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Critical Issues in the Criminal Justice System

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Research and analyze a major national-level street gang, such as MS-13 or the Bloods. Describe the challenges such gangs present to law enforcement. Also, analyze how theories such as social disorganization and strain theory describe factors that lead juveniles to join such gangs.

Another key issue is the use of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) evidence to exonerate wrongfully-convicted offenders. Advances in technology in recent years have allowed investigators to use old crime scene evidence to prove the evidence of some death-row inmates. Describe the efforts being made by citizens outside the criminal justice system to ensure that innocent people are not wrongfully executed. Be sure to include the "Innocence Project."

The above issue raises the question of how innocent men and women might have been convicted in the first place. Analyze and discuss the most common causes of wrongful convictions.

Examine a post-9/11 critical issue that corresponds to your area of interest. Once you have selected an issue:
How the community influences this issue?
Are the lawmakers and politicians addressing the issue appropriately?
Have any improvements been made in recent years?

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Solution Preview

Reference: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/the-nsa-files

Research and analyze a major national-level street gang, such as MS-13 or the Bloods. Describe the challenges such gangs present to law enforcement. Also, analyze how theories such as social disorganization and strain theory describe factors that lead juveniles to join such gangs.

MS-13 presents challenges to police that are predicated upon the violent nature of the gang and its willingness to exert extreme violence in any community that the gang has a stronghold in. Recent examples of this violence include two young teenage girls killed in the state of New York as well as other recent killings committed by the gang in states such as the state of Virginia. The gang receives orders for hits from leaders in Central American' prisons, and the structure of the gang is difficult to infiltrate. The gang is fairly successful in adhering to the creed of "no snitching" as they use violence against those perceived to be working with authorities as a way to prevent their members from being willing to work with police.

Social disorganization theory and social strain theory are excellent for explaining some types of criminal gang activity, but this doesn't necessarily apply for a gang such as MS-13. According to officials who have tracked the gang and arrested members, the members don't typically make a wealth of money on drugs and other criminal ventures, which detracts away from the impetus for engaging in high levels of crime and violence because of an alternative subculture ...

Solution Summary

The Solution is in three parts: first it examines a national street gang; secondly it considers the Innocence Project, DNA evidence and wrongful convictions; and finally, it analyzes a critical issue from post 9/11 and how the public and political spheres are dealing with the issue.

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