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Criminal Justice Bob Botsch Copyright 2012. Extent to which criminal justice is decentralized, and “police powers” Decentralized nationally b/c of fear.

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Presentation on theme: "Criminal Justice Bob Botsch Copyright 2012. Extent to which criminal justice is decentralized, and “police powers” Decentralized nationally b/c of fear."— Presentation transcript:

1 Criminal Justice Bob Botsch Copyright 2012

2 Extent to which criminal justice is decentralized, and “police powers” Decentralized nationally b/c of fear of too strong a central govt—goes back to British experience Most investigations are at local level, not state (SLED) or national (FBI)  much variation in enforcement sensitive to local values; election of sheriffs reinforces this tendency Tenth Amendment interpreted to give “police powers” to states, and they pass it down further to local government Police Powers include most matters concerning public health and safety

3 How the office of Sheriff has evolved, current and past problems? Medieval England—office of “shire-reeve” who collected taxes for king—later shire evolved into county Elected every 4 years independent of other county officials  fragmentation in budgets & personnel Wide variety of duties No formal qualifications—uneven quality mitigated by required attendance to SC Criminal Justice Academy Keeping qualified Deputy Sheriffs a problem

4 A) How police departments different than sheriff’s departments Appointed rather than elected So more integrated in with other city departments, less fragmented Vary in size much more, from tiny one person departments to urban departments larger than some county sheriff departments

5 B) Three Alternative Styles of Law Enforcement 1.Watchman—maintain order, overlook some infractions, treatment depends on social status 2.Legalistic—more professional in terms of equal treatment, aggressively pursue lawbreakers 3.Service—see selves as working for citizens and helping settle disputes—get “cats out of trees”

6 C) Community Policing and D) Major Problem facing all depts Community Policing –Permanent patrol areas –Usually on foot, also horse and bike –Get to know people and community, develop rapport and relationships Major problem—turnover b/c of low pay

7 Major Entities Involved in Law Enforcement at State Level Highway Patrol—most visible—under Cabinet Department of Public Safety— traffic laws and drug interdiction State Transport Police—trucking regulations on weight and safety SLED—state version of FBI— technological support of local police and investigations or major crimes

8 Solicitor: Structure, Selection, Duties, and Pressures Elected in each of 16 judicial circuits for 4 year terms—serve as district attorney Include asst, investigator, and secretary plus additional staff if allowed by county—salaries of basic personnel paid by state Maximize “win margin” by plea bargaining Have much discretion in charging and in which crimes to pursue—sensitive to public pressure Handle Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program

9 Defense Counsel for the Indigent Only pertains to criminal proceedings, not civil cases Guaranteed basic tools: expert witnesses, psychiatric exams, forensics, perhaps DNA tests Done in SC in two basic ways –Public Defender Corporations—often organized by local bar associations and paid out of state Indigent Defense Fund—underfunded –Court appointed private attorneys, who may resent appointment

10 Local Detention facilities Overnight Lockup—holding cells in police departments for up to 48 hours County Jail—operated by sheriff’s dept or separate county unit, vary in size—those awaiting trial County Prison—house prisoners with sentences of 90 days or less or near release inmates from SCDC and low-risk, often do public works jobs Standards improved after Nelson v. Leeke (1985) and federal oversight

11 Kinds of State Prisons, Inmates, Cost, Comparisons, and Major Problem Level 1-A: minimum security, pre-release Level 1-B: short sentences, approaching release Level 2: medium, security Level 3: high security 94% male; about 2/3’s A-A; mean age of 33; almost half under 30 Cost about $40/day or $15k/yr One of the highest incarceration rates in nation, but little increase in recent yearsincarceration rates Major problem is low salary and high turnover of correctional officers—getting worse!

12 Probation and Parole Probation—considered limited confinement in which one serves by giving back to community, typically 1 st offenders for minor offenses or those with extenuating circumstances Parole—after hard time a period of conditional supervised release Both administered by Dept of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services agents—can be sent to prison if violate condition of parole/probation

13 Issues and Controversies Blue laws—declining as culture changes Prison privatization—fears of the old convict lease system that amounted to legal slavery for profit Violent crimes and high incarceration rates Capital punishment Racial profiling and bias Alternative forms of punishment for nonviolent offenders, especially drug possession

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