Criminal Justice Today

Criminal Justice Today

Learning Objective 7: Contrast the crime control and due process models.

Learning Objective 8: List the major issues in criminal justice today.

1. Crime Control Model

a. The most important function of the criminal justice system is to punish and repress criminal conduct

b. The criminal justice system should function quickly and efficiently, as an assembly-line

2. Due Process Model

a. Focus on protecting the rights of the accused through legal constraints on police, courts, and corrections

b. Strives to make it more difficult to prove guilt

c. Fairness, not efficiency, is the goal of the due process model

A. Crime and Law Enforcement: The Bottom Line

1. Smarter Policing

a. Proactive policing that promotes more rigorous enforcement of

minor offenses

b. Hot-spot policing that focuses on high-crime rate areas rather than

spreading resources evenly throughout a metropolitan area

2. Identifying Criminals

a. DNA profiling allows law enforcement agents to identify a suspect

b. Increased use of biometrics

3. Continuing Challenges for Law Enforcement.

a. The Scourge of Street Gangs

i. There are an estimated 33,000 gangs in the United States

with approximately 1.4 million members

ii. Gangs are responsible for an average of 48 percent of

violent crimes in most cities, and for up to 90 percent in the worst-hit areas.

b. Gun Sales and Gun Control

i. 30,000 people killed by gunfire in the United States each


ii. In 2008 the United States Supreme Court ruled the U.S.

Constitution protects an “individual’s right to bear arms”

c. The Illegal Drug Problem

i. When people speak of the “drug problem,” or the “war on

drugs,” or “drug abuse,” they are referring specifically to illegal psychoactive drugs, which alter the consciousness or perception of the user.

ii. Drug abuse often leads to further criminal behavior in

adolescents, as we will see when we look at the juvenile justice system

iii. Growing market for illegal drugs causes significant damage

both in the United States and in countries such as Mexico that supply America with it.

d. Drug Use in the United States

i. National Survey on Drug Use and Health

ii. About 9.2% or 23.9 million Americans use drugs regularly

iii. In comparison, about 136 million people drink alcohol regularly and 70 million smoke tobacco

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