Presentation on theme: "Issues Facing the Criminal Justice System"— Presentation transcript:
1 Issues Facing the Criminal Justice System Model Lesson PlanKelly Nieto
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 limitationsWhy do we use it?Theories of punishmentRetribution: 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 crimesRehabilitation: assumption that people are not permanently criminal and can be restored to contributing members of societyIncapacitation: society will be better off with offenders behind bars and off the streetsIs it effective?
3 StatisticsThe United States imprisons more people than any other nation in the world2,266,800 adults were incarcerated in U.S. federal and state prisons and county jails by the end of the year 2010This accounts to .7% of the U.S. populationWashington state has 17,772 prisonerscosting $1,162, per day
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 crimesLitigation delays- defendants that are unable to post bail stay in jail until trial dateNew sentencing guidelines- harsher sentences, war on drugs
6 Driving forces, con’tMovement from indeterminate to determinate sentencingDeterminate sentencing: a sentence for a fixed or minimum period that is specified by statuteIndeterminate sentencing: a sentence with no definite period of time; length determined based on inmate’s conductDemographics- at-risk populationsEconomic recessionRising crime rates and a growing population (arguably)
7 The Eighth AmendmentThe Eighth Amendment protects against excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishmentDiscussion:Arguments that prison overcrowding is a violation of the Eighth Amendment against cruel and unusual punishmentArguments that prison overcrowding is not a violation of the Eighth Amendment against cruel and unusual punishment