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Problem of Crime  Crimes cost people, businesses, and the government billions of dollars every year  Some places have more crimes than others  Urban.

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Presentation on theme: "Problem of Crime  Crimes cost people, businesses, and the government billions of dollars every year  Some places have more crimes than others  Urban."— Presentation transcript:


2 Problem of Crime  Crimes cost people, businesses, and the government billions of dollars every year  Some places have more crimes than others  Urban neighborhoods have more crimes than suburban and rural neighborhoods  Poor neighborhoods have more crimes than anywhere else  As a result of crimes occurring in a specific place, many people become afraid and change their lifestyle to protect themselves

3 Types of Crimes  Crimes against people (violent crimes): acts that threaten, hurt, or end peoples’ lives  Homicide, rape, assault (or placing someone in fear without actual physical contact) and battery (or physical contact with a weapon or fighting)  Murder happens when killing is intentional and the person has no legally recognized excuse, Manslaughter happens by accident or through a fit of anger  Crimes against property  Larceny (taking anything of value that belongs to another person without using violence), robbery (taking anything of value that belongs to another person by using force or threat of violence), and burglary (when a person breaks into a building and plans to do something illegal inside), arson (setting property on fire) and vandalism (purposely damaging someone’s property)

4 Types of Crimes  White Collar Crime: nonviolent crimes by office workers for personal or business gain  Fraud (taking someone else’s property or money by cheating or lying) and embezzlement (stealing money that has been entrusted in your care)  Victimless Crime: acts that primarily hurt the people who commit them  Drug use and gambling  Crimes against the government  Treason (the betrayal of one’s country by helping its enemies or by making war against it) and terrorism (people or groups use, or say they will use, violence in order to get what they want from the government or society)

5 Causes of Crime  Poverty: when people cannot earn enough money to support themselves or their families, they commit crimes either to get back at the government or to get money  Social Change and Values: some people lose their sense of right and wrong from society changing  Poor Parenting: unhappy family life can drive someone to a life of crime  Drug Abuse: some commit crimes to support a drug habit, are under the influence of drugs, or sell drugs  Permissive Courts: the court may give short sentences to criminals or may release criminals who will go back out and commit more crimes  Not Enough Money for Police: If more money were put into police departments, more criminals would be caught  Violence in the Media: violent programs may give ideas to those who watch them  Some people agree with one or multiple causes, but since there are so many ideas, there is no one cause for crime

6 Arrest  In order to arrest someone, the police must either have probable cause, or a good reason to believe that a suspect has been involved in a crime, or a warrant, or a piece of legal paper, issued by a court, giving police permission to make an arrest, seizure, or search  During an arrest, the police must give the arrestee their Miranda rights, asking to remain silent and that they have a right to a lawyer during questioning  The arrestee is taken to the police station, processed, allowed to make a phone call for a lawyer, and placed in a holding cell  The arrestee’s information is given to a prosecuting attorney in order to make a case

7 Preliminary Hearing  The arrestee, now the defendant, is then brought to court where the charges are presented and the prosecutor makes a statement whether to continue the case or drop the charges  Based on the statement, the judge may continue the case or drop it  If the case is continued, the defendant has the right to a defense attorney, and if they can’t afford one, one will be provided by the court either by the government or a public defense firm  The defendant can either enter a plea of “guilty”, “not guilty”, “no contest” (does not admit to the crime but takes the punishments)  The judge may also set a bail, or money that a defendant gives the court as a kind of promise that he or she will return for the trial, to the defendant  Depending on the person, the judge can either let the defendant go or keep them in jail without bail

8 Pretrial Motions  For serious federal crimes, a grand jury comes together to review the case and decide whether there is probable cause that the defendant committed the crime  May either return an indictment, or a formal charge against the accused, or refuse to indict  A defendant who is indicted must appear at court for an arraignment, or a court hearing in which the defendant is formally charged with a crime and enters a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest  If they plead guilty, no trial is needed  If the defendant pleads not guilty, the defense must take pretrial motions, such as keeping evidence from being presented in court  If there is proof that evidence was illegally taken, the judge may decide to not allow that evidence to be presented

9 Plea Bargaining  Most criminal cases do not go to trial because many defendants plead guilty  If the defendant knows they broke the law and the evidence against them is strong, they might make a deal with the prosecutor called a plea bargain, or agreeing to plead guilty in exchange for a lesser charge or lighter sentence  The result of a plea bargain is that the defendant gets a lesser punishment and the government saves money from being spent on a trial

10 Going to Trial  If the case still goes to trial, a jury of citizens must first be selected  Lawyers and judges ask the citizens questions and choose those who will listen to the trial and make a fair decisions  The defendant has the rights to a speedy and public trial, to call up witnesses and to question witnesses, and does not have to answer questions if they are brought to the stand  The defense and prosecution make opening statements, question the witnesses brought to trial, and make closing statement  The jury then goes to decide whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty, and the decision must be unanimous  If the jury can’t decide, that’s called a hung jury and the trial is presented again in front of a different jury

11 Sentencing  If the defendant is found guilty, they enter a sentencing phase  The law generally sets up a minimum or maximum sentence for the crime, but the judge may also have the power to determine the proper sentence  The judge considers the severity of the crime, the criminal’s age, record, and attitude  Sometimes, however, the judge must follow sentencing guidelines provided by the state

12 Correctional Institutions  After being sentenced, the defendant goes into the corrections system, and is placed in either a community treatment program, a jail, or a prison  Cities and counties operate jails, and hold those who are awaiting trial or who have committed misdemeanors  States and federal governments operate prisons, and hold those who have committed more serious crimes  Those who are in prisons are called inmates  An inmate’s prison sentence may be reduced for good behavior through a parole, or letting an inmate go free to serve the rest of their sentence outside of prison  Determined by a parole board

13 Challenges in the System  Many problems face the criminal justice system today  Too many people are being arrested  Too many youths are being tried for adult crimes  Prisons are becoming overcrowded  Because of these problems, many lawmakers are proposing solutions  Establishing programs to prevent crime and focusing on social needs  Establishing mandatory sentencing for certain crimes and more severe punishments for other crimes, such as the death penalty  Establishing rehabilitation programs to teach inmates how to live productive lives

14 Juvenile Court  Juvenile courts are set up by the state and exist to help young people in trouble  A juvenile, in most states, is someone under the age of 18 (some states have the age up to 17 or 16)  A juvenile who is found guilty of a crime is called a delinquent  Juveniles may have to go to court sometimes for running away, disobedience, and truancy (skipping school without permission)  A youth found guilty from one of these acts is called a status offender

15 Arrest and Intake  When a juvenile is arrested, the police have the power to either return the juvenile to their parents or send them to a social service agency  For juveniles with multiple offenses, they are sent to a county detention home, or juvenile hall  The juvenile goes into an informal court process, called intake, where the juvenile is asked questions by a social worker and their record is reviewed, and based upon the two, the juvenile is either dismissed or sent to court

16 Hearings and Aftercare  If the juvenile goes to juvenile court, they first go through an initial hearing, where the judge must be convinced that a crime has been committed  If the juvenile is charged with a crime, they go through an adjudicatory hearing, which is like a criminal trial, except there is no jury and is not open to the public  If the juvenile is found guilty, they go through the dispositional hearing, where they are sentenced  Judge considers school situation, family, and past behavior when sentencing  Most commonly, the juvenile is sent on probation, where they are supervised by a probation officer  Aftercare is to help those juveniles after they are released from an institution or group home

17 Strengthening Juvenile Justice  There are several strategies that exist that can help a juvenile stay out of crime  Community-based programs, such as community residential treatment centers, help youths get along with other people and learn to change their behavior with the help of psychological and social experts  Diversion programs, such as toughness programs, help juveniles build up their self- esteem and help teach them to change their behavior through completing difficult tasks  Most adult criminals began when they were young, so any programs that will help youths stay away from crime, the better our society may be

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