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Eight Questions: Crime, Sentencing, Criminal Behaviour, Drugs

Criminology
#1: Compare and contrast determinate sentencing and truth-in-sentencing practices. How would social problem and responsibility perspectives argue for one or the other?

#2: How would you respond to David Abrahamsen's statement, "The American dream is, in part, responsible for a great deal of crime and violence because people feel that the country owes them not only a living but a good living"?

#1: How do illegitimate opportunity structures assist in explaining delinquency and criminal behavior? How is this associated with different types of subcultures?

#2: What is a self-fulfilling prophecy? What role does this play in continued deviance?

#1: What reasons might people provide for not reporting property crimes to the police?

#2: Would the association between drugs and crime disappear if drugs were legalized or decriminalized? Should certain drugs be decriminalized? If yes, which ones? Why?

#1: Should regulating practices on the Internet be the responsibility of parents or the government?

#2: Of all current and possible strategies aimed at crime, which do you find most persuasive? Why?

Solution Preview

#1: Compare and contrast determinate sentencing and truth-in-sentencing practices. How would social problem and responsibility perspectives argue for one or the other?

Determinate sentencing is when a person who has been through the entire criminal justice process beginning with arrest, bail, trial, and sentencing; is subsequently sentenced to a determinate amount of time that he or she will spend in a correctional institution. The use of determinate sentencing would entail giving someone convicted of a murder life in prison as opposed to 25 years to life, which constitutes indeterminate sentencing. The reason why determinate sentencing is used is to give the defendant a determinate and definitive amount of time that he or she will be incarcerated. Therefore, someone who is given a determinate sentence will not have any chance of parole and must serve the entire sentence before he or she is released.

Truth-in-sentencing is a by-product of determinate sentencing because when someone requests truth in sentencing, they are quintessentially asking for the criminal to serve the entire sentence as opposed to obtaining the opportunity to gain parole before having completed their entire sentence. Therefore, there is no need to compare and contrast as they are one and the same. If a victim's family is seeking truth-in-sentencing, what they are really requesting is for the actual sentence to reflect the actual amount of time that the person convicted will serve.

#2: How would you respond to David Abrahamsen's statement, "The American dream is, in part, responsible for a great deal of crime and violence because people feel that the country owes them not only a living but a good living"?

This statement is actually rooted within the "Social Conflict" theoretical framework wherein the theory posits that people commit crime because of the lack of opportunities to achieve the "American Dream". The American Dream is promulgated as obtainable by anyone who seeks to work hard and achieve it, but this is a mirage or an illusion. Without the proper education, resources, and job opportunities, the American Dream is actually unattainable. Therefore, many people choose to attain this dream of prosperity and economic stability through criminal activities because they are barred from the traditional methods of obtaining wealth.

The reality in America is that many people are born and raised in communities that lack good schools, business investment, and social upheavals resulting in hopelessness and a sense of despair. To continue the pursuit of the American Dream that has been echoed throughout their lives, these people turn to criminal activity or a subculture to attain what is unattainable through traditional means. Therefore, the assertion that achieving the American Dream transfers into criminal behavior is an ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses eight questions regarding crime, sentencing, criminal behaviour and drugs.

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