By Friday, November 29 (11:59 p.m. EST), students will be required to post a blog journal entry about a particular social problem/issue on a weekly basis related to the theme(s) discussed during the week. The post will thoroughly address the following: 
  1. A social problem or issue related to the theme of the week;
  2. A justification of why this particular social problem/issue was selected;
  3. An explanation of how this social problem/issue is relevant to the student AND to society;
  4. A description of the actions taken/that could be taken by the student to personally address/work on this social problem/issue; and
  5. Pose a question to classmates and instructor that is relevant to the blog post for the week.

Peer responses to this post are due on Wednesday, December 4 (11:59 p.m., EST).
 


Comments

Allyn Achah
11/29/2013 13:37

Prisoners are often looked upon as social misfits and some all-around dangerous people who are of no value to the society even when they come out, they face a number of problems. But while in prison, prisoners have a lot of problems and issues they face every day and although we think it doesn’t affect us personally, as tax payers, our money is used in funding prisons. One of the big issues prisoners face are health issues due to the lack of health insurance and medication. The prison agencies are taking steps to deal with health threats from acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The Justice Department reported that twenty-two thousand four hundred eighty state and federal inmates were infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Another issue prisons are facing is dealing with geriatric offenders; the ever rising number of America’s retired population has led to an increase in the number of elderly people who are behind bars. Due to the fact that there are a lot more elderly people and less opportunity and social security available to them, leads them to crime and thus to jail. In addition, mentally ill inmates make up another group which can lead to problem and tensions between inmates. The incidence of HIV among inmates are reported to be HIV-infected with five hundred-ten cases per one hundred thousand—more than three times as great and at one point, AIDS was the leading cause of death among prison inmates. In the past decade the amount of people in jail have more than doubled and being that we are living in this society, it is essential that we realize how much of a problem this is and how much it continues to affect us and will continue to if we don’t make a change. Little changes within our social lives like trying to do the right thing and stay away from crime or advising a friend to make better decisions about not making bad decisions that can eventually lead them to jail someday. On a bigger scale, you can start with your community and getting involved with programs or creating programs that teach children how to be better citizens and stay away from crime.
Question: Do you think parents or the society are to blamed for their children being in jail?

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Allyn Achah
11/29/2013 13:38

http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbse&sid=7

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Dakota Ayers
11/30/2013 21:51

Its very easy to point blame at those that didn't physically commit the crime, but for situations like this i feel as though it is the individual perpetrator that is at fault. Parents (most) will do their best at raising their child the "correct" way instilling with values and morals they see fit. Society will attempt to bend your perceptions and impact you in unimaginable ways. Despite outside influences it is the individual that decides to commit illegal acts and then continue with that particular behavior.
The children are the one's to blame for their own behavior.

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Teddy m
12/04/2013 18:43

No, I do not think parents or our society are to be blamed for children being in jail. Having the right behavior is all it takes to never see a prison cell, unless you are visiting on your own time. If children behave so bad that their own parents cannot discipline them, it is only right for the law to hand out disciplinary actions. Children who misbehave regularly may inherit bad habits as young adults, and will most likely not contribute to our society in a positive way.

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Adwoa
12/04/2013 23:54

I agree that the is not the blame all the time as to whether the child ends up in jail because in the world we live in today our youth loves to follow trends. There are too many followers and not enough leaders among our youth, everyone is so busy trying to be like everyone else even if it means getting into trouble and doing the wrong things.

IfiyaR
12/04/2013 21:35

I think society has to play a big part of children upbringing. I feel if the children have proper education, and parental guidance their outlook on crime would not be an issue and should keep them out of harms way. It takes a village to raise a child. Like the media role in portrayal of whats happening now can often be so negative, especially music that talks about drug use and crime can influence the young vulnerable minds.

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Adwoa
12/04/2013 23:58

Yes, society plays a huge role on children today its impacts us in many ways like music, tv, clothes, shoes, etc doesn't mean you have to engage in certain activities but our generation is often peer pressured into these things and feel as though its the cool thing today especially since we have celebrities doing various activities and sharing the experience so society, mainly young adults try them.

TyGrayWes
12/04/2013 23:01

I think the problem is deeper than that and you cannot necessarily point finger at the two. I think those children’s situation contributes to whether they end up in jail or not. Some parents are trying to provide for their children and cannot give the attention to their children as they would like. Some parents do not care and do whatever they want because they feel their children are holding them back and are in a way mistakes, so they do not give enough attention to their children as that child may need. Once that child follows the wrong crowd like drug dealers, other misguided kids, and in the wrong place at the wrong time anything can happen. Some kids live in poverty and do not have the right resources to go to get there education or show them how to go about making a resume or prepare them for a job interview, something they may have never experienced and are intimidated in going about finding a job. That child could be talked into easy money whether they are selling drugs themselves, being a robbery lookout or being involved themselves. Living in poverty, no health care, lack of education, and no thoughts of even going to college, can contribute to their overall outcome in life. Not having the proper resources and not being familiar with certain areas of life outside of your environment can intimidate someone and hold them back from pursuing an education. For those of you who may not be able to relate, how do you feel if you are insecure about yourself or your abilities? Do you really overcome them right away or do you let it hold you back sometimes or all the time. Lack of resources can be a great disadvantage when it comes to children, prisoners, immigrants, minorities, and etc. Children that do not have anyone looking out for them can be trapped in a system that often oppresses instead of helping them. Children without an mentor or teacher pushing them to college, cannot always make it out of that trapped system, and sometimes even being in the wrong place at the wrong time can destroy a kids life. For a prisoner, they can end up right back in prison after trying to get back on their feet because of the lack of resources. Until resources are evenly distributed like health care, education, jobs, social security, and medicine, we will continue to have a large poverty rate, incarceration rate, AIDS, and other problems.

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Sharifur S
12/04/2013 23:26

To an extent you could argue that both the parents and society does play a role in directly/indirectly causing a child to go astray. To a child, a parent is the greatest influence in their life and the family, if there are family issues then the child will be affected. For instance if there is a familial chain of sexual abuse going in the family, then the child in that family are more likely to commit sexual abuse or violence. Society has its blame due to the stigma that all people who been in jail are branded as "ex-convicts." This stigma follows the individual throughout his life and lessens his/her job opportunities and normal life. As a result, the individual is stuck in downward spiral of chaos in their life, leading to more depression and crime.

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Ajani Irish
12/04/2013 23:37

I believe parents play a role in their children being in jail in many cases but i can't say they are the full blame. If anything I would put more blame on their environment and individual circumstances. Parents contribute to the issue but they are only products of their environments and circumstances as well.

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Gema
12/05/2013 10:59

I think that parents, society, and other factors play a role in children winding up in jail. Sometimes the lack of discipline may lead to children committing crimes because they feel they can get away with it, but sometimes parents don't just neglect to discipline, other times they may not have the right knowledge or tools to know how to properly discipline. I think society plays a role because it influences how children make decisions and their attitude about what is right and wrong, starting from within their own community and also what is seen in TV and other media. A factor that I feel may play a huge role is mental health issues and lack of care for children. For some families, it is not easy to acquire mental health care, others do not believe in mental health issues and/or getting professional help for it. Not to mention that some mental health issues go un diagnosed. So the end of the day it is not simple to put blame

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Urban_Mason
11/29/2013 17:47

A social problem in America that needs to be addressed is the fact that prisons are now becoming more and more privatized. This means that private investors need to meet quotas to ensure that the state gives them funding. Laws nowadays do not take in account the cahnges in public opinion thus rendering many subject to outdated and unpopular laws and beliefs. This was selected because I myself and many of my friends have been at the mercy of the justice system. This is relevant because America houses more prisoners than any other country, hence why it's a topic for this weeks blogs. As a young man, the only confrontations i would have in court came from myself and the police fighting each-other. I have fought police dogs (while hand-cuffed) to fighting the police in Africa and Baltimore, these people sometimes need to be put in their place as many of them are cats that have been subjected to some psychological mis-givings brought upon within their childhood. While this last sentence is probably not relevant, its relevant to me, i have been stopped and frisked too many times by such cowards that i feel i understand their psyche .


Who really incorporates the criminal element in the U.S. ?\\


Professor:

To represent the system is to appear in such a way, but to fight the system is also as such; why are we subjected to this blatant discrimination, and by "we" , i mean those who are conscious of the bullshit?

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Gema
12/05/2013 11:13

Urban,

Thanks for sharing your personal experiences.

To answer your question, I think that people with power in society, government, and aspects of history&crime, incorporated the elements of crime in the U.S. They have changed over time, but I think they stem from the past, and will continue to change in the future.

Gema

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Tamru D
11/29/2013 19:03

One social issue that affects all of us is the length of time prisoners have to sit in jail for crimes that they have not committed. As you all can remember, I touched on this issue a little bit on my presentation. The short story of a young man, who was arrested for a crime that he never committed, which I wanted to show all of you in class is just one example of thousands.
Bronx resident Kalief Browder was walking home from a party when he was abruptly arrested by New York City police officers. A man whom Kalief never met before claimed that he was robbed by him a couple weeks ago. Based on the statement of this total stranger, Kalief was arrested by the police and thrown in to jail for three whole years. His family was not able to pay the $10.000 bail. Therefore, he did not have any other chance than sitting behind bars for three years until the district found out that he was totally innocent. During those three years, Kalief was physically abused and mentally challenged. He even tried to commit suicide for several times, which fortunately did not work out. Although nothing can return the years that he had lost while he was in prison, he is now suing the Bronx district and several prison officials for the punishment he endured. His lawyer says that the city needs to be hold accountable for their mistake. However, the city does not even confess their mistake and apologized for the “Crime” THEY did to this young man. One could argue, of course, the will not confess since they know that they would have to do it for many other cases, which would let the city officials really look bad. So, I think this issue is extremely important for me and the classmates as this could happen to all of us anywhere and at any given time. In addition, it affects a society or community as a whole. Not only because each person could experience this kind of injustice, but also because people like Kalief could still try to commit suicide, but this time, they are outside the prison system, with access to weapons, and they decide to take as many as possible with them. Now, a whole community can be affected by the unfortunate actions of desperate young men and women. Imagine everybody who is convicted for a crime he/she never committed would act that way. I believe the actions I could take to tackle this social issue is by addressing the unjust that has been done to men like Kalief to local Government officials that are reachable through emails or chart-rooms during certain times. As someone who is pursuing a public health degree, I am hoping to get enough chances to address this kind of important issues during my internships or other school related audiences.

Questions:
1. What do you think could be done to prevent people from such an injustice?

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ifiyaR
12/04/2013 21:43

I think the investigators should of done a through investigation. I know plenty of victims are thrown into jail like what Urban_Mason said for "private investors need to meet quotas to ensure that the state gives them funding." so meaning at any cost guilty or not you have a chance of spending the rest of your life there behind jail. Straight up unjust and is BS.

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Rachel Zelaya
12/04/2013 23:09

I think officers and officials need to make sure they are taking the right precautions when arresting someone like looking at evidence and other proof instead of just heresay. It seems as though some officers rush through cases just to get them over with instead of getting to the bottom of who is guilty.

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Adwoa
12/05/2013 00:01

I totally agree because my cousin was locked up for about 5 years of his life innocently just for being around a certain person. So 5 years of his life was gone to waste over foolishness, so police should do a lot more background check when locking an individual up because this stays with them for the rest of their lives.

Sharifur S
12/04/2013 23:34

The officers need to stop taking witness (victim) testimony at face-value. Often times the witness is usually inaccurate. For instance, people that have a gun pointed to their back by a robber usually cannot recall the exact facial structure or clothes the thief had at the time. The memory is very fuzzy to the witness and liable to be fabricated, so the police usually asks other bystanders for the criminal's features. Also, I am curious if there was any racial profiling in this case?

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Jen B.
12/04/2013 23:36

In order to protect people from these injustices I believe police officers and investigators should be put through a program while in police academy that addresses issues such as discrimination and racial profiling. Also, a need to tighten the consequences and make them harsher for those who abuse their badge. And last but not least, I believe continuing education like many professionals that hold licenses must already do, by completing "x" amount of hours per year in order to keep their practicing licenses; police officials should be obligated to do the same and these programs of continuing education should be in part based on discrimination and social injustices.

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Gisele
12/06/2013 18:09

It seems to me that the tragic story you recount falls under the vast umbrella of injustices committed by the New York Police Department against people of color. To be sure, the problem of police injustice against minority Americans is prevalent all across the country, but the NYPD's policies are especially despicable. In the past, the department has openly admitted to frisking young black and Hispanic men at disproportionate rates, and what's more, these statements have been accompanied not by apologies but by outright refusals to change. Police in New York insist that black and Hispanic men are "suspicious", more likely to commit any kind of crime, and drawing attention to themselves through "suspect" clothing and gestures, a victim-blaming argument that recalls "justifications" for why women are raped. Just like rapists, and not victims, are the problem, police frisking, and not the "suspiciousness" of black and Hispanic people, is to blame. Police presence in New York is on the rise due to increasing tourism to the city and increased fears of terrorist attacks post-9/11; these factors have caused the police department to more aggressively pursue "criminals" since the early 2000s. Manhattan especially bristles with police, and it is in Manhattan that many "random" friskings take place. Other areas of the city continue to suffer from the decades-long aggression and suspicion that characterize American police interactions with people of color. If the NYPD would put an end to its openly, even proudly racist frisking policy, it could have a great positive influence on police departments across the nation. It seems cruelly ironic that while police relentlessly frisk black, Hispanic and "Middle-Eastern looking" men, predominantly white bankers are freely wrecking our society on a grander scale in one of the nation's hotbeds of crime, Wall Street.

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Gisele
11/29/2013 19:12

One social problem relating to this week's theme of crime and criminal justice is the treatment of juvenile offenders, whose crimes range from school misbehavior to minor shoplifting to major theft of automobiles. In "Prison Health and the Health of the Public: Ties that Bind", author Natasha H. Williams states, "Rather than mirroring the general population, the proportion of people of color in U.S. prisons and jails mirrors economic and educational disparities in society as a whole. Many did not follow the path to prison of their own volition; they were pushed onto this pathway (Williams, 2006)." With this statement, Williams alludes to the "prison pathway" in place in the United States, where youths (disproportionately black and Hispanic, and disproportionately in chaotic inner-city schools) who skip school, assault other students, or are caught with alcohol or drugs (even mild drugs like marijuana) are suspended indefinitely or sent immediately to juvenile disciplinary facilities, where they serve sentences far too long for the supposed "crimes" they have committed. However, the existence of this "prison pathway" is a reality in suburban and rural school systems as well, particularly large systems who do not deign students' welfare important enough to treat them holistically, like individuals.

In poor areas of Washington, D.C., sending misbehaving students to serve time in juvenile facilities is a regular reality. These students live in cramped quarters with other minors who have often committed far more serious crimes, enmeshing new arrivals deeper in criminal circles and exerting a negative influence that remains long after students are released. Juvenile detention centers disrupt students' education - education being a crucial factor in lifting these low-income youths out of poverty - and isolates them from healthy social influences. When they return from detention, they must often repeat grades, and due to the often-fragmented nature of poor urban families, their caretakers (parents, single parent, grandmother, aunt or foster parent) may no longer be able to care for them. This punitive approach creates harmful psychological responses in impressionable adolescents' minds, priming them for a lifetime of resentment towards authority and thus setting them up as easy prey for the criminal justice system.

Suspension is also an ineffective tactic in the treatment of juveniles who have committed "crimes". High schools, and middle schools, are frequently host to absence (truancy), fights between students (assault/battery) and drug/alcohol distribution (underage possession/drug possession). Parentheses indicate the more punitive language used to refer to these crimes by school and criminal justice authorities. The ineffectual and cruel treatment of juvenile offenders was brought to light several years ago in the case of Nick Stuban, a high school junior at W.T. Woodson high school in Fairfax County, Virginia. Stuban was apprehended by school authorities and found to be in possession of a drug that simulated the effects of marijuana. It was not clear whether the substance was even intoxicating. The drug was not common, nor was its distribution associated with violence, yet Stuban was detained and questioned mercilessly by a Fairfax "juvenile investigative board", which resembled a court and created a hostile environment, and then swiftly suspended for the remainder of the school year with no further opportunity to state his case. He would have been forced to repeat a grade due to the suspension. However, Stuban committed suicide. The despair of isolation from his peers and charges surrounding the "drug" drove him to take his life; he may have believed that his future had been ruined, and indeed, the Fairfax juvenile investigative board has perhaps contributed to decreased horizons for many adolescents who have been through its brutal system. It was belatedly discovered that Stuban was being raised by his chronically ill single mother, whom he had to care for intensively in a highly stressful home environment. Stuban's mother died soon after Stuban committed suicide. Stuban was a star linebacker at the school and was not a known "troublemaker" or problem student. The Fairfax County public school system's cruel interrogation and suspension of Stuban on minor offenses created a tragedy made even more heartbreaking by the fact that it was entirely avoidable. Stuban was an innocent young man drawn into a cruel web by a system convinced that he was bad and on the road to committing more acts seen as serious "crimes" in the eyes of the law. Instead, he committed suicide and the world lost a solid individual's contributions.

Stuban's case was extensively covered by the front-page section of the Washington Post over a series of months. It incited a response in parents to lobby the county to change its needlessly punitive policies. The case was made all the more shocking by the fact that it occurred in wealthy, subur

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Gisele
11/29/2013 19:13

Wow! The latter half of my post just disappeared. Apparently it was too long. Let me try to retype it.

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Gisele
11/29/2013 19:39

*suburban Fairfax County. However, such cases are left untouched by newspapers and other forms of media when they occur (with much higher frequency) in lower-income, disadvantaged schools and involve minority students. I was fortunate enough to attend a predominantly white, middle class high school where teachers and administrators fostered a cordial, welcoming environment towards students, frequently reminded them that they were being treated as adults, and encouraged them to seek help with teachers or school counselors if they were experiencing academic problems or problems stemming from their lives outside school. Five absences were permitted before a student became in danger of failing a course; detailed instructions were provided allowing students and parents to appeal the case. Drug possession was met with firm scolding by the official who discovered the drugs (usually marijuana), but students were never referred to police for first offenses, and when repeat drug possession became an issue, they were sentenced to community service rather than suspended. One fight occurred at my school in the four years I was there, and it was over within seconds. The formal juvenile justice system was rarely involved in student cases. I attribute the friendly, academics-focused environment of the school to the positive attitudes extended by educators to students. In a perfect world, such an educator/student relationship would exist in all schools; however, school and law officials have been influenced by the systematic racism that has persisted in the United States since its inception as a nation, and they consequently associate poverty and minority status with criminality. Poor and minority students are treated as more likely to offend, and officials regard them with mistrust and crack down more harshly when these students do commit "crimes". In areas such as D.C., this often means swift referral to juvenile justice facilities, where psychologically impressionable adolescents foster a resentment towards authority that often lasts a lifetime, making them ideal prey for the adult criminal justice system. I wonder if my teachers would have extended the same respectful, trusting attitude towards students if they had been working in a poor, urban, or minority-predominant school. Just as I benefitted from racism as a middle-class white student, countless poor black and Latino students suffer. Systems such as the Fairfax County juvenile offender system must be abolished without a second thought. These systems do not prosecute criminals; they create them. Educators must be trained in a holistic system of conflict management, and they must be trained to understand that minority status, poverty, mental health problems and other environmental stressors contribute to students' performance in school. As it stands, innocent students are being guided into the prison system more often than not by the circumstances of their birth. With the combination of ignorance and willful malice, educators are committing greater crimes than the students they perceive as criminals in the making. If we stopped our current trend of interrogating students, suspending them and packing them off to life-disrupting juvenile correctional facilities, we would see far fewer prisoners in America.

Question for classmates: How early do you believe educators begin categorizing children as problems, offenders or future criminals based on race, economic status or other factors of marginalization? Is it possible that children as young as nine or ten are already being primed for a life as "suspicious" or "dangerous" individuals?

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Sharifur S
12/04/2013 23:52

The answer to your first question, perhaps when the children are in their early teens (late middle school or high school). That's the age where children begin to express themselves and are transitioning to adulthood a.k.a. the turbulent years. Although, I may be bias when I say that from my own experiences and due to the mass media's influence that regularly show troubled teens and reality shows with such children. Educators can have their own biases towards races, genders, and religions.

For your second question, it is definitely possible for children get labels as early as nine or ten or even earlier. For instance, if the one of both of the child's parents are criminal or ex-convicts, the child might be bullied by other children for being "the child of a convict." Other people will view the children differently by sayings things like "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree" whenever the child in question does something bad or makes a mistake. When a person goes to jail they receive a stigma known as "convict" and their children and family also receive it. Similar to guilt by association in a sense.

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Sharifur S
11/29/2013 22:06

One growing social problem is the overpopulation and lack of healthcare along with some other problems associated with the inefficient prison system. The overpopulation and lack of resources such as adequate health care bring a considerable amount of health risk to prisoners if they are raped for instance and contract HIV, then they are released from jail and have relationships with other people and thus spread more sexually transmitted diseases like HIV or Syphilis. Comparing the US prison population to that of Europe, the US has much higher populations, while in Europe the incarceration rate is much lower because they have effective social programs and adapted to alternatives means of punishment other than jail.

One way to deal with the overpopulation of prisons is to decriminalize a significant number of laws such as drug possession and create more social programs to keep people out of prison. The Prison system is a very draconian system which should only have people who have committed violent crimes to be in them and not those people who have committed a civil offense. Maintaining a running a prison is very costly and tax payers will have to foot the bill, as the prison population increases then so will taxes. Another major reform that needs to be in place is the abolishment of the death penalty, which could potentially execute an innocent man for a crime he/she did not commit. Due to new forensic technology or advanced medial practices the new methods could prove their innocence.

Question:
What other alternatives can you think of as substitute to sending a person to jail? (You can be as creative as you want in your answer)

Sources: Prison Health and the Health of the Public: Ties that Bind (Natasha Williams)

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Dakota Ayers
11/30/2013 22:15

Create reform systems and rehabilitation centers as a pre-jail supplement to give individuals a chance to try and realize the error of their ways. This program could be similar to jail in that it would be live in but the inmates would have much more responsibilities, such as writing and reading assignments to keep their brains active and this may also reduce the amount psychotic outbreaks and rapes because they would be more preoccupied. If the inmates failed to do assignments or displayed lack of effort there could be a penalty system that would lead to the jail system we have in place now. I suppose my idea is closer to a replacement for parole or something. or
send the perpetrator to the individual(s) wronged and make them face the consequences of their actions with little to no legal limiltation or supervision depending on the severity of the crime.

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Nandi
12/04/2013 18:54

Suspended Sentences - judges can delay prison sentences under certain circumstances. Probation - a person sentenced to probation must satisfy certain conditions during the probationary period. Fines - fines are money paid to the government as punishment for a crime. Restitution - a person convicted of a crime may have to compensate their victims. Court Ordered Community Service - courts can require convicted defendants to perform community service. Deferred Adjudication / Pretrial Diversion - these programs offer defendants a chance to avoid a criminal record.

http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-procedure/alternative-sentences.

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Melissa
12/04/2013 21:22

An alternative I can think of instead of sending a person to jail is to have them report to someone that keeps them in check. Kind of like the typical probation officer but you need to have them really take their time with each individual to actually see a change. Make sure they are employed and residing in decent living conditions to show they are a good asset to the community.

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TyGrayWes
12/04/2013 23:03

I do agree with a lot of what you said, in Europe there are programs like those especially in urban communities, but a lot of the programs here are not properly funded and the lack of resources do affect prisoners. A lot of prisoners are going to jail for drug related situations. The people putting prisoners in jail are some of the people that fund drugs in those neighborhoods and in the country. I do not think prisoners should be in jail unless it is for murder, rape, and other really serious crimes. Some solutions that might be effective are decriminalizing a significant number of laws, increasing funding of programs that are already in place, making sure we get the right resources to those who need it, providing health care, programs that help them back into society, and giving them the ability to learn trades that can actually give them jobs when they are out of prison.

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Rachel Zelaya
12/04/2013 23:19

I think the best thing is decriminalizing crimes like you said. Another option could be Rehabilation centers or programs/organizations that help people get job training or drug treatment. This could help get people off the streets and find other means of income.

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Jen B.
12/04/2013 23:41

I believe for minor civil crimes, before an individual is sent to prison they should have to not only attend vigorous hours of community service but also the judicial system should place a mentoring and big brother type of program. Individuals, especially young ones would benefit from having positive role models especially if they are seeing them consistently once a week or more for a year consistently. These individuals are bound to rectify their ways with the proper guidance and encouragement from someone they will end up looking up to.

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Tram T.
12/04/2013 23:57

The best alternative for putting someone in jail would be having someone to watch over them and monitor them. I dont necessarily mean have a stalker or something but more of someone who keeps tracks of how there days are spent. Another alternative could be giving them certain amount of community service hours, but also a service that can show the harms of their crime.

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Gema
12/05/2013 11:19

For one, I agree with decriminalization of certain laws. Certain minor offenses should be penalized differently before sending off to jail. Maybe high fines along with mandated community service would be a good idea. Also instead of proposing rehabilitating programs, they should always be required and for an extended amount of time.

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Nandi
11/29/2013 22:37

The social problem associated with the theme of the week is mental health in the prison systems. The U.S. boasts the highest incarceration rate in the world; we imprison more of our own citizens than any society in human history. Of the 2.3 million people that occupy our jails and prisons, over 60 percent of inmates are nonviolent offenders. These are people who pose no threat to society and would benefit much more from rehabilitation programs, mental health treatment, and/or other social services than from spending years behind bars Because prisons were never designed to serve as mental health facilities, today they find themselves entirely unprepared to handle the mass quantity of people with mental illnesses that populate the system. Prisons generally fail to address the underlying issues that confront people with mental illnesses, often even exasperating these conditions. Many prisoners have mental health problems. 72% of male and 70% of female sentenced prisoners suffer from two or more mental health disorders. 20% of prisoners have four of the five major mental health disorders.10% of men and 30% of women have had a previous psychiatric admission before they come into prison. Neurotic and personality disorders are particularly prevalent - 40% of male and 63% of female sentenced prisoners have a neurotic disorder, over three times the level in the general population. 62% of male and 57% of female sentenced prisoners have a personality disorder. Also women in prison are twice as likely to have an eating disorder as women in the general population
Questions .
What can we do, as citizens, to pressure for improving the care and treatment of the mentally health, especially those in prisons and jails?
Source; www.prisonreformtrust.org.uk/ProjectsResearch/Mentalheal

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Ajani Irish
12/04/2013 23:52

We should make sure to check with the mentally ill to get their opinions on their treatment. We also should make sure to have systems in place that constantly check these places on a weekly basis at minimum. While checking these places to make sure the mentally ill is being properly taken care of we should check all cameras, check the health of the patients and make sure their health is in tact and not depleting. We also need the public to band together and bring awareness towards this issue to put pressure on these systems that are or will be put in place.

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Gisele
12/06/2013 18:27

Nandi,

I agree with your argument, and the statistics you provide on the mental health of prison inmates are devastating. I don't doubt that the vast majority of prisoners suffer deep emotional upset from the trauma of being convicted, tried and imprisoned. However, I wonder about the tactics used to classify prison inmates as mentally ill. I'm taking an introductory psychology course, and last class we discussed the difficulty in assessing intelligence, a trait that, like mental illness, is quite difficult to pin down. Tests of intelligence or academic proficiency, such as the IQ or SAT, are often designed by the most privileged members of society, and as such, they often fail to evaluate the less privileged, placing them disproportionately in the categories of unintelligent, academically failing or, in this case, mentally ill. I wonder if this isn't the case with some of the statistics you provided. In particular, the statistic that 62% of male and 57% of female inmates have personality disorders seems suspicious to me. First, personality disorders are a vague categorization subject to constant editing and renaming by the Disagnostic Statistical Manual (the prevailing reference publication of mental disorders). Second, it is widely known that the poor and people of color, and other disadvantaged groups, are disproportionately imprisoned. It seems highly likely to me that these people have been evaluated incorrectly. When half or the majority of inmates are slapped with the label of "personality-disordered", the problem lies not with inmates, but in the system of privileged people administering these tests. What these statistics tell me is that most inmates' personalities, and identities, are negatively impacted by the categorization and dehumanization that their more privileged oppressors force upon them.

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TMerella
11/29/2013 22:55

The social problem that I would like to discuss is crime among black teens in major cities such as Chicago. I selected this issue because of all the gun violence in Chicago, and because it is killing a specific population, black youth. This problem not only affects the black youth involved in the violence but other people and youth in the community as well. Because there is so much gun violence in Chicago certain hospitals refuse to treat people for gun wounds, this means having to be taken to a hospital across town, and possibly dying on the way. What if you are just an innocent by stander who happens to get shot by a stray away bullet? And even if you are involved does that mean you have no rights to proper health care? I think there needs to be more programs for the youth in Chicago that teach them about their history and how to be successful through education. I feel that if more black youth knew more about their history they would be fighting to make a difference in the inequality in America, and not fighting against each other. One thing that I am in the process of doing is getting a degree in Health Fitness, eventually I would like to develop programs that specifically help people in the black community to learn how to keep themselves healthy and holistic healing. I also want to learn how to farm and to develop a program where I would teach black communities to grow their own food.
In what ways do you think the violence in Chicago should be addressed?

http://www.city-data.com/crime/crime-Chicago-Illinois.html

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Dakota Ayers
11/30/2013 22:26

The state government needs to focus on the cities that need help the most and develop programs funded by the state and federal government so low-income families can participate without causing additional financial stress. These programs should be focussed on reducing crime rates and death rates, increasing education and development of vocational skills as well. In order to address issues like this we must first address the cause - economic/financial inequality.

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Manyi F
12/04/2013 09:38

I think that the Violence in chicago is already been adressed many times but people just dont want to take action or deal with it.There are many other cities in The U.s. whre this issue exist and people just usaully shift under the rug.I also think that there should be programs that can help the people in chicago rebuild their city.They should also focus on educating the youth since they are going to be the future.If we educate the youth we can break the continuing cycle and also reduce the crime.

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Teddy m
11/29/2013 23:24

One social fragmentation that is problematic in our society is internet crime. It seems as if almost everyone is associated with a social network over the internet (MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc), meeting new people online everyday. We need to take precaution of who we decide to share personal information with. It is not wise to carelessly talk to a stranger online, not really knowing his or her past relationships. Anything can happen when you meet up with someone you thought you took the time to know. Social networks are filled with thieves, crooks, and criminals looking to cause chaos in our society. Again, it is your responsibility to be aware of who you interact with on the internet.

Question: What specific ways can we help prevent internet crime?

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Nandi
12/04/2013 19:11

Be wary of providing personal information via a website you know nothing about, especially those that ask for your name, mailing address, bank account number or social security number. Also, people need to ensure they log out of their social networks after using other people's devices. I've notice people forget to log of their facebooks at the computer lab and anybody can get their personal information.

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TMerella
12/04/2013 19:53

Well I agree that the internet can contribute to crime by giving people easier ways to take advantage of people or bully people. There are lots of scams on the internet that if your not aware of you can be taken advantage of and have your money stolen. There is also a lot of hate and racism that goes around on the internet because it is easier for people to sit behind their computers and put others down. Cyber bullying has caused some teens to commit suicide. The internet also makes it easy to steal music, movies, software, and lots of other things that you are supposed to pay for. And I do think social networks can be dangerous in meeting people because people can pose as whoever they want on the internet and show only the side they want you to see. This can attract pedophiles, or anyone who could have negative intentions to hurt someone. I think crime that is committed through the internet can be regulated on a personal level by setting restrictions on your computer and making sure your not freely giving your information out on the internet.

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Melissa
12/04/2013 21:06

One huge thing that can be done to prevent internet crimes is by not talking to anyone you haven't met in person ever in their life. So if you don't know the person personally don't bother speaking to them. By opening them your trust is how people end up getting hurt putting your business out to complete strangers really puts your life in danger. Trust should always be earned not straight forward given out.

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Allyn Achah
12/04/2013 21:36

I believe that solving this problem starts with us. Making sure that we expose as little as possible online because there hackers online ready to take whatever information and steal as much as they want. Making sure that whatever website you visit is secure and also what ever password you have keep it to yourself and not share the information with just not everyone.It is also necessary to check and make sure we are safe by using resources like life lock to make sure no one else is using our information.

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TyGrayWes
12/04/2013 23:05

I think we should all be more aware of simple things we do online that put our personal identity in harm’s way, whether it’s your social security number, your address, phone number, or bank account information. Choosing to email personal information can compromise the safety of your identity. Making sure you secure your Wi-Fi information, syncing information, sharing information with a more complicated password than 1234 and take the time to personalize the standard usernames and passwords instead of using the default ones, can all prevent your passwords from being easily figured out. I think because in our busy lives or lonely lives we can sometimes be careless when it comes to the simplest things and we need to be more aware. Not everyone is dangerous online, a lot of people do talk online because they may not have a social life and are insecure about their identity. There are some people that steal other people’s identity because they are insecure about themselves like on the TV show Catfish. Everyone should just be more aware because at the end of the day do someone can easily be dishonest online. A lot of people get tricked online for many reasons but i think it is only because they do not fully understand the danger in giving out personal information or even letting someone into your life. Those are the only ways I feel we can truly prevent internet crimes in its entirety.

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Rachel Zelaya
12/04/2013 23:27

People should be taught how to spot when they are being scammed or how to detect when a website is not credible. A lot of people get their identity stolen by using certain information on sites that are not credible.

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Gisele
12/06/2013 18:38

Education about Internet-related crime is definitely in order for Americans to protect themselves from scams, phishing, stalking or bullying that may occur over the Internet. I am reminded by Teddy's initial post and the discussion that followed that "Internet literacy" - that is, the ability to use a computer for basic tasks, understand web browsing, type, use email, etc. - really is a privilege. The elderly, the poor and the very young in particular are at risk for Internet crime because of their lack of sufficient exposure to computers and the Internet. My grandmother has been scammed twice by giving her credit card number to email scammers; in her late eighties, she has only recently learned to type and remains confused by actions that seem simple to those with the privilege of Internet literacy, such as typing in a web address, Googling something and entering her password. Since the Internet is almost second nature to many middle class people in the 18-34 age group, we tend to forget that being scammed or otherwise victimized online is a very real possibility. It's important to remind ourselves of how enmeshed in the Internet we have become, how we first became accustomed to it and how it remains a foreign place for many people "left out" of exposure to the Internet's workings by age or socioeconomic status.

IfiyaRanger
12/05/2013 00:05

I love social media but i am a soul who is very aware of the dangers out there. But to protect identity thats proved to be more problematic, that being expected with the a lot of social media,online banking\accts\paypal, and etc. So i think as society we should all make sure we change up our passwords create a privacy preference and keep things regulated and become accepting to change, also do your homework if things seem fishy. Yea,"Catfish" on MTV is a great show to prove this social issue as far as dating goes. If not then that's were you fall in the system of identity theft,hacked or just flat out catfished. -_-!

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Melissa
11/29/2013 23:24

A social problem that is pretty big at the moment is the people that reside in prison are not receiving the proper rehabilitation that they are suppose to. Originally that was the whole purpose of people going to prison to receive help to better themselves and be an asset to society. Now inmates just sit around letting time go by them there are some programs but not all inmates take part in them. They should be obligated to participate to actually do something with their time. By letting the inmates free without actually accomplishing anything puts millions of people in danger of this individual who already has a history. First time offenders are likely to act upon that same action again. Something that can be done to minimize this acts of violence is by making a mandatory law that those who are released from prison have to keep updated and take part in a rehabilitation program since not all will receive it while doing their time.

what other things do you think can be done increase the amount of rehabilitation giving to inmates?

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Manyi F
12/04/2013 09:29

I think that they should make a law that makes Rehabilitation mandatory in for these them to be released back into society.The U.S. justice system needs to take action and create stricter laws so that make sure these inmates are getting the rehabiltation that they need. Rehabiltion is strongly needed so these people wont end up back in jail again.This is an issue that i am just learning about and i like the fact that you brought it up.

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Teddy m
12/04/2013 18:49

I think they need to add more security within prison cells to better protect prisoners. I believe if less prisoners are not bullied by other inmates, more prisoners would be more willing to participate in rehab activities.

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Allyn Achah
12/04/2013 21:14

I believe that if rehabilitation is a recommendation for inmates, then I believe that it would be made more accessible to all inmates.Getting help in jail can definitely get help inmates when they get out of jail because getting back into the system can be quite difficult but if it starts once they get to jail, it will be easier, once they get out.

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Jen B.
12/04/2013 23:27

As the last article we read titled "Crime" by Tonry, he made a very crucial point that prior to the 1970s probation officers mission was to rehabilitate and reintegrate cons into society, and after that time period probation officers philosophy was to keep cons under surveillance. Treating ex-cons like criminals once released from prison with constant supervision has a negative effect on them. Ex-cons should be released from prison with hope for the future and the first person they tend to come in contact with after release are probation officers, thus it's the officers that need to encourage, and reintegrate these individuals back into society by placing them in mentoring programs or community service programs, so they can have a positive outlooks towards the future. Also, the government needs to make their laws more lenient when it comes to hiring ex-cons for employment especially if they are minor crimes.

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Tram T.
12/04/2013 23:54

I think to increase the amount of rehabilitation given to inmates can be done by rewarding those who do participate in the rehabilitation. If the inmates knew that were being rewarded or given something for their participation they would more likely want to do it.

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TyGrayWes
11/29/2013 23:56

Racial profiling is a social problem that relates to our Crime & Criminal Justice theme of this week. Thinking about our class discussion this week, I remembered I was asked by a guy on the block around my age, while having a conversation with him, have I ever been locked up? I told him no, I have not, and he was really shock and surprised. I also remember last week, me and my girl were on our way to U Street to hit the club, and a black police officer stop us because the car lights was off. A black officer, who sound like he could be Jamaican or from the Islands, basic thought she was being disrespectful because she was explaining to him there something wrong with the high beam and low beam switch, it showed on the inside car indicator that low beam lights were on and she fixed the lights and show him, and he was trying to prove he was the authority and she should stop talking and listen. He said she had a attitude which she did not, she was explaining the situation calmly. As he kept shinning this flash light in the car to find something dirty, which we had nothing dirty in the car. I began to get angry because I seen he was trying to provoke her so he could lock us up. That was not the first time we have been stopped because we were driving while being black and that will not be the last.
Racial profiling is the cause for the majority of black males being incarcerated. Black males end up going to jail for a petty crime or way more time than a white male gets for something maybe worse. Black males end up spending a long period of their lives in jail, and when they do finally get out it is extremely hard to get another chance and find a job. If the black male is a father or has responsibilities, it leaded him back in jail, and doing the same things to get quick money in his pocket. This affects society because anyone could be the victim of those crimes that male has been lead back to. Tax payers are affected and the crime and violence becomes a cycle for black men mostly living in poverty. That black man could be a college student, resorting to selling drugs to pay for tuition or books, or to take care of him because there are not enough jobs out here.
There should be more programs that help prisoners getting out find a job, after they have been through a recovery program and have proven themselves.There should also be more programs to help kids with parents locked up, to help them graduate high school. Give them resources to successes, like tutors and/or advisor, and counselors. Help those prisoners get health insurance for themselves and their families. One less thing for him to worry about if anything happens to him, one less bill to worry about. Even prisoners having health care and having something to hope for when they get out, could solve or reduce a lot of issues going on in prisons. As a man and a black man it is always about surviving and taking care of yours, which can be stressful and you can feel trapped. Having options is always good because it is easier to work around your situation.
Do you think racial profiling contributes to the incarceration rates of black males and why?

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TMerella
12/04/2013 20:34

I believe that is a major factor of why there are so many black men in prison today. There are too many stories of black people being pulled over and wrongfully asked to step out of the car. I think cops also take advantage of young, specifically black teens because they know that there are a good amount of teenagers who start experimenting with drugs, so they will randomly stop any young black person in hopes that they are carrying drugs, and it usually only takes a little bit of weed for a cop to harass and throw someone in jail. I think that there should be tickets or fines given to people that are caught with say a small amount of marijuana, instead of throwing them in jail and possibly creating a cycle of crime for that person.

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Manyi F
11/29/2013 23:57

One social problem is would like to address is racial disparities in incarceration.I think this issue is important because racial minorities are being overrepresented in U.s prison and jails, while whites are underrepresented. One in every three black males born today can expect to go to prison at some point in their life, compared with one in every six Latino males, and one in every 17 white males (Huffingtonpost). Racial minorities are more likely than whites to be arrested, once arrested, they are more likely to be convicted; and once convicted, and they are more likely to face harsher sentences. According to Justice Department data cited in the report, police arrested black youth for drug crimes at more than twice the rate of white youth between 1980 and 2010, nationwide. Yet a 2012 study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that white high-school students were slightly more likely to have abused illegal drugs within the past month than black students of the same age(Huffington post).Racial disparity is a violation of human rights and is and is an issue should be addressed.One way the U.s cans stop racial disparity is by changing it criminal policies and making it that everyone gets a free trial.

Why do you think that Racial minorities are most likely to be incarcerated? is it a racial thing ?

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Melissa
12/04/2013 20:56

I believe they are probably most likely to be incarcerated because of the views society has on minorities. If we see a Hispanic guy with tattoos and sagging pants we assume they are part of a gang the same with a Black guy. These minorities are stereotyped and targeted in police daily rounds they go where they expect to get an outcome out of and to their luck they always get one or two individuals to take into custody. I high agree this is a racial thing because of the way minorities portray themselves to society.

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Allyn Achah
12/04/2013 21:21

I do not believe it is a racial thing but rather its a "thing" due to our circumstance. Based on neighborhoods minorities live in, and the kind of job opportunities available and lower levels of education can lead to high crime when people are trying to survive due to the levels of poverty.Being that mostly minorities live in such neighborhoods, this means that more of them are led to crime thus filling up most of the jails.

Tram T.
12/04/2013 23:43

I think minorities are are likely to be incarcerated because many people in the society judge and make assumptions about people. People automatically generalize all minorities and think because of the past cases that all people from that racial group are similar. The assumptions made about the minorities are why so many people target them its because of the way society generalizes them.

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Jen B
11/29/2013 23:59

This week we have covered in class the issue of crime in our society. Violence is one of the most damaging acts that s society can face because it instills fear in its citizens, as well as a sense of distrust. Therefore, violence has become a prominent problem in society. Gangs use violence primarily in order to gain power. Gang activity is very prevalent in lower income neighborhoods and where minority underprivileged children are often recruited. In these communities, youth often see the hardships their parents face in order to get by. These poverty stricken adolescents commonly resort to gangs because a gang can give them a sense of control and a way to make money. Also, youth that crave a role model can find one a gang. Uniting as a gang is a way many oppressed individuals overcome injustices they face. A gang can offer its members a sense of protection and belonging because most of its members feel oppressed by the society they live in.
This notion of gangs and violence hits home to our area of MD, DC, and VA; it is home to a well known gang called MS13 “La Mara Salavatrucha”. Originated in El Salvador due to the civil war, and most left their home country to Los Angeles, California due to the violence and injustices its people were facing. The gang grew and spread to the DC, MD, VA area. Their motto is known as: “rape, control, kill”. Most recently, 5 minutes away from campus in Langley Park, MD is home to many hundreds, close to thousands of gang members. The MS13 gang has made the headlines many times for trafficking drugs, guns, and most recently underage prostitution rings. Living in near proximity to this area we need to find a way to create social programs and mentor programs for many of these young individuals which many whom are undocumented so they can feel some kind of hope for the future in order to turn them away from being lured into this gang.
What do you think you could do personally to stop youth violence in the area of Langley Park, MD?

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Gema
11/30/2013 00:43

A social problem related to this weeks theme of Crime & Criminal Justice, is "Fear of Crime", something discussed in this weeks reading. This is a social issue because it causes fragmentation in communities amongst all people, and I selected this social issue because I have personally witnessed this within my own community. It is not unusual to hear a person the Latino community, particularly of the older and non-U.S. Born citizen generation, talk about the dangers and threats that black people, particularly men, present, or how the young person with tattoos is most certainly a dangerously violent criminal gang member and should be kept at a distance. These are stereotypical notions usually brought on by the influence of others and "fear of crime". Now, I have called out a particular group of people and accused them of things that are social problems of their own (racism and prejudice), but only because I have seen and heard it myself on several occasions, that being said however, I don't want to imply that this true of all persons from that group. People who fear crime will stay away from those they believe to be dangerous. This act causes fragmentation in communities, and it is sad to say that some people will never know that what they fear is not necessary. Something that I do with people that I know is tell that that their prejudices are unfair and that they should give all people a chance. I think I could work up the courage to express this to people that I don't know in attempts to spread some perspective, and it's something we could all do if ever witnessing something like this or similar.

Question: Where do you think the "fear of crime" stems from, and what could/would you be willing to do personally to help shed light on prejudices held by others?

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Teddy m
12/04/2013 19:18

I think "fear of crime" stems from criminal or gang activity, where members of a gang seek to keep a "gangster" reputation. There are a lot of reasons why teenagers or young adults join a gang, which is why there are so many. Gangs are so well known in our society that innocent people make sure they "watch their backs" and keep a cool and distant relationship from people who look violent (social fragmentation). I would personally try to form a relationship with people who live life recklessly to show them the broad opportunities the world has to offer.

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Rachel Zelaya
11/30/2013 00:48

A big social problem to me is the severity of punishments in the U.S. You can get more time in jail for selling drugs than you can for raping someone. The U.S. spends billions of dollars on jails when if certain crimes were decriminalized, a lot of that money could go to education instead. I chose this issue because people's lives get ruined off of one mistake, even if it is small. Let's say a teenager is caught smoking weed, instead of being given a warning, it would go straight on their record. They could be a good person, have good grades, and have a bright future ahead but for one mistake, their chances of a scholarship would be ruined. It seems like the rate of violent crimes hasn't significantly increased or decreased in the past fifteen years despite the severity of punishments given.

What are some ways we can make the criminal justice system better?

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Manyi f
12/04/2013 09:22

I agree with you when you say the U.S. Justice system isnt fair when giving out sentencing to answer your question one way we can make the justice sytem better is if we nned to Establish new laws and strengthen old ones against false accusation and perjury.we need to make sure that the laws that are put in place to protect our rights as humans are actually being followed.We also need to make sure that the people who are working in the justice system are honest and trust worthy.

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Nandi
12/04/2013 18:43

Establish New Laws and Strengthen Existing Laws against False Accusations and Perjury; those who lie about others should face the maximum penalties prescribed by law. The courts seem to be somewhat lax at this time, with people not being vigorously prosecuted for major wrongdoings toward others. Also Establish that All Involved in a Trial are Responsible and Willing to Account for Their Decisions-Lawyers and jurors should be willing to be held accountable regarding the verdicts, sentencing and punishment of criminals, as well as leniency that might be extended.

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TMerella
12/04/2013 20:28

Well for one I think that a person's background should be taken into account when given punishments, and that sentences for weed should be greatly decreased. I think that there should also be regulations on what type of crimes go on your record, and I think people do deserve rehabilitation programs because I think that would more likely decrease the likelihood that the person will commit the crime again.

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Emily Blase
11/30/2013 02:26

The issue I chose to focus on this week is the problem of disproportionate racial representation in the US prison system. According to the 2010 US Census, there are 2,207 African Americans incarcerated per 100,000 African Americans in the US; 966 out of 100,000 US Latinos are incarcerated; 380 out of 100,000 Whites are incarcerated. According to the Bureau of Prison Statistics (an agency of the US Dept of Justice), just over half of those imprisoned in the US are serving time on drug related charges. African Americans comprise 13% of the US population, and 14% of drug users, yet are incarcerated at a rate about 6x higher than whites (ACLU via American Friends Service Committee).
The reasons that more African Americans are imprisoned as opposed to whites are varied. African Americans in America are more likely to be living in low-income communities which are more closely monitored by law enforcement officials (AFSC). Nonwhites are also more likely to be stopped by law enforcement officials than whites are (Drug Policy Alliance), so even though rates of drug use are comprable across racial lines, people of color are more likely to see repercussions. Another major issue is how drug laws are written in America. One famous example is the sentences for crack cocaine versus powder cocaine. Crack cocaine is a drug more commonly used by African Americans, whereas whites more typically use cocaine in its powder form. Until 2010, the sentences for crack cocaine were about 100 times harsher than powder cocaine - and even after 2010 the sentences are about 18 times more punishing for crack cocaine users.
(Drug Policy Alliance)
These are all examples of legalized racism in America. Granted, everyone in the prison system has been proven (usually correctly) to have committed an illegal offense, but whites are more likely to get away with an illegal act than any other race in America, by a wide margin. Once someone is set up in the prison system, it is much more likely that they will again become incarcerated - the recidivism rate in the US is about 67.5% (BJS). People who have arrest records are much less likely to find secure employment or attain high-paying jobs. Looking at all of this information, the conclusion/opinion I've drawn is that we have found a new way to legalize racism in this country, and have gone to the prison system in order to keep the minority disenfranchised and find a legal way to lock in a class system.
My question/s is/are:
How do you think the prison system affects class relations in the US? Do you think the way laws are written, what we choose to arrest for, or how we choose to go about arrests has any influence on the social structure of this country? Is there a way to achieve greater equality of outcome across racial lines in the US with the legal and prison systems running the way they are now? What issues do you see with the legal and prison system in America, and what are some fixes you would suggest?

Sources:
http://www.prisonpolicy.org/graphs/raceinc.html (Census Information)

http://www.bop.gov/news/quick.jsp#1 (Bureau of Prison Statistics)

https://afsc.org/story/growing-problems-prison-system (American Friends Service Committee

http://www.drugpolicy.org/race-and-drug-war (Drug Policy Alliance)

http://www.naacp.org/pages/criminal-justice-fact-sheet (NAACP)

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IfiyaR
12/04/2013 23:52

The prison system has alot of bad people in there and most cases not everyone in there are guilty. The system can be pretty unjust with slight corruption for a big pay out for the private jail owners, but for a big pocket is that really right to throw victims in a cell if they have not been proven guilty. The system can be pretty crooked ive noticed against the poor and minorities. Looks like crime gets worst on the inside with the lack of medical or rehabilitation incentives to help those in need of assistance. Once a person is released opportunities are much lower and some become homeless which is one of the consequences of more crime and poverty.

So how do we make a stop to unjust systems of criminal justice and overcrowded prisons is the purge of minorities and poor the most plausible route to take? If so what do you feel makes it plausible?
PS. Has anyone seen the movie "Purge" what if that was the way to cleanse;get rid of impurities in US for a safer life and lower prison and poverty rate??

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Adwoa
12/05/2013 00:41

I believe the criminal justice system is all messed up honestly because innocent people are going to jail, then you have the people who has actually committed murders but if they have a good enough lawyer they can get set free or a lesser sentence which is insane. For example celebrities get leeway on a lot of stuff. Also, one can get arrested for selling drugs and get a more serious sentence then a person who has committed a rape or murder. They consider drugs a federal charge which is very retarded to me since murder seems to be the bigger crime.

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