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UNIT 2: Criminal Law & Juvenile Justice Chapter 7 Crime in America.

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Presentation on theme: "UNIT 2: Criminal Law & Juvenile Justice Chapter 7 Crime in America."— Presentation transcript:

1 UNIT 2: Criminal Law & Juvenile Justice Chapter 7 Crime in America

2  A crime is the violation of a law established to protect people & maintain an orderly society ● People everywhere are affected by crime; however, certain factors such as age, gender, & location influence the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime ● Criminals in the U.S. wear many faces, from the teen who steals DVD’s from the electronics store to the career thief planning an armed bank robbery

3  Authorities disagree over the causes of crime & what can be done about it ● argue poverty, unemployment, lack of education, drug & alcohol abuse, & inadequate police protection are to blame ● Some people believe that working to end these problems would lead to a decrease in crime rates

4  Gangs & gang activity also contribute to the problem of crime ● Experts agree that combating the problems of gangs & crime begins with outreach & intervention programs to prevent gang involvement

5 The Nature of Crimes  A crime is something that a person does or fails to do that violates the law ● The government establishes penalties for such behavior  Crime rates are influenced by many factors, although many people disagree about the causes of crime & the best solutions to the problem

6  In recent years, crime on high school & college campuses has become a serious problem ● Hate crimes, violent assaults, property crime ○ College Campus Crime Rate Increases [1:48] College Campus Crime Rate Increases ○ Violent crimes are up on college campuses in Tennessee [1:01] Violent crimes are up on college campuses in Tennessee ○ College Safety – National Campus Safety Awareness Month [3:51] College Safety – National Campus Safety Awareness Month  Crime is costly—in addition to the loss of life & property, it costs the government a great amount of money to prevent, investigate, & prosecute crime

7  FBI Uniform Crime Reports FBI Uniform Crime Reports ● Crime Trends, Crime Trends,  Crime Clock reports the frequency of crimes  Crime Index totals of violent crimes & property crimes

8 NCCD The National Council on Crime & Delinquency recommends alternatives to incarceration as one strategy for reducing crime Build safer communities with attention to safer schools, after-school programs, community policing, and prevention of domestic violence and child abuse Reduce costs and improve fairness of criminal justice system Develop cost-effective alternatives to incarceration, reserving prison sentences for those who cannot be safely treated in community- based programs Create effective drug-control policies Reduce funds spent on catching drug sellers and users, expand funding for drug treatment and job training, and repeal laws requiring mandatory prison sentences for drug possession

9 Gangs & Crime  Gangs are active in towns & cities of all sizes throughout the country ● Seattle Hoods Seattle Hoods ● East Tacoma Gang Graffiti East Tacoma Gang Graffiti  Gangs expose their members & their communities to extreme violence & danger  Many youths join gangs because gangs offer a sense of belonging & an opportunity to earn money ● Beyond the Shadows: Crime in Yakima Beyond the Shadows: Crime in Yakima

10 Most people agree that a promising strategy to discourage gang membership is to provide young people with opportunities & community connections that will offer them a greater sense of belonging

11 Gang Risk Factors PovertySchool FailureSubstance Abuse Family Dysfunction Domestic Violence Community Violence Poor Self-Esteem Little Adult Participation Problem 7.6 – page 84 First 3 of Accused Crips Gang Members Sentenced

12 Guns & the Law  Most Americans who own firearms own them legally & use them lawfully ● However, guns are often used in violent crimes

13 Experience in the U.S. Prior to the U.S. Constitution Early English settlers in America viewed the right to arms and/or the right to bear arms and/or state militias as important for one or more of these purposes (in no particular order)  enabling the people to organize a militia system  participating in law enforcement  deterring tyrannical government  repelling invasion  suppressing insurrection, allegedly including slave revolts  facilitating a natural right of self-defense

14 The 2 nd Amendment A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed

15 Many people disagree about the government's role in controlling gun ownership

16 The U.S. Supreme Court In the twenty-first century, the amendment has been subjected to renewed academic inquiry and judicial interest In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme court handed down a landmark decision that held expressly that the amendment protects an individual right to possess & carry firearms In McDonald v. Chicago (2010), the Court clarified its earlier decisions limiting the amendment's impact to a restriction on the federal government & expressly found that it limits state & local governments to the same extent that it limits the federal government

17 Does the Second Amendment protect the right of individuals to own guns?

18 Or... Does the Second Amendment give the states power to maintain a militia but does not entitle individuals to own guns?

19 The U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted the Second Amendment to mean that the state has the right to maintain a militia

20 Understanding the 2 nd Amendment The Supreme Court & The Politics of Gun Control [7:37]

21 The Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 is the primary federal gun-control law Congress amended this law in 1993 by enacting the Brady Act Brady Act Established national system to check backgrounds of persons before selling guns to them Gun laws have also been enacted at the state & local levels

22  For Your Information – page 86  Problem 7.7 – page 87

23  Problem 7.8 – page 88 Law in Action: Child Access Prevention (CAP) Laws

24 Substance Abuse & Crime  Abuse of alcohol & drugs (substance abuse) contributes to many social problems & often leads to other criminal activity ● Although many adults use alcohol responsibly, alcohol abuse can be very harmful to society ● Implied Consent Law: the driver agrees to submit to a BAC test in exchange for the privilege of driving Implied Consent Law ○ WA – DUI Arrest Information & Advice WA – DUI Arrest Information & Advice

25 Is the best way to handle the drug problem to legalize some or all drugs? Would legalization allow the government to better regulate drugs & eliminate the problems that are associated with illegal distribution of drugs?

26  Problem 7.9 – page 91  Problem 7.10 – page 92 Law in Action: Drug Courts ● Offer treatment instead of punishment for individuals who commit crimes & have problems with controlled substances  Problem 7.11 – page 93  Problem 7.12 – page 94 Law in Action: Drugs in the City

27 Victims of Crime Every person is at risk to be a victim of crime ● However, teens & young adults are more likely than any other age groups to be victims ● In 2011, 9,878 people were killed and approximately 315,000 were injured ● Each crash, each death, each injury impacts not only the person in the crash, but family, friends, classmates, coworkers and more ● Even those who have not been directly touched help pay the $132 billion yearly price tag of drunk driving ● But together we can eliminate drunk driving [MADD]

28 Victim advocacy groups [MADD] work to protect victims by promoting the concerns & rights of victims ● Victims are not a party to the criminal case & their rights & needs are too often ignored

29  Problem 7.13 – page 96 Figure 7.3: Violent Crime Rates  Law in Action: Victim’s Rights: Megan’s Law as Advocacy ● Passed as a result of victim’s advocacy groups ● Requires the registration of all convicted sex offenders in a community

30  Dateline: To Catch a Predator Dateline: To Catch a Predator  FOX News: PA - Local Law FOX News: PA - Local Law  International Megan’s Law Proposal International Megan’s Law Proposal

31  Recidivist (Repeat Offender) Law ● Require long sentences—including sentences of life in prison w/o parole—for persons who are repeatedly convicted of the same crime, even relatively minor ones

32 Preventing & Reporting Crime  You can help fight crime by learning how to protect yourself ● Also, reporting crime can help to prevent others from being victims  There are many organizations & programs that exist to assist victims of crime & prevent future crime

33 Ex Post Facto  An ex post facto law (from the Latin for "from after the action") or retroactive law is a law that retroactively changes the legal consequences (or status) of actions committed or relationships that existed prior to the enactment of the law – In reference to criminal law, it may ● criminalize actions that were legal when committed; or ● aggravate a crime by bringing it into a more severe category than it was in at the time it was committed; or ● change or increase the punishment prescribed for a crime, such as by adding new penalties or extending terms; or ● alter the rules of evidence in order to make conviction for a crime more likely than it would have been at the time of the action for which a defendant is prosecuted  Conversely, a form of ex post facto law commonly known as an amnesty law may decriminalize certain acts or alleviate possible punishments ● Example: replacing the death sentence with lifelong imprisonment) retroactively


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