Chapter 14 reviews the war on terrorism as well as two trends in the criminal justice system: the war on crime and peacemaking.
Topic: The High Incarceration Rate
- In the United States, a significant percentage of Americans is behind bars. The United States has the largest penal population in the world, with over 2.2 million incarcerated adults.
- A major unintended consequence of high incarceration rates is that prison does not make many offenders better citizens, but rather accelerates their criminal
- Criminal justice policies that rely on incarceration have limited the ability of an offender’s family to effectively raise children.
- Prisons and jails are not a good place to learn skills that are useful in legitimate
- Incarceration rates are not evenly distributed across the U.S. population, but rather are concentrated in specific neighborhoods characterized by high rates of poverty, violence, and failing social institutions.
- Prisoners, parolees, probationers, convicted sex offenders, and others with criminal records are routinely denied rights and responsibilities, as well as access to many public benefits.
Topic: War on Drugs
- Although many citizens applaud the idea of fighting a war against criminals, the war concept becomes problematic when we realize that the “enemy” consists of regular citizens.
- The war on drugs in the United States is, by many measures, a failed policy.
- Drugs are related to crime in three ways, and these three types of crime could be eliminated by legalizing drugs. These are offenses committed by people who are on drugs; offenses committed by people who need money to buy drugs, and offenses committed among drug dealers.
Topic: Predictive Policing
- One of the more promising strategies is predictive policing, sometimes called “smart policing,” which uses technology to gather information and analyze data to help police better target their resources toward potential crime.
- Technology has greatly enhanced the effectiveness of police officers in the following ways: wireless video-streaming; license plate readers; global positioning systems; and social media.
- The four elements of the “new professionalism” in policing are accountability, legitimacy, innovation, and national coherence.
Topic: Technology and Surveillance
- The Bill of Rights, particularly the Fourth Amendment, protects citizens against intrusions into their privacy by the government.
- The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 drastically changed the rules of the relationship between security and privacy.
- In 2015, Congress passed a modification to the PATRIOT Act called the USA FREEDOM Act that limits the government’s ability to collect information that cannot be directly connected to terrorism.