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Introduction to Criminal Justice . Chapter 1. Intro to Criminal Justice. What is a crime? What is a criminal? Have crimes changed? Who decides what a crime is? Do we have more or less crimes today than 20 years ago?. Intro to Criminal Justice .

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intro to criminal justice
Intro to Criminal Justice
  • What is a crime?
  • What is a criminal?
  • Have crimes changed?
  • Who decides what a crime is?
  • Do we have more or less

crimes today than 20 years ago?

intro to criminal justice1
Intro to Criminal Justice
  • Crime: Conduct in violation of the criminal laws of a state, the federal government, or a local jurisdiction, for which there is no legally acceptable justification or excuse.
crime models
Crime Models
  • Consensus Model
  • Conflict Model
  • Integrated Crime Model
consensus model
Consensus Model
  • Assumes that as people gather together to form a society, its members will informally come to a basic agreement with regard to shared norms and values.
  • Assumes, to a certain extent, that a diverse group of people can have similar morals.
conflict model
Conflict model

Assumes that different segments of society, separated by social class, income, age and race, will inevitably have different norms and value systems and struggle with each other to control society.

What is deemed criminal activity is determined by whichever group happens to be holding power at the time.

integrated definition of crime
Integrated Definition of Crime
  • Takes into account both consensus and conflict models.
  • Defines crime as any action or activity which includes:
      • Acts punishable by criminal law, as determined by the majority of society, or a powerful minority.
      • Is an offense against society as a whole.
      • Prosecuted by public officials.
      • Punishable by statutorily defined sanctions.
crime vs deviance
Crime vs. Deviance
  • Deviance is behavior which goes against norms established by society.
  • Deviance is subjective.
  • Deviant acts are crimes only when a majority accepts that those acts should be punished.
  • Not all crimes are considered particularly deviant.
  • Criminal law defines acts the legislature has decided are so unacceptable, they must be prevented.
types of crimes
Types of Crimes
  • Classified by seriousness
  • Six general categories
    • Crimes against persons (violence)
    • Property crimes
    • Public order crimes
    • White collar crimes
    • Organized crimes
    • High-tech crimes
violent crimes
Violent Crimes
  • Crimes against persons
  • Four categories
    • Murder
    • Sexual Assault
    • Assault and Battery
    • Robbery
property crimes
Property Crimes
  • Most common crime
  • Four categories
    • Larceny/Theft
    • Burglary
    • Motor Vehicle Theft
    • Arson
public order crimes
Public Order Crimes
  • Contrary to public values and morals
    • Public Intoxication
    • Prostitution
    • Drug Use
  • Linked to Consensus Model
  • Known as “victimless crimes”
white collar crime
White Collar Crime
  • Business related crime
  • Non-violent illegal acts by a business or individual to obtain economic advantage
  • Examples
    • Martha Stewart
    • Enron
organized crime
Organized Crime
  • Illegal acts by an organized group to satisfy society’s demand for certain goods and services.
    • Gambling
    • Prostitution
    • Illegal substances
  • Conspiratorial relationships
  • Criminal tactics used---violence, corruption, intimidation
  • Do we

have organized

crime in Iowa?

high tech crime
High-Tech Crime
  • Newest typology—Follows growth of computer use by society
  • Internet---Site for cyber crime
    • Selling pornography
    • Soliciting minors
    • Fraud (credit cards, identity theft)
classification of crimes
Classification of Crimes
  • Felonies---Punishable by death or incarceration of more than one year
  • Misdemeanors---Punishable by incarceration of up to one year.
classification of crimes in iowa
Classification of Crimes in Iowa
  • Simple Misdemeanors---Punishable by maximum of 30 days in jail
  • Serious Misdemeanors---Punishable by less than one year in jail
  • Aggravated Misdemeanors---Punishable by maximum of 2 years imprisonment
  • Felonies---Punishable by more than 2 years imprisonment
money or prison
Money or Prison?
  • How would I find the potential fine or alternate sentence authorized or proscribed by the legislature?
iowa laws
Iowa Laws
  • Class A Felony – life
  • Class B Felony – up to 25 years
  • Class C Felony – non habitual – up to 10
  • Class D Felony – non habitual – up to 5
  • Class C and D habitual – up to 15
  • Brainstorm a list of

changes in the laws

over the last several


purpose of criminal justice system
Purpose of Criminal Justice System
  • “Criminal Justice system ‘protects individuals and the community.’”
      • 1967 President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice
    • Three general goals described:
    • Control crime
    • Prevent crime
    • Provide and maintain justice
structure of criminal justice system
Structure of Criminal Justice System
  • Federalism requires that government powers are shared by the national (federal) government and the states.
  • Division of powers allows states to exercise their inherent police powers.
  • Most criminal justice employees work for local systems.
structure of the criminal justice system
Structure of the Criminal Justice System
  • Three parts of the Criminal Justice System:
    • Law Enforcement
    • The Courts
    • Corrections
structure of law enforcement
Structure of Law Enforcement
  • Local Law Enforcement
    • Includes counties and cities
    • Chief enforcement officer in county is Sheriff
    • Most local officers employed by cities and towns
local law enforcement duties
Local Law Enforcement Duties
  • Investigate crimes
  • Prevent crimes (also known as deterrence)
  • Apprehend criminals
  • Participate in court proceedings
  • “Keep the peace”
state law enforcement
State Law Enforcement
  • Two general types of state agencies
  • State police
  • Highway patrols or state patrols
  • Other state agencies with specific purposes---Fire Marshal, DCI, DNR, DPS
federal law enforcement
Federal Law Enforcement
  • Agencies with specific jurisdiction and purpose
  • FBI, DEA, Secret Service, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
structure of the courts
Structure of the Courts
  • Two independent court systems
    • Federal system
    • State system (50 states and D. C.)
    • Both determine guilt or innocence of criminal defendants
    • Both have trial (lower) courts, courts of appeals, supreme court
state courts
State Courts
  • Magistrate – hears less serious misdemeanors and small claims cases
  • Associate District Court Judge – hears OWI’s, misdemeanors, and civil cases
  • District Court Judge – hears more serious criminal cases and larger civil cases.
  • Court of Appeals/State Supreme Court Judges– hear appeals.
courts and prosecution
Courts and Prosecution
  • The City Attorney can prosecute for a city

(usually ordinance violation)

  • The County Attorney prosecutes state cases.
  • The United States Attorney prosecutes federal cases.
structure of corrections
Structure of Corrections
  • Offenders may be sentenced to:
    • Probation
    • Community-based facility or program
    • Jail or prison
    • Fine (along with other alternative above)
definitions of sentencing dispositions
Definitions of Sentencing Dispositions
  • Probation: Allows offender to return to community under supervision
  • Community-based program: Includes halfway houses, residential centers, home confinement, electronic monitoring
  • Incarceration: In local jail (short term) or prison (longer term, more serious crimes)
  • Fine: Financial penalty; could be imposed along with other sentence
judicial employees
Judicial Employees
  • Federal 61,894
  • State 164,051 2.6:1
  • Local 267,972 4.3:1
  • Total 493,917
number of law enforcement officers
Number of Law Enforcement Officers
  • Federal 105,933
  • State 156,607 1.5:1
  • Local 856,396 8.1:1
    • Most come from agencies with less than ten officers.

Total 1,118,936

corrections employees
Corrections Employees
  • Federal 34, 776
  • State 463,586 13.3:1
  • Local 249,888 7.1:1

Total 748,250

formal criminal justice process
Formal Criminal Justice Process
  • A series of routine operations whose success is gauged by likelihood of passing a criminal case along to “successful conclusion”
criminal justice process
Criminal Justice Process
  • Strives for order and discipline throughout the procedures by which the system meets the expectations of society
  • Does not function so smoothly as a system in reality
  • Actually is a balance between the formal and informal processes
informal criminal justice process
Informal Criminal Justice Process
  • Each step in process is a result of individual decisions made by those who work in the system.
  • Discretion: Using authority to choose between and among alternative courses of action.
  • The criminal justice system uses discretion to alleviate pressures.
wedding cake model of criminal justice
“Wedding Cake” Model of Criminal Justice
  • Discretion comes to bear depending on importance of case---
  • Top layer---A few celebrity type cases
  • 2nd layer---”Higher profile” felonies
  • 3rd layer---”Ordinary” felonies
  • 4th layer---Misdemeanors
question small groups
Question? --- Small Groups
  • Should professional discretion be allowed in the criminal justice system? What are the pros and cons of

discretion exercised by

police, judges, prosecutors,

probation officers?

new age values in criminal justice
New Age Values in Criminal Justice
  • Crime control model
  • Most important function of criminal justice system is to punish and repress criminal conduct
  • Law enforcement must control criminal activity
  • Controlling crime is at least difficult, and probably impossible
  • Examples of this approach: airport searches, hidden video cameras, officers searching your valuables or back pack in subway.
values of criminal justice system
Values of Criminal Justice System
  • Due Process Model
  • Protect rights of accused through legal constraints on police, courts and corrections
  • It should be difficult to prove guilt
  • Assumes absolute efficiency in crime control is achieved only if power of state is absolute
which model prevails
Which model prevails?
  • 1950’s, 1960’s was a “due process revolution”
  • Expanded rights of the accused
  • Severe limits on police powers
  • 1970’s, 1980’s was “get tough on crime” era
  • Slowed down the due process revolution
  • Restored some freedoms to police
impact of terrorism
Impact of Terrorism
  • Terrorism became a central issue in criminal justice after 9/11/01
  • New laws strengthened ability of federal law enforcement agencies to investigate and incarcerate suspects
  • Dramatic shift to crime control model
gang violence
Gang Violence
  • 30,000 street gangs of 800,000 members in U. S.
  • Gang homicides increased beginning in about 2000
  • Gang violence increased partly due to illegal drug trade and use of firearms
  • 43 known gangs in Des Moines alone.
gang related crime
Gang Related Crime
  • Previously focused on “super groups”---Bloods, Crips, Latin Kings, Gangster Disciples
  • Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) attracting national attention
  • Roots in El Salvador in 1980’s
  • Up to 10,000 members in 33 states
  • Gang’s presence is driving up crime rates in cities like L. A. and Chicago
combating gang crime
Combating Gang Crime
  • Move to increase the “cost” of crime
  • 4 states---persons involved in gang related murders may be executed
  • Anti-loitering laws (Not normally a crime)
  • Use “immigration hammer” to detain and deport gang members