Criminological Theories

Crime is a very complex phenomenon that has fascinated psychologists for centuries.  In an attempt to explain why individuals follow a deviant and corrupted path experts refer to various theories that can be intertwined and provide insight into the criminal mind.  Theorists believe criminal activity can be linked to one’s genetics, social ties or upbringing, and our deep subconscious.  This paper will review the biological, sociological, and psychological theories of crime causation and describe how it affects human behavior and actions.

A common assumption of biological theories of crime, are that genetics and physical traits play a leading role in one initiating deviant behavior.  In the earlier years of the biological theories, it was suggested that criminal traits were hereditary and passed down from parent to child.  In 1876 Lombroso, an Italian physician claimed criminals are born and were identified with certain physical traits or abnormalities, such as large ears, flattened nose, odd shaped skull, and insensitivity to pain. (Ford, 2013) Individuals with these traits could not resist bad behavior that lead to criminal activity.  In the early 1900’s Sheldon, an American psychologist expanded on Lombroso’s study and concluded that the size and shape of the human body can lead one to deviance.  Specifically, an individual whom is muscular and athletic or portrays an hourglass figure.  There is also the theory that suggests criminals have an extra Y chromosome, giving them an XYY chromosome makeup that possess them to commit crimes. In an attempt to study the relationship between hereditary and crime further, psychologists conducted studies of children that were adopted at a very young age that had no contact with their biological parents and the correlation of criminal activity.  The study included children with criminal biological parents and non-criminal biological parents.  Schulsinger conducted this study in the early 70’s and concluded that only 3.9% of the children with criminal biological parents displayed criminal traits and tendencies, compared to 1.4% of children that had non-criminal biological parents.  (Walters & White, 1989)  In 2007,

Abdelmalek Bayout, an Algerian citizen, who was living in Italy admitted to murder of another citizen.  After in depth testing it was suggested that abnormalities of the brain in which five genes were hosted that contained violent tendencies that led Bayout to murder.  (Feresin, 2009)  The biological theories have come under much scrutiny, as they hold no predictive qualities, because many individuals with attributes that are considered criminal traits do not actually become criminals in life.

The sociological theories justify criminal behavior while focusing primarily on social influences, such as culture, peers, environment, and upbringing when considering the cause of deviant and criminal acts.  Robert Agnew, a social theorist suggested individuals act out in response to a social frustration, commonly known as the strain theory.  They may engage in bad behavior to reduce the stress they are experiencing, such as commit a robbery to ease the stress of financial difficulty or become violent in order to work through suffered harassment.    Individuals also, learn to engage in criminal acts from their social network and peer influences.  Through social learning the crime becomes a desirable act and is justifiable based on the beliefs of the group. Young people are easily exposed to criminal behavior through gang initiations and other close knit groups that have learned no boundaries or respect for the law.  A juvenile may also engage in criminal acts based on observations from a group, media, or even a video game.  Young people are more likely to engage in criminal acts if they are likely to receive a reinforcement, such as social status, financial reward, or increased pleasure.  Negative reinforcement, such as a threat or punishment is also a driven factor that leads to deviant behavior.  In most cases the individual is seeking out approval or attention in some manner from peers, family, or teachers.

Sociological theories also allude that an individual that has been the victim or witness to crimes including, but not limited to neglect, child abuse, alcoholism, or selling drugs are more likely the criminal behavior at some point in their life.  The ability to decipher what is right or wrong has been tainted and the criminal life becomes a norm within the culture and society of the individual.  (Byrne, 2011)  Albert Bandura conducted a social learning study, famously known as the Bobo doll experiment.  He monitored the response of children as the observed a video of a model aggressively interacting with the same doll.  In the video the model hit the doll, beat it with a hammer, kicked it, and shouted erroneous phrases. (Lee, 2013) When the children were invited to the play room without receiving further instruction they began to reenact the same aggressive behavior towards the doll that was observed in the video.  This study supports observational and social learning, which contributes to bad behavior being learned and accepted by the individual.  As goes the old saying, “garbage in, garbage out.”  Ted Bundy, an American serial killer is a prime example for biological theory of crime causation.  As a young child he clung to his grandfather, a man who was a bigot with strong racist beliefs, abused and beat his wife, tortured cats, and was aggressive towards Bundy’s aunt as a young girl.  Ted’s grandfather acted out with violent rage.   Ted Bundy exhibited similar traits at a very young age in life and it was believed that the violent tendencies were learned from his grandfather.  He was disconnected from a parent child bond with his mother as he grew up thinking his mom was his sister.  He was anti-social and suffered a lack of control of his rage.  (Bio, 2013)  Psychological theories of crime causation emphasize the developments from childhood to adulthood of personality traits and defects that contribute to criminal acts. In order to explain criminal behavior, analysts have connected crime to personality traits and have reverted to labeling.  We look for certain characteristics in one’s personality, such as anti-social defects and associate those characteristics with deviance or psychotic behavior.  The level of intelligence can also play a role in the criminal mind, but is considered a negative correlation and is not a reliable factor.  Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud believed violent behavior was “the product of “unconscious” forces operating within a person’s mind.” (Ministry of Children and Youth Services, 2010)  Freud claimed that all human beings are born with natural instincts with the desire to satisfy their need for food, shelter, and pleasure.  These instincts are what drive us and are house deep within our unconscious.  It is because of these natural instincts to survive and meet our needs that he believes all humans have criminal tendencies.  Humans will do what they must to survive, without thinking of the altercations.  Freud’s theory suggests there are three levels to our unconscious and they are grouped as the ID, Ego and Superego.  Our Id is the biological, inherited, and unconscious source for our sexual drives and irrational impulses.  The Ego is influenced by non-biological extremities both social and family related that has brought on the basic developmental functions.    A child that has not had the opportunity to socialize starting at a young age may develop a personality disturbance which will cause him or her to have strong antisocial impulses.  They have trouble connecting with other kids their age and the awkwardness and feeling of being unaccepted directs the child to act out in negative ways that are not deemed a social norm or lawful.  Parental involvement is also considered to impact the development of a child mentally and socially.  A child that is disconnected from a parent may have trouble connecting with the world around them and leave them with no regard for the law; where as a child that has been nurtured and loved will grow up to be a caring and respectful citizen.  In a recent case reported by ABA Journal (Hansen, 2006), Dennis Rader, a well-respected man and a deacon at his church is also a well-known serial killer in Wichita Kansas in which he killed ten people.  His serial killer desires were deeply imbedded unconsciously and were triggered when he was denied a law enforcement officer position.  His aggression and extreme impulsive desires controlled his unconscious and forced him into a sadistic and heinous world.

Theorists are driven to understand the causation of crime in individuals.  Having a better understanding and the ability to justify the deviant desires will give criminal justice professional the opportunity to rehabilitate criminals and reduce crime.  The behavioral, social, and psychological theories attempt to explain individual causes, but do not provide concrete explanations and are a source of blame for one’s choices and actions.

References:

Ford M.D., R. (2013, September 16). Biological and Psychological Theories of Crime. Retrieved June 19, 2015, from http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~cjreg/NCbiological.htm

Walters, G., & White, T. (1989, November 3). HEREDITY AND CRIME: BAD GENES OR BAD RESEARCH. Retrieved June 23, 2015, from http://faculty.uml.edu/jbyrne/heredityandcrime.pdf

Byrne. (2011, October 1). Sociological Theories of Sociological Theories of Crime Causation. Retrieved June 23, 2015, from http://faculty.uml.edu/jbyrne/44.521/documents/SociologicalTheoriesofCrimeCausation-2_000.pdf

Lee, D. (2013, June 16). Bobo Doll. Retrieved June 19, 2015, from http://www.personal.psu.edu/bfr3/blogs/asp/2013/06/bobo-doll.html

Review of the Roots of Youth Violence: Literature Reviews. (2010, April 27). Retrieved June 20, 2015, from http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/topics/youthandthelaw/roots/volume5/chapter02_psychological_theories.aspx

Hansen, M. (2006, April 21). How the Cops Caught BTK. Retrieved June 20, 2015, from http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/how_the_cops_caught_btk

Ted Bundy. (2013). Retrieved June 24, 2015, from http://www.biography.com/people/ted-bundy-9231165#an-unexpected-killer

Feresin, E. (2009, October 30). Lighter sentence for murderer with ‘bad genes’ Retrieved June 20, 2015, from http://www.nature.com/news/2009/091030/full/news.2009.1050.html

The Need for Additional Border Patrol in the United States- Research Methods

Abstract

Border Patrol has become an increasingly hot topic in the United States.  The borders that separate Mexico and the state of Texas are in need of additional border patrol officers, as illegal immigrants are now on the rise.  Texans believe increased border patrol is a necessity to keep their communities and the country safe.  Thus, this true classical design will test whether adding border patrol officer will have an effect on the passage of illegal immigrants into the United States.  Twelve of the twenty six border crossings in Texas will be randomly selected and will be tested for a 6 month span.   The border crossings in the experimental group will be given additional border patrol officers while the border crossings in the control group will remain with no change in number of border patrol officers.  To determine if the illegal immigrant numbers are affected by the additional border patrol officers, the numbers for both groups will be measured at the beginning of the experiment and after the test is completed and statistical data recorded and published by the Border Patrol Agency.

The need for additional Border Patrol in America

Illegal immigration and customs violations are becoming an increasing issue along the borders of the United States of America.  There is much controversy among government officials, with great concern of the vulnerability of America to “the enemy,” such as ISIS.  Enforcing immigration regulations has been an ongoing issue since the beginning of the twentieth century.  This proposal will identify the challenges with open borders and the inspections that are performed on people and goods entering and leaving the United States.

Review of Literature:

 

            Chad C Haddal (2010) a specialist in Immigration Policy of the United States of America described border patrol as the first line of defense against unauthorized migration into America.  Haddal also stated that America is vulnerable due to the lack of legislative funding and border patrol officers.  Haddal (2010) reports in 2010 agencies requested $297 million that would be used to hire 1,000 new Border Patrol agents, $37 million for two new unmanned aerial detection systems, $53 million for 160 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, $6.5 million for 30 new Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officers, and $6 million for 20 new Customs and Border Protection (CBP) canine teams to improve border enforcement operations along the Southwest border.  There is a strong desire for additional border patrol agents along Mexico and other bordering regions of America.

The Department of Homeland Security (2015) argues that despite the efforts of the agencies responsible for custom check points they remain ineffective without the border enforcement between inspection points.  As the threats become greater, the Department of Homeland Security is trying to get a grip on the issue of illegal immigrants crossing over the borders.  American border patrol has come far from the Mounted Guards assigned to inspection stations yet, the ability to patrol large vast of land are still a concern

Recently there has been a dramatic increase in the number of children migrating over the border in Texas.  Texas Border Patrol agents are limited and cannot keep watch over the large spans of land.  They are in dire need of Federal assistance.  According to news reporter Hannah Fraser-Chanpong of CBS News (2014) Texas has detained over 500 illegals and apprehended as many as 1,400 people a day.  Many of the illegals that came over the border were unaccompanied children.  Another issue that has been brought up to the government and US citizens is the threat of terrorists crossing the borders of Texas.

Recently James O’ Keefe an American filmmaker demonstrated how easy it is for a terrorist to cross over into America from the Mexican border.  In the video O’Keefe crosses over to Texas in a costume that resembles Osama Bin Laden.  No one stopped him, because there was no patrol man in sight for miles.  “I see no border patrol. I see no security,” O’Keefe (2014) said in the video before donning a bin Laden mask. O’Keefe (2014) continued, “Thousands of people have stood in my footsteps right now. They’ve come from South America, Honduras, Guatemala, and they’ve all crossed the border. And if they can cross, anybody can cross.”

There is a commonality in the arguments shared, America is vulnerable to illegal migration and terrorist threats unless there is increased funding in the border patrol and customs agencies.  By adding border patrol and customs officers the entryways to America along bordering countries will be protected and secured.  Additional patrols will put a stop to illegal drug cartels and other dangers coming into the country.

Problem, Theory, Variables, and Hypothesis:

Problem Statement:  The lack of border patrol agents leaves the borders open and vulnerable to illegal migration and terrorist threats.

Theory:   By adding additional border patrol agents, America’s borders will be more secure and will see a dramatic decrease in illegal immigrant’s crossing over onto American soil.

Independent Variable: 1,000 Border Patrol Officers

Indicator: 1,000 Border Patrol Officers

Dependent Variable:  Illegal Immigrants

Hypothesis:  Border Patrol that add an additional 1,000 Border Patrol Officers are less likely to have illegal immigrants than Border Patrol that do not add an additional 1,000 additional Border Patrol Officers.
Population / Sample:

The population for this proposal is 26 border crossings in the great state of Texas, in which illegal immigrants are utilizing to cross over into the United States of America.  The agency has a master list of the 26 border crossings along Mexico and Texas, so a probability sampling strategy will be utilized for this proposal.  This proposal will explicitly use a simple random sample of 12 border crossings from the master list of 26 border crossings will be used (6 for the experimental group and 6 for the control group) will be tested.

 

Research Design:

True classical design would be best suited for further research into the study of the effects of additional border patrol agents along the borders or America.  By randomly placing an additional 1,000 border patrol agents along America’s borders researchers will collect valuable information that will aide in identifying the additions as a valid solution to tightening up the security along open borders.

 

           

           

 

Data Collection:

 

Existing data will be collected for this proposal.  By utilizing reports measuring the number of illegal immigrants crossing the borders versus the number of border patrol officers it is easy to determine the areas that are weakest and need more coverage.  Statistical data reflecting the number of illegal immigrants will be measured before the experiment and 6 months after the experiment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References:

 

Haddal, C. (2010, August 11). Border Security: The Role of the U.S. Border Patrol. Retrieved February 7, 2015, from https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/RL32562.pdf

Department of Homeland Security. (2015, January 1). Border Patrol History. Retrieved February 7, 2015, from http://www.cbp.gov/border-security/along-us-borders/history

FRASER-CHANPONG, H. (2014, June 19). Surge in unaccompanied immigrant children pushes Texas border patrol to its limits. Retrieved February 6, 2015, from http://www.cbsnews.com/news/surge-in-unaccompanied-immigrant-children-pushes-texas-border-patrol-to-its-limits/

James O’Keefe crosses US-Mexico border dressed as Bin Laden [Motion picture]. (2014). Http://video.foxnews.com/v/3730174302001/james-okeefe-crosses-us-mexico-border-dressed-as-bin-laden/?#sp=show-clips.

Maxfield, M., & Babbie, E. (2009). Criminal Justice and Scientific Inquiry. In Basics of research methods for criminal justice and criminology (2nd ed., p. 36 and 38). Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.

Drug Analysis

druas

Research shows drug use can be extremely harmful to the human body.  The damage can be extensive and affect the body both physically and psychologically. Yet, since the discovery of drugs more and more individuals find it hard to overcome the addiction.  In fact, surveys conducted by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids (2010) reflect an increase on drug use in America, with 23.5 million Americans addicted to alcohol and drugs.  According to Abdadinsky, (2014), “several attempts have been made to explain why some people become dependent on chemicals while others, even those who use the same substances, do not.”  This paper will analyze and evaluate the differences between alcohol, cocaine, and ecstasy; by identifying the composition, manufacture and cultivation of the drug, how it is used, and the physical and psychological effects on the human body.  Furthermore, this paper will identify one theory that best explains why an individual would chose to use one or more of the chosen drugs aforementioned above.

Alcohol is a depressant and is the most common substance that causes addiction in the United States.  Statistics show over 17 million people suffer from alcohol use or dependency, and several more million show patterns that will lead to addiction.  The alcohol abuse affects more than seven million children in the Unites States; forcing them to fall victim of the effects of alcohol abuse in their own home.  (NCADD, 2015) Ethyl alcohol is the intoxicating ingredient in many alcoholic beverages consumed by Americans today.  It is produced by fermenting carbohydrates to ethyl alcohol by growing yeast cells.  The main raw materials that are fermented for the production of alcohol include sugar cane, barley, corn, and flavoring. (Britannica, 2012) The Ethyl alcohol is found in beer, wine, and other spirits that are produced and sold in liquor stores, food markets, and restaurants.  Anheuser Busch is a major manufacturer of beer in the U.S.  The beer is brewed and fermented from malted barley grain and flavored with hops.  The Barley is cultivated on a private farm in Idaho.  Ethanol is a 2 carbon alcohol, the molecular formula is CH3CH2OH. (Britannica, 2012) This depressant has become a social drink, making it even more dangerous.  It is known as the life of the party, has power to drowned out the memory of a bad breakup, and relax the mind.  It can be consumed alone or with a group of people and is very easy to obtain.  For most adults moderate alcohol consumption is not harmful.  Anything over two drinks per day is considered excessive and heavy drinking and can be life threatening.  Alcohol affects all body systems over an extended period of use.  Consumption results in higher risks of liver cancer, ulcer disease, brain damage, chronic active hepatitis, and impairment of the immune system.  Heavy consumption decreases production of all blood cells, lowering the immune system and resistance to infections, and also decreases lifetime expectancy.  The negative effects are limitless and can also damage one’s emotional stability, finances, impact family and other personal relationships stripping the user of the life that he once knew.

Cocaine is a very powerful and very addicting drug that affects the brain instantaneously.   The chemical formula of cocaine is C17H21NO4.  (Britannica, 2012) It is derived from the coca plant and has been abused for over 100 years.  Cocaine comes in two forms; hydrochloride salt which is a powder and dissolves in water.  It is in this form that the user can inject the drug into their blood stream intravenously or snort it through the nasal passage.  The second form of cocaine is known as freebase; in this form the user can smoke the cocaine for a more intense affect.  Cocaine is a stimulant and can cause the user to feel energized, be extremely talkative, mentally alert, sensitivity to sight and sound, and causes the pupils to dilate.  Among these short term effects lie the hidden long term effects which include: restlessness, paranoia, and irritability.  Cocaine is extremely dangerous for the body in a physical stance causing irregular heartbeat, respiratory failure, seizures, and strokes.  This drug is cultivated in Bolivia, Peru, and Colombia.  The cultivation process begins weeding the bad seeds out.  The farmer will plant the crop in the best part of his field where the water drains off into the river.  The crop is maintained for 12 to 24 months and after maturity the leaves are removed, dried, and prepared for cocaine processing.  (Rhodium, 1993)

Ecstasy is a popular hallucinogen that is known in the club world as a date rape drug.  Unlike alcohol and cocaine which come from natural ingredients and plants of the earth, this drug is synthesized in a laboratory.  It is a designer drug created by altering the molecular structure of the amphetamine.  Ecstasy has a molecular formula of C11H15NO2   and contains caffeine, ephedrine, ketamine, and methamphetamine. (Britannica, 2012) This drug is most commonly taken orally and is often slipped unknowingly into an individual’s drink.  It can also be inhaled, injected, and snorted.  Once the drug has entered the body it quickly finds a passageway to the brain.  It is absorbed into the bloodstream very easily and affects the liver, heart, lungs, and brain of the human body.  According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (2014) it will take 15 minutes from the time that the drug is ingested to reach the brain.  It causes short term and long term effects on the human brain.  The short term effects include feeing empathy and warm feelings towards others, decreased anxiety, and mental stimulation.  This is a happy drug that temporarily increases your positivity and mood and will increase sexual arousal.  Ecstasy has also been known to increase paranoia, reduce pleasure, and cause intense depression.  After ingesting the drug the user will experience chills, blurred vision, nausea, hallucinations, and fever.

Most individuals begin using drugs as a means to cope with a social issue or because they have witnessed a friend or family member using the substance at one time or another.  This is an example of the social theory on drugs.  According to Abadinsky (2014) most young people seek out drugs to cope with depression, alienation, or parental disapproval.  Individuals that use alcohol tend to do it in a social setting usually with friends to enhance the mood and liven things up.  It is also a relaxation tool and helps the user unwind in stressful situations, like a first date.  Cocaine is another social drug that is used in secret with a small group that are seeking an escape from reality.  The individuals most likely already share a bound and have experimented with other drugs before.  Young people see drugs as an easy way to connect with peers and to get through the common hardships that come as a teen in a world.

These three drugs are very common in that they change the behavior of the user and increase chances of physical harm to oneself or others.  The chances of death is increased while under the influence of the illegal substances.  Alcohol and Cocaine offer a quick rush while ecstasy requires more time to influence the mental functions of the brain.  One thing remains they are dangerous whether used in a solo setting or with a large group.  The physical and psychological effects will stay with you and may impair you for a lifetime, leaving you in shambles.

References:

Join Together Staff Writer. (2010, September 28). New Data Show Millions of Americans with Alcohol and Drug Addiction Could Benefit from Health Care R – Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. Retrieved April 22, 2015, from http://www.drugfree.org/new-data-show-millions-of-americans-with-alcohol-and-drug-addiction-could-benefit-from-health-care-r/

Abadinsky, H. (2014). Drug Use and Abuse: A Comprehensive Introduction (8th ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.

Alcohol & Drug Information. (2015, January 1). Retrieved April 22, 2015, from https://ncadd.org/for-the-media/alcohol-a-drug-information

Ethyl alcohol | chemical compound. (2012, January 1). Retrieved April 22, 2015, from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/194354/ethyl-alcohol

Cocaine | chemical compound. (2012, January 1). Retrieved April 22, 2015, from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/123441/cocaine

Ecstasy| chemical compound. (2012, January 1). Retrieved April 22, 2015, from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/378657/Ecstasy

Rhodium. (1993, January 1). Coca Cultivation and Cocaine Processing: An Overview – [www.rhodium.ws]. Retrieved April 22, 2015, from https://erowid.org/archive/rhodium/chemistry/coca2cocaine.html

The Neurobiology of Ecstasy (MDMA). (2014, January 1). Retrieved April 22, 2015, from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/teaching-packets/neurobiology-ecstasy/section-i/4-what-we-know-about-ecstasy

America’s War on Drugs

The War on Drugs is one of the largest under takings, by the U.S. government that spans over the past 40 years. It has cost the U.S. billions of dollars each year since 1968. In fact, Miron and Wadlock (2011) reports the U.S. federal government spent over fifteen billion dollars in 2010 on the War on Drugs, at a rate of about five hundred dollars per second. Yet, within this great investment lies much debate and controversy. This paper will address the connection between drugs, crime, and violence, and whether or not the United States government has had much success decreasing crime and violence using the current strategies in the last thirty to forty years.
There is a strong correlation between drugs and crime. To begin with, producing, selling, and using drugs are unlawful. Florida Statute 499.03 deem it unlawful for a citizen to use drugs without a valid prescription. It also states that, it is unlawful to possess illegal substances with the intent to make a profit or to assist in a drug sale in any form or fashion. It is also unlawful to establish a lab of any sort that is maintained for illegal substances according to Florida Statute 465.015. Drugs are also interrelated with crime because of the influence they have on the user’s behavior. Drugs impair judgment and generate violent behavior that can not only hurt the user, but the innocent people around them. According to data collected and reported by the Florida Institute of Technology (2014) drugs and alcohol contribute to more than 50 percent of all violent crimes in the United States. It continues to report that nearly 50 percent of traffic accidents involve the use of illegal substances and are the root of 80 percent of domestic violence calls. Judgment is generally the first to be impaired while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The effects can lead to poor decision making, poor concentration and loss of inhibitions, extreme emotions such as rage and anxiety, and blackouts. Also, many offenders find themselves committing crimes in order to obtain the money to purchase drugs that feed their addiction. In October of 2006 the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported as many as 18.4% of prisoners in our Federal jails committed a violent crime in order to obtain the money needed to purchase narcotics. There was no care in the world, when committing the crime for the individuals that were harmed. The motivator was the addiction to such a dangerous substance.
In 1986, Ronald Reagan spoke out to the citizens of the United States and expressed his gratification on the war on drugs in America. In his speech he shared great news that reports by the DEA reflecting a shortage in Marijuana and an increase in seizures of illegal drugs. The government tripled its costs on the war on drugs, but it was done in great measure and with great progression. Even still after costing over sixty billion dollars a year, we faced challenges with drug smuggling, babies being born with an addiction to drugs and abnormalities, and crack a new drug that was being described by the President as an “uncontrolled fire” as we slowly entered the 90’s. Drug abuse affects everyone not just the user and will take everyone’s efforts to control. This was Regan’s message to America. During Reagan’s presidency there was a spike in the number of people behind bars for nonviolent drug law offenses. As many as 50,000 offenders were incarcerated in 1980 to over 400,000 by the late 90’s.
Thirty years later, America is still amidst the war on drugs. We face new challenges and new drugs that inhibit clear thinking and influence dangerous behaviors. During the presidential campaign in the 90’s Clinton gained popularity by promising the public that he would bring an end to the war on drugs by providing treatment for the offenders rather than incarcerate them. Shortly after taking over the White House, Clinton quickly reverted back to “Republican ways” and started filling the state and federal prisons with the people that use drugs, once again. When Bush took over he also invested a tremendous amount of American dollars with an effort to control illegal substances in the country. Efforts by the Bush Administration focused on student drug testing. This strategy was an epic fail with an increase in overdose fatalities. On the Issues (2000) reported George W. Bush also ignited the militarization of domestic drug law enforcement by adding 40,000 SWAT style raids on US citizens each year. These raids were mostly for nonviolent crimes that involved illegal substances. During President George W. Bush’s presidency the war on drugs stalled. Many state governments began to see a decrease in the drug epidemic that plagued the country. This created opportunities for change. Under Obama’s “reign” in the White House, Americans are being offered the chance to rock the vote on legalizing drugs. This past year Liberals were pushing to legalize Marijuana. Politicians see Marijuana as a leisure drug and compare it to alcohol and tobacco. Voters in Florida voted no and have kept this dangerous drug illegal across the state.
There has been much effort to end the war on drugs in America. With each strategy implemented, there has been change. Yet not enough to eliminate the issue altogether. It is inevitable that Americans will see more outlandish opportunities to change drug policies and to legalize drugs in hopes to wipe out crime. Progress to win the battle on the war on drugs is slow, but if America sticks to her guns positive change is bound to occur.

References

Miron, J., & Wadlock, K. (2011, January 1). The Budgetary Impact of Drug Prohibition. Retrieved March 29, 2015, from https://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp

Florida Statute 499.03 Possession of certain drugs without prescriptions unlawful; exemptions and exceptions. (2015, March 11). Retrieved March 29, 2015, from http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?mode=View Statutes&SubMenu=1&App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=unlawful drugs&URL=0400-0499/0499/Sections/0499.03.html

Florida Statute 465.015 Violations and penalties. (2015, March 11). Retrieved March 31, 2015, from http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?mode=View Statutes&SubMenu=1&App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=unlawful drugs&URL=0400-0499/0465/Sections/0465.015.html

Facts about Alcohol and Drug Abuse. (2014, January 1). Florida Institute of Technology. Retrieved March 31, 2015, from http://www.fit.edu/caps/articles/facts.php

Drug use and crime. (2006, October 1). Bureau of Justice Statistics. Retrieved March 29, 2015, from http://www.bjs.gov/content/dcf/duc.cfm
Ronald Reagan-Speech to the Nation on the Campaign Against Drug Abuse (September 14, 1986). (1986, September 11). Retrieved March 31, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYWS7udm0yg

George W. Bush on Drugs. (2000, January 1). Retrieved March 31, 2015, from http://www.ontheissues.org/2004/George_W__Bush_Drugs.htm

How has life changed since 9-11

The terrorist attacks of 2011 certainly caused our government to rethink our way of life. We had become vulnerable and caught with our guard down. I am sure that even as you read this your mind can wander back to the morning of September 11, 2001 and visualize the terror that our country was experiencing after the attacks on the twin towers. We lost many heroes that day.
Our Federal and State governments worked together to create some changes that they believed would make our country safer and stronger. A month after 9/11 President Bush signed and out in to order the USA Patriot Act. This act was placed in order to enhance our domestic security measures against terrorism, increase surveillance, and tighten up our borders. With this we have given up our privacy and are expected to walk through metal detectors and bag checks in court houses, federal buildings, and at the airport. We are constantly under surveillance and Big Brother is out to catch every word that springs a red flag of a terrorist threat. The question is did these changes force us, once a free country to offer up our liberty freedoms for more security and personal safety?
The answer is yes! We may not notice the change in our every day lives as much as we should. The local police agencies still operate under the basic mission that they are to enforce and uphold the laws of the society, investigate crimes and apprehend criminals, prevent crime, provide the citizens of the community with policing services. Although it appears that the duties and the basic mission of our police agencies may have not changed, they have also increased their training and response to incidents of terrorism related emergency. Our officers are dedicated more of their time in preparing for any future attacks that we may endure from Islamic terrorist and other groups that are anti-American and threaten our freedom and safety. It is like a catch 22, our officials are out to protect our freedom and yet they ask us to give up some of our liberties and freedoms in order for them to do that.
Responding to acts of terrorism has become a top priority for all criminal justice agencies. Problems have raised and much debate has surface since the September 11, 2011 terrorist attacks. It is very well supported that the intelligence that is collected among the federal agencies should be shared within local and state agencies. The debate is back and forth. In order for our agencies to protect us in great mass against threats of terrorism criminal intelligence and information must be shared and this would mean crossing lines of jurisdiction in order to prevent terrorism. “Not only terrorism prevention depends on mutual candor and cooperation among local, state, and federal agencies. So do well- designed and coordinated first responses to terrorist attacks by thoroughly trained local police, firefighters, hazardous materials experts, and hospital and other emergency personnel.” (Delattre, 2011) Agencies must network with one another and with citizens in order to collect vital information that can be of great worth to other agencies. Our police officers may receive information from a citizen that would be of value to the FBI and it works both ways.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police or better known as the IACP has established key principles that make for a more effective national homeland security. Homeland security must operate with the understanding that local officials are responsible for preventing and responding to acts of terror; prevention is just as vital as the response and recovery on a local, state, and national level; local law enforcement have the ability to identify, investigate, and apprehend suspects of terrorist acts; together all agencies must acknowledge diversity; and understand that not every terrorist act can be responded in the same manner.
Not one agency can prevent terrorism acts from occurring on American soil. We must gather our intelligence and work together on local to national levels. All across the board we must unite and respect the abilities of each individual that works to protect the citizens of this great country. Our local police work close with the community and are susceptible to receiving need to know details from citizens they encounter on a daily basis. Our local police have a better understanding of what goes on in our communities then a state or federal agent. It is imperative that we work together and share information among agencies, so that we can better protect our country.
Social stigma plays a huge part in local policing and the success of the agency. When an officer finds that he is not walking a straight line and his character is corrupt or flawed in some way, he will undergo scrutiny for his behavior. Society will become aware of his acts, media will play on it and the respect and tolerance will be affected in a negative manner. Officers that display more acceptable behavior and character are not influenced by the social stigma.
When an officer falls short and violates what is considered to be the accepted norm they become stigmatized. An example falls on the New York Police department and the Buddy Boys. In 1993 the NYPD tolerated the corruptive and dishonest behaviors of the Buddy Boys. By enabling and supporting the unlawful behaviors of these officers the “code of silence” was being honored. By enacting the code of silence the NYPD was trying to protect the careers and reputation of the officers and of the policing agency. (Delattre, 2011)
The reality is that the criminal justice system is flawed and corruption lives among the good cops. They are not easy to point of a crowd and are impeccable at blending in. Corruption lies in the line of work, the criminals, the officers that are sliding down the slippery slope, and those that have already fallen deep in the dark world of unlawfulness. Police officers must uphold their sworn oath to always uphold the law and to always do what is right and they must not allow themselves to be pulled off track and to be affected by the unethical behaviors that may be around them. Instead they must fight the temptation and they must help weed out the officers that may abuse the power of the badge.
Ethics in criminal justice is another area in which corrupt officers go back and forth. Often times there is no question, the officer is plainly corrupted. When an officer is sworn in they take a vow not only to themselves but to their country, family, community, and the agency to honor the Law of Enforcement Code of Ethics. The code defines the duty of an officer beyond the means of the gun and badge. It is a much deeper meaning with a solemn vow to always uphold the law and to serve the community and provide prevention and protection. It is also a vow to uphold the constitution and to be mindful of the rights of all Americans. Any violation to the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics is to be deemed unethical and is not tolerated. An officer that violates the code and can ultimately ruin an entire life’s career when the deception and corruption is brought to light.
An officer can develop a healthy conscience, with a strong sense of what is good or ethical and lawful behavior. A conscience is “one’s inner sense of what is right and what is wrong. (Merriam Webster, 2014) An officer’s past will certainly contribute to his conscience and his ethics. An officer that is religious and has strong ties to God may not want to act in a way that would go against his religious beliefs. In this case the religious officer would not want to participate in sexual acts outside of his marriage or solicit sex from a prostitute as it would go against God’s laws on sex outside of marriage and keeping the sanctity of sex.
During the hiring process agencies should be more aware of the applicant’s habits and history. With a good knowledge of the individual’s activities and family life we can make a determination of what the individual may be like as an officer. Although an interview does not paint an accurate picture, we are able to utilize psych analysis and background checks to help understand the applicant’s. Delattre has a similar point of view as he states, “departments should look for evidence that the candidate is a person of conscience – a person whose habits show a trustworthy sense of right and wrong and regard for the golden rule” (Delattre, 2011.) When an applicant displays an ethical and morally stable background and receives the training that is needed to perform his duties to the law he will have a great possibility of a successful career and will prove to be valuable in the sense of the law to the agency and to his community. During training it is important that all candidates learn the law and the importance of an individual’s rights as stated in the constitution. It is an officer’s right and duty to uphold the liberties and freedoms of every person and life. An effective officer is not only born with specific traits that make him a good leader and protector but he is also taught by family and his surroundings what is right and what is wrong. Morals and ethics of a good officer and an outstanding human are learned overtime and throughout one’s life. Last, training provides the officer with understanding of the law and real life scenario’s that they may run into in the field. Training is not limited to books in the classroom but also extends to the field where they will shadow and work with a unit.
As we can see that not one unit is able to provide protection to the community and to prevent terrorism. It takes all agencies working together to make this happen. It starts with the application process and it grows from there. The interviewer’s job is to help weed out any applicants that may bring corruption with them. Our agencies have a vital job and that is to provide prevention and protection from domestic and foreign threats. To do so each individual in criminal justice must be of ethical and moral sound mind.

 

 

 

References:
Conscience. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster. Retrieved July 4, 2014, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conscience

Police Chief Magazine – View Article. (2009, February 1). Police Chief Magazine – View Article. Retrieved July 4, 2014, from http://www.policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=1729&issue_id=22009

Liptak, A. (2011, September 7). Civil Liberties Today. . Retrieved July 8, 2014, from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/07/us/sept-11-reckoning/civil.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

Delattre, E.J. (2011). Public corruption for profit. Character and Cops Ethics in Policing. (6th ed., ). Lanham: AEI Press.

 

 

The Slippery Slope…

Does an officer really become corrupt just because he takes a free cup of coffee? According to the theory of the slippery slope he does. “O.W. Wilson, Patrick V. Murphy, and many other experienced officials have contended that the slippery slope of corruption begins with any gratuity.” (Delattre, 2011) You may find yourself wondering what the slippery slope is in the world of criminal justice. We can define the slippery slope as “a process or series of events that is hard to stop or control once it has begun and that usually leads to worse or more difficult things.” (Merriam Webster, 2014) One may find themselves dancing on the edges of corruption by accepting half priced or free meals, tickets to theme parks and football games, and free hotel rooms while vacationing. It is a view that officers accept these “gifts” as a monetary gain; the root of all evil. These gratuities are generally offered by citizens of the community that you serve and many times it is offered in appreciation of a job well done. Sometimes, these gratuities come with strings attached like, “remember me when I accidentally run that red light, or I am caught speeding the next time I am running late.” Often time’s officers find themselves with a soft spot and they extend a get out of trouble free card to the citizen that offered them the nice gesture and before they know it they have earned a membership in the slippery slope club. Although you would think that this may not make the officer corrupt, think about what activities the citizen can get away with later, simply by offering free goods and possibly even money to the criminal justice agent that we trust to uphold the law. Speeding and running red lights are only the beginning, what happens when they find themselves in a tough spot and they cause a much greater crime. They turn to the officer that owes them and has always been there to over look their unlawful behavior and ask that they help clean it up. So yes, the slippery slope is plausible and can effect just about anyone, simply because we live in such a sinful world. It is only human to be tempted and to choose the easier not so lawful road. Delattre goes more into depth in regards to police corruption in the following theories: Society-at-large hypothesis, structural or affiliation hypothesis, and the rotten apple hypothesis. We are going to look at each one in the body of this paper.
It is safe to say that everything comes with a price and that is the idea that the slippery slope theory defends. O.W. Wilson brought light to the society-at-large hypothesis when he did a study on the corruption in Chicago. His study focused on gratuities that officers received as a simple thank you and how they led to unlawful behavior such as bribes and scandals. “Wilson explained; truck drivers, for example would clip money to their driver’s licenses to avoid traffic citations.” (pg 79) This led to patrol officers making petty traffic stops just so they could pocket some cash. This example focuses on the role that society plays and how it molds the unethical behavior of the police officer, which is the society-at-large hypothesis. This hypothesis identifies the influence that certain people or groups have on police officers and officials. The community dominates by using gratuities to influence the behavior of the officer to handle or clean up issues that occur in the community, to alter reports, or to avoid arrest. In the society-at-large hypothesis the society is to blame for the corrupt behavior of a police officer or other official.
Arthur Niederhoffer first presented the structural/affiliation theory which upholds the idea that officers are who their superiors are. Officers do not start out corrupt, but they learn deviant behavior by observing the behavior of veterans and superiors. When a rookie comes aboard they are thrown in with a veteran for observing and training. They learn the behaviors and what is acceptable by the officer that is training them. If the training officer is corrupt and participates in unlawful behavior this will rub off onto the rookie and he will become just as corrupt. This is a never ending cycle, the rookie will become a veteran and one day will train a newbie and so the corruption will live on. Another important element to this hypothesis is the idea that the code of secrecy is how the corruption festers and breeds.
Last and most certainly not least is the rotten apple hypothesis. This theory supports the idea that police corruptions is the product of hiring individuals into the criminal justice field that already display behavior that is deemed corruptive. Fans of the rotten apple hypothesis believe strongly that corruption in police agencies is due to very poor hiring practices, inadequate training, and a lack of supervision that spills over and spoils standards set by the agency and spreads like a disease through the unit. (Delattre, 2011) In the eyes of the supporters of this slippery slope, corruption is second nature and is almost avoidable once one has opened the door to temptation, greed, and self indulgence.
No matter how honest you might be or you’re religious beliefs, or the promises that you have made to yourself, within weeks of being added to the team of the police agency you will find yourself falling down the slippery slope. The oath of upholding the law and swearing to tell the truth at all times no matter what goes right out the window once you take the your first “free cup of coffee”. It as if the lies and the deceit just start to poor out of every decision and step you take. You will start to believe that what is good for someone else is good for me and the only way to survive is to go along with your peers or to resign from your position. It is only a matter of time before all of our officers will disown the oath of the badge and catch themselves sliding down what we know to be the slippery slope. Avoid your lifetime membership to this corruptive club and pay for your next cup of coffee.

 

 

 

 

 

References:
Delattre, E. J. (2011). Public corruption for profit. Character and Cops Ethics in Policing. (6th ed., ). Lanham: AEI Press.
slippery slope. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster. Retrieved June 8, 2014, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/slippery%20slope
Criminal Justice Ethics for Everyone. (n.d.). PoliceLink. Retrieved June 7, 2014, from http://policelink.monster.com/education/articles/103583-criminal-justice-ethics-for-everyone