Sociology 301 Midterm

1. A. Identify some key features of the criminal justice system in the United States. In other words: what makes the United States' criminal justice system unique compared to the rest of the world? In our justice system, we imprison lots of people. To take the percentage of the world, 5% of the world's population are imprisoned B. Identify parts of the criminal justice system where discretion/subjectivity is involved, according to this week's readings/lecture/podcast. All criminals are allowed lawyers to help them defend C. Why might discretion/subjectivity be a good thing? How might it be problematic/harmful? It shows just how stable our court system is, but it also a bad cause was allowing criminals to have a way out of justice 2. A. Identify some common explanations for mass incarceration. -War on drugs & racialization of criminality -Growth of private prisons/ profit move B. Affirm or debunk these explanations, based on your readings & lecture. -A lot of people are in prison due to drugs and or a racial allegations 3. Identify some of the consequences of mass incarceration at each of the following levels (at least three for each, and be specific!): A. Individual/personal-Economic B. Community/local-one fewer community member C. Society-wide/national-loss of income 4. A. What does it mean for crime and deviance to be socially constructed? Crimes become more elaborate and planned out over time B. Imagine you are explaining that crime is socially constructed to a friend. What is an example you might give to explain this? Robbing a bank 5. A. Which groups of people are disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system? Lower minorities B. Explain how this inequity manifests. Give at least one specific example. Lower minorities are more likely to be imprisoned because they struggle or it's a false allegation based on race 6. Identify how each of the big 3 theories might understand crime/deviance, as well as mass incarceration. For each one, come up with at least 1 question that theoretical perspective might ask about crime/deviance and mass incarceration. A. Structural functionalism-any obstructive behavior should be criminalized B. Conflict theory-our court system maintains society C. Symbolic interactionism-were all being controlled? 7. A. Based on this week's materials, your personal experiences, and content you've learned from other classes, what do you think the purpose of the criminal justice is? To set whats right after a crime and to punish the accused who have been caught committing obstructive behavior
B. Based on your above answer, which of the "big 3" theories best understands/theorizes the criminal justice system? Structural Functionalism C. Does the current criminal justice system deliver justice? They imprison the criminal 8. A. What do you think the purpose of the criminal justice should be? Should it be punitive or rehabilitative? Punitive B. Describe a criminal justice system in your ideal world/utopia. What would it look like? What changes would you make, if any? Would any aspects be removed completely? My ideal justice system would be how it is today, imprison criminals for 30 or so years and release them hoping they will try to be better and stay in touch with routine checkups C. What are barriers to achieving the criminal justice system you just described? No barriers, it already exists D. What does justice mean to you? Batman, enough said. 9. Write your discussion question for this week below. N/A
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