, in an arrangement called plea bargaining.

slide14

plea bargaining

The practice whereby a specific sentence is imposed if the accused pleads guilty to an agreed-upon charge or charges instead of going to trial.

slide15

Trial

  • 10 percent of criminal cases go to trial.
    • 5 percent of criminal cases are decided in a bench trial.

bench trial

A trial before a judge, without a jury.

slide16

Trial

  • If the defendant is found guilty as charged
  • The judge (and sometimes the jury) begins to consider a sentence.

If the defendant is found not guilty

The defendant is released.

slide17

Corrections

Currently, five types of punishment are used in the United States:

  • Fines
  • Probation
  • Intermediate punishments
  • Imprisonment
  • Death

Judges must impose sentences according to statutory guidelines.

slide18

Corrections

Defendants can appeal their convictions either on legal or constitutional grounds.

  • Legal Grounds
  • Defects in jury selection
  • Improper admission of evidence at trial
  • Mistaken interpretations of law
  • Constitutional Grounds
  • Illegal search and seizure
  • Improper questioning by police
  • Incompetent assistance from counsel
slide19

Criminal Justice:The Nonsystem

The “criminal justice system” in the United States is really a “nonsystem.” Each agency works independently, and often in conflict with others.

system

A smoothly operating set of arrangements and institutions directed toward the achievement of common goals.

slide20

Criminal Justice:The Nonsystem

  • Judges impose prison sentences when there isn’t room in prisons to hold the offenders.
  • In every state, there is a separate process for juvenile offenders.
  • Police often say sentencing does not match the crime.
slide21

Criminal Justice:The Nonsystem

  • Prosecutors complain about shoddy police work.
  • Police complain that offenders are not prosecuted.
slide22

Costs of Criminal Justice

  • Each year in the United States an enormous amount of money is spent on criminal justice.
  • In 1999, local, state, and federal governments spent a total of $146 billion on civil and criminal justice.
slide23

Costs of Criminal Justice

State and local governments pay most of the cost of criminal justice. Generally speaking:

Local governments pay for police.

The federal government works strategically to influence criminal justice policies at other levels of government.

slide24

Costs of Criminal Justice

  • About 4 cents out of every tax dollar is spent on crime control.
  • Roughly two-thirds of the American public thinks the government should spend more.
slide25

Myths About Crime and

Criminal Justice

Much of the American public’s understanding of crime and criminal justice is wrong; it is based on myths.

myths

Beliefs based on emotion rather than analysis.