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Model Lesson Plan Kelly Nieto Issues Facing the Criminal Justice System.

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Presentation on theme: "Model Lesson Plan Kelly Nieto Issues Facing the Criminal Justice System."— Presentation transcript:

1 Model Lesson Plan Kelly Nieto Issues Facing the Criminal Justice System

2 The criminal justice system defined What is the criminal justice system? A set of legal and social institutions (e.g., courts) for enforcing the criminal law in accordance with a set of defined rules and limitations Why do we use it? Theories of punishment Retribution: punishment, if proportionate, is a morally acceptable response to a crime (eye for an eye) Deterrence: use of punishment as a threat to prevent people from committing crimes Rehabilitation: assumption that people are not permanently criminal and can be restored to contributing members of society Incapacitation: society will be better off with offenders behind bars and off the streets Is it effective?

3 Statistics The United States imprisons more people than any other nation in the world 2,266,800 adults were incarcerated in U.S. federal and state prisons and county jails by the end of the year 2010 This accounts to.7% of the U.S. population Washington state has 17,772 prisoners costing $1,162, per day

4 Image from a California state prison…

5 Driving forces behind overcrowding Three strike laws- statutes enacted by state governments that require state courts to impose a life sentence on persons who have been convicted of two or more serious crimes Litigation delays- defendants that are unable to post bail stay in jail until trial date New sentencing guidelines- harsher sentences, war on drugs

6 Driving forces, con’t Movement from indeterminate to determinate sentencing Determinate sentencing: a sentence for a fixed or minimum period that is specified by statute Indeterminate sentencing: a sentence with no definite period of time; length determined based on inmate’s conduct Demographics- at-risk populations Economic recession Rising crime rates and a growing population (arguably)

7 The Eighth Amendment The Eighth Amendment protects against excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishment Discussion: Arguments that prison overcrowding is a violation of the Eighth Amendment against cruel and unusual punishment Arguments that prison overcrowding is not a violation of the Eighth Amendment against cruel and unusual punishment


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