Cultural Considerations

In this paper the author will examine and assess the culture concerns and influences in today’s society along with the mixed culture as it directly relates to the effect it has on the criminal justice system. The author will address how does the concerns of the culture effect justice and security administration and practices, contemporary methods used in societies with mixed cultures, how do these influences relate and affect nondiscrimination practices, and if the famous criminal justice historian Sir Robert Peels nine principles to organize a police department were presented today would these methods and theories work.

To begin this paper the author would have the reader look at some of the culture concerns society has on the criminal justice system. Some of these culture concerns would be explained in the community policing is based on Peel’s concept of prevention. Community policing has been embraced by many law enforcement organizations across our country.

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Community policing is based on its goal to prevent crime and promote better police-community partnerships. According to Friedmann Community policing requires an investment in training with special attention to problem analysis and problem solving, facilitation, community organization; communication, mediation and conflict resolution, resource identification and use, networking and linkages, and cross-cultural competency. Friedmann) In 1855, one of the critical author was known as Robert Peel that proposed a Bill which became law; entitled ‘Bill for Improving the Police in and near the Metropolis’, which became the basis for modern policing; because many early police archives have been destroyed, it is not certain that Peel did compose these nine principles that is still is being used as of today they are described as The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder; The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions; Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public;

The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force; Police seek and preserve public favor not by catering to public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law; Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient; Police, at all times, should maintain a elationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence; Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary; The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it. The question at hand is would Robert Peel’s famous nine principles to organize a police department work in today’s society.

The writer would extremely believe so because without having community policing in place citizens in any particular neighborhood would not have trust or respect in the police department, In return not having community policing set in place would end up in more frequent criminal activity along with less crime solving due to the citizens in the community not wanting to help the police. The writer would have the reader to believe that these types of practices are common in more upscale neighborhoods and that where the economics are flowing; on the other hand where poverty and drugs are relevant these practices are very rarely accomplished. Culture is an ever-present element of all societies.

The term ‘culture’ has evolved over time and continues to be used to describe various aspects of people such as farming, the arts, high society as well as traditions and ideological beliefs amongst different nationalities and social groups. Culture is always present whether it is in courtrooms or in the mass media. It can be defined in various ways, hidden or highlighted, attributed to some people and not others. According to the Webster’s New College Dictionary culture is defined as 1. ) The totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought typical of a population or community at a given time. 2. ) A style of social and artistic expressions peculiar to a class or society. 3. ) The predominating attitudes and behavior that characterize a group or organization. Webster’s New College Dictionary)

Culture directly affects the justice system and its administration practices because in some areas in the United States for example you might have a large population of blacks, whites, Arabs, Latino or Hispanics in a particular neighborhood and it is common knowledge that people are more comfortable with dealing with people of the same race and ethnicity. This writer believes when you have suchlike areas is places more pressure on the justice administration to make sure in those areas they are represented by that same race or ethnicity. When you have a police department that is not represented by the majority it becomes a major problem in that community due to the lack of knowledge the police have about a certain culture or cultures. Every person is raised in social and cultural environments that have a considerable impact on his or her individual identity, beliefs, values, and behavior.

Because individuals are entwined in culture during their life, it is important to expand awareness and understanding of how cultural issues impact systems and operations of justice and security. An important aspect of conflict between the police and some racial and ethnic groups is a lack of cultural competence on the part of police officers and police administration. Cultural competence is defined as the ability to understand and respond appropriately to differences in the languages, traditions, lifestyles, and patterns of communication of different racial or ethnic groups. According to the Washington, DC Bureau of the Census this is a special problem in communities that have experienced significant immigration.

Immigration trends are changing the face of the United States. The percentage of the population that is foreign born nearly doubled from 6. 2 percent in 1980 to almost 12 percent in March 2002. The new variety of languages and cultures in American cities presents new issues for police departments. (Washington, DC: Bureau of the Census, 2003). Demographics involve a variety of characteristics of specific populations. Characteristics without doubt change over time, are intricately linked to culture, and are reflected in predominant cultural beliefs and values. Demographics, as a reality of dealing with specified populations, have a direct link to cultural issues.

Some of The contemporary methods used in societies with mixed cultures by justice administration are training programs on different cultures, views and traditions, hiring of particular race or ethnicity, conducting enhanced methods of community policing to break the communication barriers between citizens and police, enrolled police into language classes, and remind department everyday about how important it is to serve and protect, maintain community trust and respect. According to the New York City police department, meanwhile, prepared a Fact Sheet on Arab communities. It includes the section “What Codes of Conduct Should I Know When Entering an Arab’s Home? ” It explains that in “many Arab Muslim households [people] remove their shoes at the door because carpeting is used for prayers. ( New York City Police Department) A number of departments have responded to the increased diversity of their communities by developing special outreach programs designed to establish closer relations and better understanding on the part of both the police and new immigrant communities.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina, police department created an International Relations Unit (IRU) in 2000, designed to reach out to all immigrant groups. The unit consists of six officers and a sergeant, all of whom are either fluent in a second language or who have an understanding of a second culture. (Omaha: University of Nebraska at Omaha, 2002). These are just some contemporary methods but to ultimately receive the best results justice administration must be proactive to be able to learn the new trends, ideas, and future threats and also should have monthly meetings and conferences with community leaders and other police departments to become aware of arising problems due to having these different ethnic groups and societies all living together with each other.

In conclusion the author would like to the reader believe that community policing will have a police department running smooth and proficient. Although crime will never end and continue to hinder our communities in negative aspects, the behavior conducted by these police departments will in fact help our community become a better place to live. Cultural deviance is crime that is learned in socially disorganized neighborhoods where criminal norms are transmitted from one generation to the next, so if we study these criminal norms as law enforcement officials and be open to learning different culture trends and views about why the crime is happenining we can become better law enforcement officials.

References

Friedmann, R. R. Community Policing: comparative perspectives and prospects Webster’s New College Dictionary 2008 (3rd Ed.). : Houghton Mifflin Company.

History of the nine principles of policing briefing document at magnacartaplus.mht

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/435980/law_enforcement_sir_robert_peels

New York City Police Department, Fact Sheet, New York City’s Arab Communities. Available on the Vera Institute Web site at www.vera.org.

University of Nebraska at Omaha and the Latino Peace Officers Association, Police Outreach to the Hispanic/Latino Community: A Survey of Programs and Activities (Omaha: University of Nebraska at Omaha, 2002).

Bureau of the Census, Hispanic Population in the United States: March, 2002 (Washington, DC: Bureau of the Census, 2003).

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