Introduction to Criminal Justice

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Transcript Introduction to Criminal Justice

Introduction to Criminal
Chapter 1
Intro to Criminal Justice
• What is a crime?
• What is a criminal?
• Have crimes changed?
• Who decides what a crime is?
• Do we have more or less
crimes today than 20 years ago?
Intro to Criminal Justice
• Crime: Conduct in violation of the
criminal laws of a state, the federal
government, or a local jurisdiction, for
which there is no legally acceptable
justification or excuse.
Crime Models
• Consensus Model
• Conflict Model
• Integrated Crime Model
Consensus Model
• Assumes that as people gather
together to form a society, its
members will informally come to a
basic agreement with regard to shared
norms and values.
• Assumes, to a certain extent, that a
diverse group of people can have
similar morals.
Conflict model
Assumes that different segments of
society, separated by social class,
income, age and race, will inevitably
have different norms and value systems
and struggle with each other to control
What is deemed criminal activity is
determined by whichever group happens
to be holding power at the time.
Integrated Definition of Crime
 Takes into account both consensus and
conflict models.
 Defines crime as any action or activity
which includes:
• Acts punishable by criminal law, as
determined by the majority of society, or a
powerful minority.
• Is an offense against society as a whole.
• Prosecuted by public officials.
• Punishable by statutorily defined sanctions.
Crime vs. Deviance
• Deviance is behavior which goes against
norms established by society.
• Deviance is subjective.
• Deviant acts are crimes only when a majority
accepts that those acts should be punished.
• Not all crimes are considered particularly
• Criminal law defines acts the legislature has
decided are so unacceptable, they must be
Types of Crimes
• Classified by seriousness
• Six general categories
– Crimes against persons (violence)
– Property crimes
– Public order crimes
– White collar crimes
– Organized crimes
– High-tech crimes
Violent Crimes
• Crimes against persons
• Four categories
Sexual Assault
Assault and Battery
Property Crimes
• Most common crime
• Four categories
Motor Vehicle Theft
Public Order Crimes
• Contrary to public values and morals
– Public Intoxication
– Prostitution
– Drug Use
• Linked to Consensus Model
• Known as “victimless crimes”
White Collar Crime
• Business related crime
• Non-violent illegal acts by a business or
individual to obtain economic
• Examples
– Martha Stewart
– Enron
Organized Crime
• Illegal acts by an organized group to
satisfy society’s demand for certain
goods and services.
– Gambling
– Prostitution
– Illegal substances
• Conspiratorial relationships
• Criminal tactics used---violence,
corruption, intimidation
• Do we
have organized
crime in Iowa?
High-Tech Crime
• Newest typology—Follows growth of
computer use by society
• Internet---Site for cyber crime
– Selling pornography
– Soliciting minors
– Fraud (credit cards, identity theft)
Classification of Crimes
• Felonies---Punishable by death or
incarceration of more than one year
• Misdemeanors---Punishable by
incarceration of up to one year.
Classification of Crimes in Iowa
• Simple Misdemeanors---Punishable by
maximum of 30 days in jail
• Serious Misdemeanors---Punishable by
less than one year in jail
• Aggravated Misdemeanors---Punishable
by maximum of 2 years imprisonment
• Felonies---Punishable by more than 2
years imprisonment
Money or Prison?
• How would I find the potential fine or
alternate sentence authorized or
proscribed by the legislature?
Iowa Laws
Class A Felony – life
Class B Felony – up to 25 years
Class C Felony – non habitual – up to 10
Class D Felony – non habitual – up to 5
• Class C and D habitual – up to 15
• Brainstorm a list of
changes in the laws
over the last several
Purpose of Criminal Justice
• “Criminal Justice system ‘protects
individuals and the community.’”
• 1967 President’s Commission on Law
Enforcement and Administration of Justice
Three general goals described:
Control crime
Prevent crime
Provide and maintain justice
Structure of Criminal Justice
• Federalism requires that government
powers are shared by the national
(federal) government and the states.
• Division of powers allows states to
exercise their inherent police powers.
• Most criminal justice employees work
for local systems.
Structure of the
Criminal Justice System
• Three parts of the Criminal Justice
– Law Enforcement
– The Courts
– Corrections
Structure of Law Enforcement
• Local Law Enforcement
– Includes counties and cities
– Chief enforcement officer in county is
– Most local officers employed by cities and
Local Law Enforcement Duties
• Investigate crimes
• Prevent crimes (also known as
• Apprehend criminals
• Participate in court proceedings
• “Keep the peace”
State Law Enforcement
Two general types of state agencies
State police
Highway patrols or state patrols
Other state agencies with specific
purposes---Fire Marshal, DCI, DNR,
Federal Law Enforcement
• Agencies with specific jurisdiction and
• FBI, DEA, Secret Service, Alcohol,
Tobacco and Firearms
Structure of the Courts
• Two independent court systems
– Federal system
– State system (50 states and D. C.)
– Both determine guilt or innocence of
criminal defendants
– Both have trial (lower) courts, courts of
appeals, supreme court
State Courts
• Magistrate – hears less serious
misdemeanors and small claims cases
• Associate District Court Judge – hears
OWI’s, misdemeanors, and civil cases
• District Court Judge – hears more
serious criminal cases and larger civil
• Court of Appeals/State Supreme Court
Judges– hear appeals.
Courts and Prosecution
• The City Attorney can prosecute for a
(usually ordinance violation)
• The County Attorney prosecutes state
• The United States Attorney prosecutes
federal cases.
Structure of Corrections
• Offenders may be sentenced to:
Community-based facility or program
Jail or prison
Fine (along with other alternative above)
Definitions of Sentencing
• Probation: Allows offender to return to
community under supervision
• Community-based program: Includes
halfway houses, residential centers, home
confinement, electronic monitoring
• Incarceration: In local jail (short term) or
prison (longer term, more serious crimes)
• Fine: Financial penalty; could be imposed
along with other sentence
Judicial Employees
• Federal
• State
• Local
• Total
Number of Law Enforcement
• Federal
• State
• Local
– Most come from agencies with less than
ten officers.
Corrections Employees
• Federal
• State
• Local
34, 776
Formal Criminal Justice
• A series of routine operations whose
success is gauged by likelihood of
passing a criminal case along to
“successful conclusion”
Criminal Justice Process
• Strives for order and discipline
throughout the procedures by which
the system meets the expectations of
• Does not function so smoothly as a
system in reality
• Actually is a balance between the
formal and informal processes
Informal Criminal Justice Process
• Each step in process is a result of
individual decisions made by those who
work in the system.
• Discretion: Using authority to choose
between and among alternative
courses of action.
• The criminal justice system uses
discretion to alleviate pressures.
“Wedding Cake” Model of
Criminal Justice
• Discretion comes to bear depending
on importance of case--1. Top layer---A few celebrity type cases
2. 2nd layer---”Higher profile” felonies
3. 3rd layer---”Ordinary” felonies
4. 4th layer---Misdemeanors
Question? --- Small Groups
• Should professional discretion be
allowed in the criminal justice system?
What are the pros and cons of
discretion exercised by
police, judges, prosecutors,
probation officers?
New Age Values in Criminal
• Crime control model
• Most important function of criminal justice
system is to punish and repress criminal conduct
• Law enforcement must control criminal activity
• Controlling crime is at least difficult, and
probably impossible
• Examples of this approach: airport searches,
hidden video cameras, officers searching your
valuables or back pack in subway.
Values of Criminal Justice
• Due Process Model
• Protect rights of accused through legal
constraints on police, courts and
• It should be difficult to prove guilt
• Assumes absolute efficiency in crime
control is achieved only if power of
state is absolute
Which model prevails?
• 1950’s, 1960’s was a “due process
• Expanded rights of the accused
• Severe limits on police powers
• 1970’s, 1980’s was “get tough on crime”
• Slowed down the due process revolution
• Restored some freedoms to police
Impact of Terrorism
• Terrorism became a central issue in
criminal justice after 9/11/01
• New laws strengthened ability of
federal law enforcement agencies to
investigate and incarcerate suspects
• Dramatic shift to crime control model
Gang Violence
• 30,000 street gangs of 800,000
members in U. S.
• Gang homicides increased beginning in
about 2000
• Gang violence increased partly due to
illegal drug trade and use of firearms
• 43 known gangs in Des Moines alone.
Gang Related Crime
• Previously focused on “super groups”--Bloods, Crips, Latin Kings, Gangster
• Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) attracting
national attention
• Roots in El Salvador in 1980’s
• Up to 10,000 members in 33 states
• Gang’s presence is driving up crime
rates in cities like L. A. and Chicago
Combating Gang Crime
• Move to increase the “cost” of crime
• 4 states---persons involved in gang
related murders may be executed
• Anti-loitering laws (Not normally a
• Use “immigration hammer” to detain
and deport gang members