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    Criminal Justice System and Criminological Theory

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    Does our criminal justice system focus more on specific types of crimes? Why? If yes, what could be done to mend the situation?
    Theorists have already updated older perspectives, and we have modern variants of strain, social control, and developmental theories. In this context, do you think we already have enough criminological theories for the future? Do we need to simply determine the contexts in which these theories will work best? Why?

    Which criminological theory or thought studied in this course appealed you most? Why?

    Will positivist or classical school influence criminal justice policies more in the future?

    Do present day criminological theories satisfactorily explain female and juvenile crime? Why? What possible challenges could criminology face in explaining these types of crimes?
    Use references cite sources

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    Solution Preview

    Hello and thank you for your question.

    I have divided my guidance/ ideas according to the questions asked in your assignment. I have provided citations, please adjust these according to your citation style if need be.

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    1) Does our criminal justice system focus more on specific types of crimes? Why? If yes, what could be done to mend the situation?

    According to Katherine Beckett and Theodore Sasson, the criminal justice system has expanded as a result of new policies which are targeted at "at violent and repeat offenders, such as the death penalty and three strikes laws. They also include new mandatory sentences and policing strategies that target nonviolent property and public order offenders, especially drug users" (Beckett & Sasson, 2004). In addition, they state, "Indeed, the U.S. now arrests and incarcerates a much larger proportion of those accused of property, public order, or drug offenses than do other industrialized countries, and it does so for significantly longer periods of time" (Beckett & Sasson, 2004).

    Furthermore, the article outlines key criminal statistics over the years and states:
    "According to one study, although they comprise less than two tenths of 1% of all arrests, murders account for between 27% and 29% of all crimes reported on the evening news.. Other kinds of illegalities, such as corporate and state crime, tend to be either reported as "business news" or ignored in favor of violent "street crime."

    One other reason that the article states is that many politicians, as a part of their strategy to "roll-back" the reforms of the 1960's, focus on crime and particularly drug-related crimes.

    From this we can understand that the justice system focuses on crimes that are related to drugs, property offenses, public offenses and violent street crime. This is due to the introduction of new policies, increased attention and emphasis from the media and, political decisions/ influence.

    One of the ways in which this can be solved, according to the authors, is by changing the way in which crime is framed by the media. The emphasis on street violence and drugs would need to reduce. In addition, the article states, "the tendency among reporters to frame crime-related stories in terms of criminal justice leniency may also be related to issues of race and class" - this would mean that the media would need to place less emphasis on the demographic information of the criminal and victims involved.

    You can elaborate more on this by reading this article here:
    http://www.publiceye.org/defendingjustice/overview/beckett_media.html

    Another article, written by Bill Quigley, suggests that the emphasis is on drug-related crimes, particularly those committed by African Americans and Latinos. This may be due to an underlying issue of racial discrimination. (Quigley, 2010)

    You can elaborate more on this by reading this article here:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-quigley/fourteen-examples-of-raci_b_658947.html

    The Sentencing Project also states many ways in which this situation can be mended. Some of these include:

    - "Engage members of the community in the development of problem-solving responses to local crime ...

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