Presentation on theme: "The Conflict Perspective Class, Crime, and the Criminal Justice System."— Presentation transcript:
The Conflict Perspective Class, Crime, and the Criminal Justice System
Power and Inequality The Capitalist Class, those who own the means of production, make all the rules. The power elite control the criminal justice system. Members of the working class and marginal working class make up the largest percentage of the prison population in the United States.
Using the Law The working class has the potential to rebel and overthrow the current social order. The criminal justice system is designed to arrest and punish members of the lower classes if those members step out of line. The law does not focus on corporate crimes.
Corporate Crime Did you know that corporate crime inflicts far more damage on society than all street crime combined? The FBI estimates, for example, that burglary and robbery -- street crimes -- costs the nation $3.8 billion a year. The losses from a handful of major corporate frauds -- Tyco, Adelphia, Worldcom, Enron -- surpasses the losses from all street robberies and burglaries combined.
Corporate Crime Health care fraud alone costs Americans $100 billion to $400 billion a year The savings and loan fraud cost us anywhere from $300 billion to $500 billion.
Corporate Crime Isn’t Violent The FBI estimates that, 16,000 Americans are murdered every year. Compare this to the 56,000 Americans who die every year on the job or from occupational diseases such as black lung and asbestosis and the tens of thousands of other Americans who fall victim to the silent violence of pollution, contaminated foods, hazardous consumer products, and hospital malpractice.
Who’s In Charge? Corporate criminals are the only criminal class in the United States that have the power to define the laws under which they live. The corporate criminal lobby is large and in charge. “They have marinated Washington -- from the White House to the Congress -- with their monetary contributions. And out the other end come the laws they can live with. They still violate their own rules with impunity. But they make sure the laws are kept within reasonable bounds.” – Corporate Crime: Who Pays?
Corporate Crime Under Prosecuted For every company convicted of polluting the nation’s waterways, there are many others who are not prosecuted. For every corporation convicted of bribery or of giving money directly to a public official in violation of federal law, there are thousands who give money legally through political action committees to candidates and political parties.
Making Them Pay Most corporate crimes do not result in a criminal trial. Civil or Class Action Lawsuits Ordered to appear before a federal organization to testify. Like the Federal Trade Commission. May be forced to pay a fine
Street Crimes Larceny – Theft BurglaryDrugsGangs
Latest Statistics As of December 31, 2009, more than 1.6 million prisoners were under the jurisdiction or legal authority of state and federal correctional officials. (Prisoners at Yearend 2009: Advance Courts ) Prisoners at Yearend 2009: Advance Courts Prisoners at Yearend 2009: Advance Courts At midyear 2009, about 1 in every 198 U.S. residents was imprisoned with a sentence of more than 1 year, a rate of 504 prisoners per 100,000 U.S. residents. (Prison inmates at Midyear 2009 - Statistical Tables) Prison inmates at Midyear 2009 - Statistical TablesPrison inmates at Midyear 2009 - Statistical Tables In 2008, over 7.3 million people were on probation, in jail or prison, or on parole at yearend — 3.2% of all U.S. adult residents or 1 in every 31 adults.
State and federal prison facilities From June 30, 2000, to December 30, 2005, the number of state and federal correctional facilities increased by 9%, from 1,668 to 1,821. The number of inmates held in these facilities increased by 10%, while the number of correctional employees rose 3% (Census of State and Federal Correctional Facilities, 2005) Census of State and Federal Correctional Facilities, 2005Census of State and Federal Correctional Facilities, 2005
At What Cost? PoliceJudgesAttorneys Parole Officers Facilities
At What Cost? In 2008, federal, state, and local governments spent about $75 billion on corrections.
Is Our System Effective? Recidivism Percentage of prisoners who are rearrested Percentage of prisoners who are rearrested In Illinois the recidivism rate is about 54% In Illinois the recidivism rate is about 54% The Revolving Door Most repeat offenders are drug related Most repeat offenders are drug related
What’s Next? How would you change our reaction to deviance? In what ways might we improve our society and the criminal justice system? Or do you believe that our system is effective in dealing with deviance? Explain.