Criminal justice: A Brief Introduction by Frank J. Schmalleger

By Frank J. Schmalleger

ISBN-10: 0133009793
ISBN-13: 978-0133009798

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However, some people question just how objective—and therefore how useful—crime statistics are. Social events, including crime, are complex and difficult to quantify. Even the decision of which crimes should be included and which excluded in statistical reports is itself a judgment reflecting the interests and biases of policymakers. Moreover, public opinion about crime is not always realistic. 4 During the four-year period (in the mid-1990s) covered by Morris’s study, for example, the frequency of crime stories reported in the national media increased fourfold.

After polling is complete, assign students to presentation groups by asking those who more closely identify with the public-order perspective to defend individual rights, and vice versa. Such role reversal can be interesting in its own right, but it may also serve to broaden students’ appreciation for the values of others. Thematic Question Do you see a trend in our society in favor of individual rights or public-order interests? What recent examples support your opinion? There is widespread recognition in contemporary society of the need to balance (1) the freedoms and privileges of our nation’s citizens and the respect accorded the rights of individuals faced with criminal prosecution against (2) the valid interests that society has in preventing future crimes, in maintaining public safety, and in reducing the harm caused by criminal activity.

S. , hotel ballroom. Thomas used the occasion, which was dedicated to our nation’s Bill of Rights, to point out the importance of obligations as well as rights. “Today there is much focus on our rights,” said Thomas. ” But then he went on to say, “I am often surprised by the virtual nobility that seems to be accorded those with grievances. ” The challenge for the criminal justice system today, it seems, is to balance individual rights and personal freedoms with social control and respect for legitimate authority.

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