Crime and Justice Process
1. Outline and explain the three key goals victims can pursue through the criminal justice system. Victims can pursue one or even a combination of three distinct goals. The first is too see to it that hard-core offenders who act as predators are punished, The second is to use the justice process as leverage to compel lawbreakers to undergo rehabilitative treatment. The third possible aim is to get the court to order convicts to make restitution for any expenses arising from injuries and losses.
Punishment is what comes to most people’s minds first, when considering what justice entails. Throughout history, people have always punished one another. However, they may disagree about their reasons for subjecting a wrongdoer to pain and suffering. Punishment is usually justified on utilitarian grounds as a necessary evil. It is argued that punishing transgressors curbs future criminality in a number of ways. The offender who experiences unpleasant consequences learns a lesson and is discouraged from breaking the law again, assuming that the logic of specific deterrence is sound.
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Making an example of a convicted criminal also serves as a warning to would be offenders contemplating the same act, provided that the doctrine of general deterrence really works. Some victims do not look to the criminal justice system to exact revenge by tormenting the lawbreaker in their names. Instead, they want professionals and experts to help wrongdoers become decent, productive, law-abiding citizens. Victims are most likely to endorse treatment and rehabilitation services if their offenders are not complete strangers.
They realize that it is in their enlightened self-interest to try to salvage, save, rescue, and cure troubled family members, other loved ones, friends, neighbors, classmates, or close colleagues at work. Rehabilitation might take the form of counseling, behavior modification, intense psychotherapy, detoxification from addictive drugs, medical care, additional schooling, and job training. As a third alternative, some victims seek restitution rather than retribution or rehabilitation.
They want the legal system’s help to recoup their losses and pay their bills, a necessary prerequisite for full recovery. Restitution collected from offenders can help to restore victims to the financial condition they were in before the crime occurred. Once offenders make amends monetarily, reconciliation becomes a possibility. 2. Discuss the reasons why a victim might choose not to report a crime the police including any role the victim might have as a facilitator, precipitator or provocateur.
Criminal Justice authorities want people to report, identify, and testify and have launched periodic campaigns to promote this theme. Officials fear that if would be offenders believe that their intended victims won’t complain to the authorities about their depredations, then the deterrent effect of the risk of getting caught and punished will be undermined. Furthermore, if the public provided more complete information about where and when crimes were committed, then crime analysts working for the police could more effectively anticipate where predators will strike next.
Victims who fail to report incidents forfeit important rights and opportunities, such as eligibility for services and reimbursement of losses through compensation plans, tax deductions, and insurance policies. Despite these appeals to self-interest incentives and civic responsibility, most individuals still do not tell the authorities about incidents in which they were harmed. A victim advocacy group pointed out that the millions of incidents that victims decide not to bring to the attention of the authorities each year reflect a continuing and widespread lack of confidence in the criminal justice system.
The persistence of this underreporting problem can be taken a evidence that police forces across the county have had only limited success over the decades in enlisting the public to cooperate more closely with law enforcements. In most jurisdictions, victims are not legally obliged to inform authorities about violations of law committed against them or their property. But if they go beyond silence and inaction, and conspire or collaborate in a cover-up to conceal a serious crime, they can be arrested themselves and charged with misprision of a felony.
The failure of witnesses to report certain kinds of offenses, especially the abuse of a child or an elderly person, is a misdemeanor in many jurisdictions. 3. Explain and discuss at least three reasons why police responses to victim calls are often delayed. When victims call for help, they expect officers to spring into action immediately. To meet this challenge, police departments have 911 emergency systems. But incoming calls have to be prioritized by dispatchers who determine each one’s degree or urgency.
Obviously, reports about immediate danger, such as screams for help in the night or concerns about prowlers or shots fired, merit a higher priority than calls about cars that have disappeared from parking spots If officers reach crime scenes quickly, they have a better chance of recurring someone who is in grave danger, catching the culprit, recovering stolen property, gathering crucial evidence, and locating eyewitnesses. Travel time in only one reason for delays.
Precious moments are lost most often and more importantly when victims and witnesses hesitate before reporting a crime in progress. There are several reasons for such citizen delay: Onlookers and even participants might be confused about whether an illegal act really occurred, victims and witnesses might want to first cope with emotional conflicts, personal trauma, and physical injuries, and them regain their composure before informing the authorities of what happened; or they couldn’t locate a telephone.
However, with the proliferation of cell phones since the 1900s, the amount of time lost until someone calls 911 out to become less of a problem. And yet, reducing the time elapsed on the police’s end remains a matter of life and death and ought to be a priority for pro-victim organizations to tackle. 4. Property crimes are solved at a much lower rate than homicides. Explain why this is so.
Victims who report crimes expect their local police and sheriff’s departments to launch investigations that successfully culminate with the apprehension of suspects and the seizure of solid evidence pointing to their quilt. The FBI’s UCR reveal a shocking conclusion: during the twenty-first century, police departments are having more trouble than ever in solving cases despite breakthroughs in forensic science, the proliferation of surveillance cameras, and the establishment of computerized database of known offenders and their fingerprints.
Taken collectively, the nation’s 17,000 federal, state, county, and municipal law enforcement agencies have never before had such a disappointing track record. This means that after fruitless searches for clues and lead, most people of property crimes and many who suffered interpersonal violence will find up feeling defeated by the lack of closure of their cases. Some widely publicized homicides that remain unsolved to date serve as a reminder that family members and close friends can suffer endless frustration if a killer gets away with murder.
Half of all closed homicide cases are solved within a week, and 93 percent are solved within a week, and 93 percent are solved within a year, according to a study of nearly 800 cases in four large cities during 1994-1995. Therefore, despite the establishment of cold case squads to re-examine old unsolved serious crimes, the prognosis is not promising if no one has been identified as a suspect after one year.
However, there is no statute of limitations for murder, so on the rare occasions a victim’s relatives are elated to learn that a killer who thought he had escaped the long arm of the law has been brought to justice. The FBI’s annual UCR calculates and publishes average clearance rates for each of seven index crimes for police departments across the country. In general, clearing crimes means making arrests. FBI guidelines instruct police departments to consider a case to be solved when it is closed by an arrest.