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The social policy and crime explores poverty, housing, education and crime amongst other problems can be viewed as social problems. The author argues that policy is extremely important when it comes to the reduction of crime. The authors also argue that in social policy there is a need to investigate how the societies understands human need, social justice, equality and considers the ways in which the institutions that exist in the modern state and supra states can address the social problems and provide for people’s welfare.
The authors argue about the deterrence of criminals. The authors question whether indeed the correctional systems is effective as a deterrence of criminals. The first step in solving any problem is identifying its source. The state has taken a very strong stand against crime, especially crimes relating to drug use and distribution. Law enforcers are stricter than ever, and they have declared war against drug cartels. More people are being sentenced to serving time in prison than ever before. Prisons have never been more crowded than they are today.
The authors take head on the issue of drugs and locking up the criminals that are involved with drugs. They argue that the first step in dealing with the war on drugs should be the source. Most of the drugs being distributed around the state probably come from one source. Identifying this source is one of the biggest steps in stopping its distribution. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, there are criminal groups, which operate from South America and smuggle heroin and cocaine into the United States through a different routes.
These include land routes via Mexico, maritime routes on Mexico's west and east coasts, sea routes via the Caribbean, and global air corridors. The criminal groups operating in neighboring Mexico smuggle heroin, methamphetamine, amphetamine, marijuana and cocaine into the United States. They have been doing this since the 1970s.
Most of the drugs distributed throughout the state come from Mexico. These criminal gangs smuggle drugs across America’s open borders southwest of the USA, through seaports and to a by air. Most of these drugs, which are smuggled into the country, come from well-organized cartels which operate across the borders. Some of them receive assistance for the law enforcers in Mexico.
A huge number of the people in American prisons are foreigners. Some of these people are in prison for drug related crimes, either having been caught in possession of these drugs or having participated in the sale or distribution of the drugs. Seventy six percent of these people are Mexicans. Many others are being held in county and city jails. Some of the people who ought to be deported to their respective countries are held in American Prison.
In regards to the concept of locking everyone up, the authors argue that in order to help lessen overcrowding in prisons; it is important that immigration laws be enforced. Through prosecution and apprehension, law enforcers would not only alleviate overcrowding in prisons but also address the ever-growing criminal elements, which if left unattended, would negative impact on the correctional facilities, the criminal justice system, and on society as a whole.
Running prisons costs taxpayers a lot of money. One way through which these overcrowded prisons can receive some relief is by minimizing the cost. Overcrowded prisons do not necessarily indicate societal failure. The crime rates in the have gone down significantly. This is because most of the criminals are already in prison, and are no longer a menace to society. One way through which these costs can be reduced is by privatizing county jail systems.
Privatization of correctional facilities would lead to competition. This would lead to greater efficiency with the available resources. If private prisons offer the same quality of security and service to the state, and provide those services at a lower price, everyone wins. Forty-four percent of private prisons (that is, 67 of 150) are recognized by the ACA (American Corrections Association) for having met the nationally accepted guidelines put in place for operation quality, maintenance and management.
On the other hand, only ten percent (465 out of 4,800) of the correctional facilities managed by the government have been recognized by the ACA. Creating more effective prison systems in the private sector could alleviate the problem of overcrowding in prisons.
The authors argue that the allowing of plea- bargaining only contributes to the problem of overcrowded jails and prisons. For instance, illegal aliens who are given the chance to plea-bargain their cases end up being deported, and this may result in these same criminals coming back to the country to commit more criminal activities. Plea-bargaining also allows these criminals to receive lesser punishments for the crimes they committed. Shorter jail terms or fines instead of jail terms only lead to higher crime rates.
According to research, plea-bargaining significantly increases recidivism rates among criminals. This only adds to the cycle of crime and arrests, leading to overcrowded prisons. They should instead be subjected to punishments that are likely to lead to reforms, such as extensive community service for people who commit minor crimes. This would decongest the prisons and still serve the corrective purpose of punishment.
Ronald L. Akers Christine S. Sellers Introduction, Evaluation, and application Sixth Edition
Distributive justice refers to social just systems of allocation of goods. The society that does not have incidental inequalities could be termed to be governed by the principles of distributive justice. The concept of distributive justice entails the quantities of the goods available to the society for use, the process of allocating the goods and the resultant allocation of the goods to the needy members. The concept is a contrast of the just process which is concerned with the administration and setting of laws (Lamont, 2012). Distributive justice does not concern itself with the processes used in the allocation of goods but the actual outcomes when the goods are made available to the people. The concept is used in social justice to refer to the process through which the costs and rewards of a certain activity are distributed in a group according to the norms set by the said group. For instance, in the event that employees doing the same job are paid according to different wage scales, there could be a widespread feeling that the principle of distributive justice was not applied.
In order for an individual to understand if the distributive justice was applied in a certain decision making process, the group often turns to the distributive norms of the group. A norm refers to the standard behavior applied by a certain group. A norm can range from a designated behavior to a requirement of the society. In the event that a group of people allocates the rewards and costs of a certain activity according to the norms, one can assert that distributive justice has actually taken place. In the event that the group does not adhere to the norms in the same distribution, the principle of distributive justice is not in force (Lamont, 2012).
Religion comes from the belief that there is a powerful being that predetermines the order of life. It is a collection of beliefs shared among members of the society. It also entails a collection of the worldviews and cultural systems that determine the humanity and the order of existence applied by the people. Most of the world religions have some aspects that explain the meaning of life and its origins (Butler, 1961). Religions are also influenced by the belief that the deity rewards the people according to their actions. The deity will reward the people that work according to the rules laid down by the sacred artefacts and codes. The deity also punishes the people that have wayward behavior (Jaspers, 1969). Most of the religions focus on the explanation of life in terms of its origins and the afterlife. The beliefs of the people concerning the human nature and cosmos provide them with morality and religious laws, which predispose the best way of living.
Conventionally, the religions have a certain ordered way of life that they require all the people to adhere to. There are structures and authorities charged with ensuring that the people stick to the requirements of the religion or the deity. The leaders in the religion are referred to as clergy and they are charged with the direction of the followers. Clergy are well-informed members of the society in matters pertaining to the religion. Religions always apply rituals and ceremonies purposes (Butler, 1961). On average, women are more religious than men are. Some people follow more than one religion; knowingly or otherwise.
Collective identity in sociology focuses on the ideals of the social movements and joint actions. The collective identity is interactive in that it involves more than one person. It also entails the sharing of definition of some aspects by the interacting individuals as far as the direction of their actions and opportunities is concerned (Mack & Hirst, 2008). The identification of the collective identity entails the realization among the individuals that they have aspects of commonality that they share. The process of identifying the commonality is intermediate in that it involves all the people. Collective identity is negotiated over some time. The first step in the process is the cognitive definition and it entails the formulation of a framework of the goals and means to taking the action. The framework defines the threshold of the people that can join the collective identity. The second stage is the active relationship and it is made up of the times when the people will actualize their relationships. They have already identified the people that are viable to join the group.
The final step is concerned with the cementing of the connections among the individuals. Cementing process involves the emotional recognition among the individuals. After the cementation takes places the relationship has already taken place, the collective identity attains the maturity (Mack & Hirst, 2008). The collective identity can be used in the explanation of the social movements in the modern world. The explanation of the collective identity helps in the explanation of the reasons why groups that are not formed using the formal means exist in the society; it explains why some people form cliques and the aspects that qualify a person to a clique or otherwise.
Conflict is an incompatibility between the goals of two characters in the literature. It could also be the incompatibility of the forces that are in play in the society. The conflicts that are evident in the society often lead to the development of tension among the characters that are involved. In some cases, the conflicts could be resolved or otherwise (Jones & Fabian, 2006). Whenever there is a conflict resolution, the parties involved attain the much-needed closure.
Conflict could affect a person or be interpersonal. Whenever conflict affects an individual, the conflict is referred to as internal conflict (Paley, 2002). Interpersonal conflict is the external conflict. Internal conflict is not evident unless the person confesses that he or she is experiencing some conflict in his life. However, when the conflict is occurring between two parties, it is easier to see the conflict. In some cases, the conflict that a person experiences can be between his ideals and a force such as a natural force. Conflict is a constant aspect in the human life. The people that have presence of mind always find themselves fighting against some forms of forces that they do not agree with. Failure to acknowledge a conflict could degenerate into other forms of conflicts, which may affect all the people (Jones & Fabian, 2006). Whenever the conflicts are not addressed in their initial stages, there is more difficulty in dealing with them later on when they blow up (Paley, 2002). Conflicts can be resolved in the most effective manner to generate the best results for all the parties. Conflict resolution calls for compromise between the parties. However, in some cases, some parties compromise their stands more than others do.
Butler, J. (1961). The analogy of religion. New York: F. Ungar Pub. Co.
Jaspers, K. (1969). Philosophy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Jones, M., & Fabian, A. (2006). Conflict. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Lamont, J. (2012). Distributive justice. Burlington, VT: Ashgate.
Mack, A., & Hirst, W. (2008). Collective memory & collective identity. New York, N.Y.: New School.
Paley, W. (2002). The principles of moral and political philosophy. Indianapolis, Ind.: Liberty Fund.
There are some actions that could be considered to be wrong but given the same circumstances, even a virtuous person would do the same thing. This defines virtuous ethics where the ethicality of a particular act is based on a person’s character and not the choices made. Virtue ethics looks at the person as whole and not specific acts that he/she might have engaged in. in this respect, a person might engage in an act that is wrong but for a good reason.
In the case study, the virtuous prosecutor, three defendants are accused of distributing 5 kilograms of cocaine. The first two defendants who are the main dealers in the transaction have no criminal record prior to the current one. However, the third respondent has engaged in several crimes including possession of fire arms and assault but in this case he did not play a significant role (Banks, 1). The second defendant wishes to testify against his accomplices if his charges are reduced to conspiracy.
While it is true that defendant to have no other criminal record apart from this one, he was actively involved in the current one. However, he is ready to do the right thing by testifying against his accomplices (Banks, 1). Defendant two’s request could be considered right according to virtue ethics. Based on his criminal record he is a good person and he has intentions of aiding in the execution of justice. His act of testifying against his accomplices will aid in the conviction of two criminals. The one time involvement in crime cannot be used to brand him as a criminal particularly when compared to the case of the third defendant. Virtue ethics allows the judge to consider his request.
Cindy Banks. Ethics-theory and practice: a virtuous prosecutor.
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