Tag: Crime

Cyberbullying : An In-Depth Analysis of Cybercrime

In the present world, the interaction of people has improved due to the advancement in technology. People are able to communicate easily irrespective of their distances and location in the world. Computers and mobile phones have provided the avenue for the increased interaction. People as social beings are interacting virtually through social media and other technological tools (Tardanico, 2012). However, people with malicious intentions use the technological tools to bully other people. This is referred to as cyberbullying.

Read also Social Media’s Adverse Effects with a Special Focus on Cyberbullying – Argumentative Essay

Cyber bullying is a premeditation and malicious antagonistic activity that is demonstrated by a perpetrator towards a victim (Hendricks, 2012). Many young people spend more time texting and on the internet and, therefore, they are culpable to be victimized by their friends and others who have malicious intent and are intent on intimidating and harassing the teens or preteens. The cyber bullies anonymously attack their victims by forging their information on various social sites to cover their tracks.  Bullying in schools has traditionally taken the form of aggression acts that are repetitively perpetrated by students on their fellow students (Kowalski et al., 2014). With the introduction of computers and smart mobile devices, bullying has taken a new turn.  The acts of cyberbullying have led to suicides among many teens who cannot take the stress and pressure associated with being maligned by their peers or anonymous people.  As a result, cyberbullying is a vice that should be stopped completely.

Read also Megan Meier Case Study – Cyberbullying Results in Death

Evolution of Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying has evolved from the use of text to the advanced use of various apps on smartphones that lead to the character assassination of the victims. In the 1990s, more people had cell phones and to some extent, some children owned cell phones especially those in middle and high schools. In 2010, more than three-quarters of the teen populations had phones and 2014 evidenced 78 % of teens owning a cell phone. More teens have access to the internet as compared to the last decade. Computers and other mobile devices have evolved greatly, and more information can be shared on the net than before. Cyberbullying got national attention in 2007 after Megan, who was a teenager from Missouri, was hoaxed and repeatedly attacked online by her reportedly fictitious boyfriend and her friends (Mirsky & Omar, 2015). The perpetrators of the cyberbullying were the mother and sister to a classmate of Megan. Such instances have shown the extent to which society has sunk in terms of cyberbullying. A middle school student that targeted the principle and an algebra teacher reportedly created a website. It had threatening and uncouth statements about them.

Read also School Bullying In US – Research Paper

The digital age has enabled not only texts to be longer and accessed by many people but also pictures. Some teens have been bullied with pictures that are defamatory and have led to some of the teens committing suicide. Jessica Logan is a teen who committed suicide after nude pictures of her were posted on the internet and were circulated throughout among her fellow students in Cincinnati (Carpenter & Hubbard, 2014). A mother and her child perpetrated the act. Such an act to a teen is rather traumatizing, and she lacked the courage to face the students after the posting of the nude pictures. The cyberbullying incident led to the Jessica Logan Act that seeks to encourage schools to prohibit cyberbullying. The ABC news has highlighted the plight of cyberbullied victims recently by airing a documentary titled Bullied to Death in America’s Schools”. The documentary shows the various sad actions that have led to the deaths of teenagers due to cyber bullying. The documentary pointed to the fact that some 14 teenagers had lost their lives by committing suicide. Cyberbullying is an international problem. It is not simply limited to the North America. Bylluing is characterized by an imbalance of power. Therefore, to tackle bullying effectively several measures that would help in tackling the imbalance of power should be implemented.

Read also Cybercrimes Development Chronology – Hacking, Email Wiretapping, Phishing And Vishing

People are victims of cyberbullying exhibit certain characteristics. The U.S. Secret Service detailed the characteristics of people who are victims of cybercrime after undertaking extensive investigation. The Secret Service claims that bullying is one of the major factors that make people engage in criminal activities. The shooters who engaged in 12 of the 15 campus shootings in the 1990s had a history of being bullied. Previously, bullying mainly involved intimidation, manipulation, and physical aggressiveness against a weaker individual. It was common in schools. Confiscation of an individual’s lunch money was one of the most common forms of bullying (Peterson, 2012).

However, in the contemporary world, victims of cyberbullying are usually humiliated in public. This makes certain victims of cyberbullying to formulate a plan by committing a stronger negative action against the bully. The campus shootings discussed above may have been motivated by an individual being bullied. In the contemporary world, a rumor can circulate in a school of community within a matter of seconds due to various technological tools. The spread of the information may be so fast that millions of people across the globe may have viewed the information prior to its removal. For instance, some years ago a Freshman from Rutgers University jumped from the George Washington Bridge after his sexual activities with another male student were videotaped and put in the internet. People who put the video may have thought they were simply having fun or bashing the student for engaging in homosexual activities. However, the impact of the activities was severe to both the victim and themselves (Peterson, 2012).

Read also Impacts Of Cybercrime At The National, Local, And Individual Levels – Computer Hacking

There has been a significant increase in bullying in the U.S. in the last 30 years. This may be linked to the increase in the number of suicides and homicides cases in certain areas. The motive of bullying is usually about something that the victims cannot change. For instance perpetrators of bullying may dislike individuals due to their hair color, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, and appearance.

There is a significant difference in the physical, psychological, and behavioral characteristics of victimization vary in elementary, middle and high school. Bullying in elementary school usually involves name calling and hitting each other. Students in middle school usually have mobile phones, which the parents have purchased for them. The students may use their phones to engage in cyberbullying. Children in high school have access to various electronic devices. They may use computers for educational programs. They also interact with various websites. As such, limited access to electronic devices in elementary schools make bullying of students be restricted to physical and verbal bullying of other students. Students in middle and high school have access to various electronic devices. Therefore, they may start engaging in cyberbullying (Peterson, 2012).

Technology and Evolution of Cybercrime

Computers had the monopoly of posting more content through emails and social sites in the past, but that has changed drastically. The digital age has brought about portable devices that can be carried around quite easily and used for any one’s convenience. The mobile devices have evolved greatly to incorporate various features like cameras and apps that can instantly post any information on the social media that includes Gmail, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter among many other which have millions of users (Kowalski et al., 2012). Many apps have access to social media sites, which are linked to the camera, and pictures can be posted instantly without the use of a computer. Also, smartphones have led to a revolution in communication not only in using text messages and calls but also in using pictures taken at a specified time. Therefore, cyberbullying can bring on board many users who know the person and who can post negative comments about him or her. As such, one person can start the cyberbullying while bringing others into it. For example, malicious content can be posted about someone in school and everyone in the school can be able to see the content and even make comments to the victims who as explained above had led to many undesirable actions that have led to death (Schneider et al., 2012). The stressful conditions that occur have often led to suicides or the victim withdrawing him or herself from her peers. Some people may even hack into other accounts and use them in bullying their fellow students without the knowledge of the account user. Various incidences have been reported in social media where unrated content has been posted on their walls that have led to a barrage of unwarranted comments from users of the specific social sites.

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The internet and technological tools are suitable for non-violent forms of bullying. Students in a learning institution may be classified into four categories. These include students who are neither bullies nor victims of cyberbullying, students are only victims of cyberbullying, students who are perpetrators of cyberbullying, and students who are both perpetrators and victims of cyberbullying. A significant proportion of students do not have any involvement with cyberbullying. However, students are either victims or perpetrators of cyberbullying are less likely to notify their parents or other adults about cyberbullying. Parents of the above students do not also know the internet activities of the students. People who are high internet users are more likely to be both cyberbullies and victims of cyberbullying than low internet users.

Technology has helped in democratizing bullying since one does not have to physically overpower the victim. One can simply log on, create a fake identity, and start bullying others. Instead of whispering behind the victim, the insults can be posted on social networking sites for everyone to read. Instead of an individual having to silently listen to a phone conversation, the individual can watch incriminating videos of the individual on a computer screen. In addition, instead of a popular clique in school refusing to let a certain student sit with them during lunch, people in the clique may use various technological tools to ensure that the victim is not in anybody’s list.

Despite the fact that a significant number of 14 to 24 year olds acknowledge the fact that digital abuse is a serious problem to people in their age bracket, very few of them believe what they post online can hurt them in the future. In the contemporary world, a significant number of 14 to 24 year olds engage in naked sexting. Sexting refers to sending nude sexually suggesting pictures using a phone or online. Time Magazine ranked sexting as the number one buzz word in 2009 (Stephey, 2009). Females are more likely to send naked pictures of themselves to other people. On the other hand, males are more likely to receive the nude pictures of the females. According to a study undertaken by MTV and AP in 2009, 61% of people who send naked pictures have been pressured by other people to also send them nude pictures. In addition, approximately 20% of people who receive sext messages pass them along to other people (AP-MTV, 2009).

The snowballing effect of sexting may be severe. For instance, an 18 year old Ohio girl committed suicide after her ex-boyfriend shared nude photos that she had sent him to other students. The students distributed it to other people. When the girl reported to authorities in an attempt to stop the distribution of the photos, the harassment of the girl by other students increased. The parents of the girl filed charges against the ex-boyfriend, several classmates, and the school for failing to prevent the harassment.

Legislation Related to Cyberbullying

Despite the fact that cyberbullying does not involve physical contact or audible insults, it may be very traumatizing to the victim. Use of of social media and mobile communications makes the offensive statements be viewed by all friends, family, and acquaintances of the victim. Therefore, the embarrassment and shame make cyberbullying have severe consequences.

Until recently, there were no laws that focused on addressing cyberbullying. However, legislators have not been blind to the significant increase in the number of cyberbullying incidences, which have been highlighted by the media. Some of the instances have resulted in tragic consequences such as suicides and shootings in school. This has led to the passing of laws in some states. However, the laws usually leave the implementation of various measures prescribed in the letter of the law in the hands of school officials. Therefore, in most instances, cyberbullying is treated as a civil case instead of a criminal case. In 2014, 49 of the 50 states had laws on cyberbullying. 20 of the states specifically stated cyberbullying in the laws. In addition, there are very few state policies that address cyberbullying that occurs outside the school. However, there are various laws that enable schools to intervene in instances where cyberbullying occurs outside the school but interrupts leaning in the school (Michelson, 2015).

Currently, there are no federal laws on cyberbullying. However, this does not imply that Congress has not tried to pass legislation on the crime. In 2008, Congress’ attempt to pass the Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act failed. However, federal civil right laws that prevent discriminatory harassment apply to federally funded schools (Kenley, 2012).

It is difficult to understand state laws on cyberbullying. Most state laws on cyberbullying claim that cyberbullying should be tackled at the school level. They require schools to implement policies that would help in stopping the occurrence of cyberbullying. The state laws acknowledge that it is the authority of schools to discipline students who engage in cyberbullying. As such, there are very few criminal codes that specifically deal with cyberbullying (Kenley, 2012).

Limitations and/or Gaps Related to Legislation on Cyberbullying

Most U.S. states have enacted laws that require schools to create or update their policies to help in tackling cyberbullying. However, schools can only the students who engage in cyberbullying. Certain states allow students to discipline students who engage in cyberbullying if there is evidence to suggest that the cyberbullying interrupts the school environment. However, the laws have various limitations. This is due to the fact that the American criminal justice system is very protective of an individual’s right to freedom of speech. Therefore, courts rarely term cyberbullying as sufficiently disruptive. This implies that in most instances, schools do not have the authority to discipline students who engage in cyberbullying (Michelson, 2015).

Japanese, Canadian and British authorities have various statutes that facilitate the prosecution of children who engage in various criminal activities related to cyberbullying. These include nuisance, communication threats and use of obscene communications. In the U.S. several individuals have been charges in instances where there is severe bullying. However, authorities are usually unable to prosecute the cases. This is due to the fact that criminal statutes for the laws specify the types of contacts that the perpetrator should have with the victim to be prosecuted for the alleged crimes. The laws have added electronic communication in an attempt to tackle this problem (Holt, Bossler & Seigfried-Spellar, 2015).

However, law enforcement agencies can only prosecute people only in severe cases of cyberbullying. Most cases of cyberbullying do not reach the high levels required for them to be termed as criminal harassment or stalking. This is because criminal harassment and stalking require the victims to fear that they would be physically harmed. Therefore, since cyberbullying does not involve physical violence of the victim it is difficult to prosecute the perpetrators (Michelson, 2015).

Cyberbullying may be tackled using two strategies. The internet-real name is one of the strategies that would help in tackling cyberbullying. This requires individuals to provide their identification to the website operation prior to posting comments. Therefore, if there is a lawsuit, the website operation would provide the information to the relevant authorities. Howe, the major limitation of this strategy is that it suppresses free speech and increases the risk of identity theft. Enactment of laws that criminalize cyberbullying would also help in tackling cyberbullying. For instance, after Megan Meier committed suicide due to being bullied online by a mother of one of her former friends, several towns and cities in Missouri enacted laws that addresses cyberbullying in response to the suicide. However, the laws simply implied that the victims of cyberbullying and their families have limited legal rights to prevent cyberbullying (Holt, Bossler & Seigfried-Spellar, 2015).

Penalties for Engaging in Cyberbullying in California

California defines cyberbullying as any form of harassment, intimidation, or annoyance of an individual through electronic means. It is a crime under certain instances. According to the California law, there are two types of online or electronic conduct that are classified as criminal. These include posting personal information to cause feat and use of electronic devices to harass. According to the California law, any person who posts or transmits information on the personal identification data of another individual or a harassing message on another individual to case unreasonable fear for the safety of the individual or his or her family is committing a misdemeanor. The California penal codes 422, 653.2, and 653m prescribe the punishment that the perpetrator should be subjected to. The penal codes also detail the punishment for an individual who uses obscene language or threatens to injure an individual or the property of another individual (Michelson, 2015).

As such, California classifies both forms of cyberbullying as misdemeanor. An individual convicted of misdemeanor in California faces a punishment of imprisonment for a maximum period of one year, a maximum fine of $1,000 or both. California Assembly Bill 86 gives schools also have a right to suspend a student or recommend the expulsion of a student who engages in cyberbullying in California (Michelson, 2015).

Degree to Which the Penalties Are Adequate For Penalizing the Offender

The penalties on cyberbullying are not adequate in penalizing the offender. They require the involvement of schools. Schools can only suspend or expel students who engage in cyberbullying. This is despite the fact that cyberbullying may have severe consequences on the victim. The Megan Meier case highlights the severe consequences of cyberbullying. Simply suspending or expelling a student who engages in cyberbullying would is not a sufficient penalty is the consequences of cyberbullying on the victim are severe. It is also wrong for the criminal justice system to classify cyberbullying as a misdemeanor that attracts a punishment of a fine of not more than $1,000, a jail term of not more than one year, or both. The life of an individual who commits suicide due to cyberbullying is not worth a mere $1,000 if it is possible to quantify it in monetary terms.

Challenges Law Enforcement Face in Their Efforts to Prevent and Address Cyberbullying

The internet enables people in different locations to communicate as if they were net to each other. As such when one of the parties engages in a crime it would be difficult for law enforcement agencies to prosecute the individual to jurisdictional issues. Jurisdictional issues are some of the major challenges that law enforcement agencies face in their efforts to tackle cyberbullying. An act that is illegal in one state may not be illegal in another state. Living in a location where the activity is not even a crime complicates the issues. Law enforcement agencies can only arrest people who are within their jurisdiction. For instance, a police officer in California does not have the authority to arrest an individual in Texas. In addition, the FBI does not have the authority to arrest an individual in Italy (Kowalski, Limber & Agatston, 2012).

Law enforcement agencies also have different job responsibilities, missions, and cultures that provide different expectations on the definition of cyberbullying, how to prevent it, and the most appropriate responses to bullying. Schools and law enforcement agencies have different laws that control their operations. For instance, law enforcement agencies ensure that people uphold the law whereas schools have a school code of rules. This poses a huge challenge since schools play a critical role in addressing cyberbullying. Therefore, it is vital for schools and law enforcement agencies to have agreements that detail the measures both school personnel and law enforcement agencies should take to tackle law enforcement agencies (Kowalski, Limber & Agatston, 2012).

People engage in cyberbullying anonymously. Screen names and fake e-mail accounts block the identity of the bully. This makes it difficult for law enforcement agencies, the bullied individual and schools to determine the identity of the perpetrator (Kowalski, Limber & Agatston, 2012).

Conclusion and Recommendations

Cyberbullying is an evil that has greatly affected most teens and should be brought to a stop to prevent any undesirable acts like suicides from taking place (Slonje et al., 2013). Social sites should educate teens, encourage them to report any user who posts malicious content that is not true, and ensure that the teens know how to block such users should they surface on their walls. Initiative should thus be taken to deal with the vice and prevent further accidents involving teens. Policy makers should also pass legislation that would help in tackling the vice. It is vital for the legislation to consider the challenges facing current legislation on cyber crime.

Social Class, Unemployment and their Relationship With Crime

Crime is basically a human phenomenon. Every human being is bound to commit crime at any one point. There is a popular perception though that the poor people and the unemployed are bound to commit crimes more than the rich.

Before we get to the issue of social class, we need to understand what social class is. When talking about the matters of social class, we can hear terms such as lower class, middle class and upper class. Terms such as underclass and working class also come in. all these terms differentiate the social groupings in relation to their social, economic, cultural, and political and also lifestyle resources. Attempt to understand the social class can briefly fall under some two groups. These include the Weberian model and the Marxian model(Marshall,1950). The Marxian model is concerned with the identification of individuals within well know groups in relation to their m means of product. These include those who earn through wages and also those who earn through ownership of productive wealth. The Weberian perspective views class as a matter of the relative income levels(Marshall, 1950).

Read also Social Class As Exhibited By Objectified Cultural Capital

As per the statistics carried out, social class can have some impact on the criminal activities. The poor people are more likely to commit street crime more than the wealthy. Some scholars however attribute the great arrests made on the poor people as bias over the social class. Putting aside this possibility, most criminologists agree that criminal offending differs with the social class differences and view this as being “unmistakable”(Braithwaite, 1981).

One sociologist has even gone ahead to note that people are aware of the parts of town not to stroll once darkness had set in. they do not even risk to park there. These areas of the city that frighten these people are normally not the parts where people who have high income reside. Social class thus seems to be associated with crime where the poor people in the society participate more in crime.

The explanation on this relationship is majorly centered on the impacts of poverty. Poverty is said to be associated with frustrations, anger, economic needs and also the need to be handled with respect. Poor parenting skills of the poor coupled with other criminal activities put make the kids more likely to develop antisocial behaviors for the better part of their lives. All these effects together make the poor people prone to committing more street crimes(White,& Cunneen, 2006).These problems that they face make people have the perception that they can commit these crime which in some cases might not be entirely true.

Read also Types of Unemployment

Research carried out on the relationship that exists between social class and crime, it was discovered that although criminal activities especially street crime mostly are related to the poor, the rich in the society are most likely to commit white-collar types of crime. This type of crime can end up being harmful, much more than street crime. When comparison is done on both the poor and the street crimes and the white collar crime, then the social class crime-relationship does not appear (White, & Cunneen, 2006).  This is so because the poor have high rates of the former type of crime and the rich have high rates of the latter type of crime.

The general area of concern or basically the rationale of this study will be to determine whether there is a relationship that exists between social class, unemployment and crime. If there is a relationship, several researches done will be looked at one by one so as to determine the validity of this statement. People’s perception on the same will also be analyzed.

Despite the fact that the relationship between social class and criminality remains very unclear, it has not prevented a number of theoretical explanations mostly which have the perception that poor people are the ones who commit crime at a higher rate than the rich.

Read also Unemployment in the United States – Research Paper

In the existing researched undertaken, there are suggestions that high street crime that is existent among the poor can be attributed to personal morality and family failings. There has been arguments that crime is as a result of moral poverty. It is claimed that crime rates rise when the parents fail to enable their kids understand the difference between right and wrong to their kids(White, & Cunneen, 2006). They thus commit these crimes without understanding that it is wrong to do so. When the focus is set on the street crimes, the researchers argue that there is concern on the moral poverty of the poor people other than the moral poverty from families producing political criminals and production of corporates.

The researchers also suggest that discrimination is what places the poor on the position they are in. If there was no discrimination in the judicial system, they we would come to realize that the poor are more or less equal to the affluent. An explanation to this is that the criminals are shown up in the statistics as being very poor because the judicial system has put more focus on the control of the poor communities. The practice also puts the residents of that area at the risk of being labelled with such types of crime(Braithwaite, 1981). An example is the cases where a college student might be found with drug offence and ends up serving a shorter term than those from the neighboring poor communities. This is mostly because they are not the targets of “war” on drugs, which is basically war on the poor people.

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The scholars were further able to analyze that the poor people also suffer from the high rates of crime just the same way they suffer from other problems that face them such as ailments, drug abuse, stress and so much more. This is majorly because of the emotional and physical pressures of inequality and poverty.

All these are as a result of the material desires that the poor have coupled with the access of the legitimate ways of fulfilling these. As one of the researchers stated, the desires of all the “good things” in life are equally distributed among all the social classes, it is unfortunate that the poor have limited access to resources to enable them fulfil these desires. This leads to some of them resolving this type of pressure by resorting to committing criminal activities so as to fulfil their desires (Braithwaite, 1981).

According to the above discussion, the debate as to whether social class is a determinant to criminality is still ongoing. It is however clear that social class contributes in shaping the type of the types of crimes that an individual commits.

Read also SARA Model – Crime Prevention

Unemployment on the other hand is viewed as a criminal factor. This is because the said person is normally marked by deterioration or poor living standards. They are assumed to have unstable emotional structure. The family too might get affected and the person might fail to control their desires(Tarling, 1982). This might influence them to go ahead and commit crimes.

While the politicians have put a lot of focus on crime-fighting, the following study shows clearly that the labor market should not at any one time be overlooked. The public officials can go ahead and pass really tough laws, increase the number of the cops on the beat and also take more additional steps to aid in crime reduction. There are however limits of how much of these that we can undertake.

Read also The National Response Plan for White Collar Crime

A bad labor market has very adverse impacts on crime rates. Research carried out by the federal statistics between 1979- 1997 indicated that inflation led to the wages of the people who did not have a collage education to fall by 20%. Despite having the declines in 1993, the violent and property crime rates increased by 35 and 21 percent respectively during that period of time(Rupprecht, 1977). In the then research, there was a relationship that evidently existed between the drop in the wages and the criminal activities such as burglary.

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This study was also able to find a relationship that existed between some violent crimes and wages – such as robbery and assault. In this case, money is always a motive. Some criminal activities however do not have any money motive or might be less related to money. These include some such as rape and murder. These two have minimal connection with unemployment and wages. This is a clear indication that most criminal activities are motivated by the poor economic conditions that may be in existence for a particular period of time(Rupprecht, 1977).

The theory that exists between falling wages and crime is quite simple. According to the previous research, the moment wages decline, there is an increase in the relative payoffs of the criminal activities. According to this, it may seem obvious that a shift in the economic conditions have an impact on crime. Very few studies have been done on this issue.

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According previous researches, the national crime rates rose between the years of 1979-1992 when then there was a decrease in the wages for the less skilled personnel. Crime rates however declined between 1993 &1997. This can be attributed to the slight increase that was made on the wages of the less skilled workers and also the levelling off of the wages(Tarling, 1982).

Weinberg during his research was able to carry out several analyses that would aid in studying the relationship between the unemployment, wages and crime between 1779 &1997. This was to be done on the men and women with no college education. In one of the analyses, they were able to examine the crime rates in seven hundred and five (705) counties all across the country. All these counties had a population that was greater than 25,000. A comparison was made to the state wages.

The second type of analysis was carried out on statistics of the 198 metropolitan areas. This is as per the definition given by the U.S Census. The researchers put into consideration factors such as number of police and also the arrest rates that might have influenced the crime rates.

In the first analysis, the researchers came up with a conclusion that with 20% fall in the wages of the people who didn’t have college education, it can account for 10.8% rise in the property crime and also 21.6% rise in violent crime(Tarling, 1982). This thus is a clear indication that decline in wages is mostly responsible for the increase in both the violent and property crime.

According to this research, wages had more influence on crime than unemployment rates. This is so because unemployment is viewed as being cyclical and does not have any long-term trend. The wages on the other hand fell in a steady manner during the better part of the period when the research was being done (Rupprecht, 1977). It is clear that the trend in wages brought about a clear factor of crime all through this period.

A third and final analysis was carried out, the researchers were able to examine data from National Longitudinal Survey of Youth which was carried out in 1979. This was so as to assess whether the economic conditions experienced in the areas occupied by the participants of the survey could be linked to their criminal behavior. The survey inquired from the participants whether they had participated in some forms of crime such as robbery, shoplifting and much more during the previous year.

Just as expected, the economic conditions in the area had no influence on the criminal practices for the highly educated residents of the area. This was not the case for the less educated. It was more likely that the lower wages and high unemployment rates among the less educated made them prone to committing crimes(Tarling, 1982). This remained to be use even after factors such as family background and cognitive ability were taken into account.

From the research that was undertaken, it was clear that the low skilled workers were more prone to the changes that might occur in the labor opportunities. This situation remains constant even after the factors such as wealth of family and personal characteristics are controlled.

From the above discussion, it is evident that social class and unemployment has a lot of impact on crime and criminal activities. People’s perception about this is also quite true but a deeper look at this will give more information that might not even been in the thought of most people. Most researchers and scholars have their own view of this. All this coupled together gives a better standing of the same. This topic has been having contradicting arguments over time and thus a research on this will be worthwhile in helping people understand the logic behind it.

Community Policing Should Be Adopted To Address Crime Most Effectively

Introduction

Community Policing is a policing approach aimed at helping fight crime and build rapport between police and local communities concurrently. It is quite different from the typical, or traditional, policing. The typical policing is commonly employed in urban zones by municipal agencies that are deemed highly responsive.

Community policing entails the assignment of groups of police officers to particular neighborhoods. It is hinged on the thinking that the presence of the officers in the neighborhoods, working with the populations they serve, deters crime. As well, it is hinged on the thinking that residents who find the officers approachable and amiable are highly likely to share with them security-related information and intelligence, ultimately lowering crime levels.

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In some localities, community policing is effective as a supplement to traditional policing. Such localities have police officers on patrols cars and others on foot, interacting with citizens in their day to day activities. For instance, the combination of the two forms of policing define the Impact Program of the New York Police Department (NYPD).

Read also Community Policing Concept – Introduction to Law Enforcement Paper

Facts on Community Policing 

Community policing is commonly christened foot patrolling. Police officers partaking in it  patrol neighborhoods on foot. They are repeatedly assigned to patrol particular neighborhoods on foot. That ensures that they personally interact with the populations in their assigned localities.  As the officers patrol the localities, their presence is significantly heightened in the localities.

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As an approach of enforcing law, community policing is rather public and positive. It is positive on the public in the sense that it entails gently coordinated collaborations between law enforcers and communities, or residents. The collaborations help form strong bonds, or linkages, between the law enforcers and the communities.

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Community policing helps in problem solving by building effective community-police relations. Police officers develop assistive partnerships with the populations, or neighborhoods, they serve. Through the relations, the majority of community concerns, as well as the related solutions, are identified via problem-solving. Notably, the diligent appraisal of the concerns and formulation of appropriate solutions to them reduces incidences of disorderliness and crime in communities.

Read also Community Oriented Policing

Community Policing Strengths

Community policing is better in preempting crime than traditional policing. Community policing ensures  that citizens and police collaborate closely in crime prevention. The citizens and police emphasize on preventing criminal acts prior to their happening. That ensures that only a limited number of possible crimes materialize.

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Community policing  is better than traditional policing as regards the promotion of the safety of the public  and communities’ living standards. That is because it ensures that everyone partakes in protecting community welfare. In community policing, policing objectives are broader in scope than in traditional policing. It is preventive and reactive while traditional policing is only reactive.

Community policing transforms policing structures and their management. That helps in the building up, as well as strengthening, of communities by linking police departments to them. The community becomes an added resource to the police for tackling crime.

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Community policing allows officers to wholly appreciate the profiles of communities they serve and potential criminals within them. Community policing allows for direct contact between citizens and police, as they all move around same neighborhoods.  The police get ample opportunities to know the citizens. The citizens get opportunities to develop confidence in police.

Community policing persuades the allocation of more and more public resources to police work. Through community policing, neighborhoods may pull together resources and commit to the work. Resources donated by neighborhoods supplement the ones committed by the government to the work (Watson, Stone & DeLuca, 1998) .

Read also Types of Misconduct by Community Corrections Professionals

Community policing, unlike traditional policing, helps unravel and address the root causes of criminal activities within given communities. Officers understand the factors that possibly give rise to the activities within their assigned communities. Does traditional policing expressly allow officers to engage communities in establishing such factors? Does it principally focus on arresting suspected criminals?

Counterclaims are Invalid

Those opposed to community policing argue that its success is dependent on the trust that citizens have in police. Is it possible that communities develop trust in police?  Is community trust in police attainable. Even though the success is dependent on the trust that citizens have in police, the trust is and can be grown over time.

Read also Evolution of Policing and the Training and Skills For Success In Law Enforcement

Other persons opposed to community policing contend that communities, citizens may not care. This contention has no basis since the policing is premised on communities working closely with police. When communities are engaged in community policing programs, it is not possible that they will not care about the programs (Ahlin & Gibbs, 2012; Goldstein, 1990).

Other pessimists contend that community policing worsens relationships between the police and citizens. That argument is not factual since as an approach of enforcing law, community policing is rather public and positive. It is positive on the public in the sense that it entails gently coordinated collaborations between law enforcers and communities, or residents. The collaborations help form strong bonds, or linkages, between the law enforcers and the communities.

Read also Misconducts in Policing, Their Causal Factors and Strategies Used to Prevent Such Occurrences

Conclusion

  Community policing should be adopted to address crime most effectively. Community Policing is a policing approach aimed at helping fight crime and build rapport between police and local communities concurrently. It is quite different from the typical, or traditional, policing. The typical policing is commonly employed in urban zones by municipal agencies that are deemed highly responsive.

  Community policing helps in problem solving by building effective community-police relations. Police officers develop assistive partnerships with the populations, or neighborhoods, they serve. Through the relations, the majority of community concerns, as well as the related solutions, are identified via problem-solving. Notably, the diligent appraisal of the concerns and formulation of appropriate solutions to them reduces incidences of disorderliness and crime in communities.

  Community policing, unlike traditional policing, helps unravel and address the root causes of criminal activities within given communities. Officers understand the factors that possibly give rise to the activities within their assigned communities. Does traditional policing expressly allow officers to engage communities in establishing such factors? Does it principally focus on arresting suspected criminals?

Drug Crimes in Colombia

Colombia is distinguished as one of the countries with the highest drug crimes in the world. The high crime rate is ascribed to the nation’s illicit drug trade, which involves the production, processing, and trafficking of cocaine. The magnitude of drug crimes in Colombia can be quantified through homicide rates and statistical estimates of cocaine production and sales. In 2018, the murder rate across Colombia was approximately 25 cases per 100,000 people, while the rate of cocaine production in the same year was 1,120 metric tons. The Colombian government has been engaging in military and concerted efforts in an attempt to reduce drug trafficking and related crimes. However, the problem has only evolved into a series of other issues due to deep-seated hindrances, such as corruption and poverty. Colombia’s drug crimes represent a critical and tricky question that demands international, national, and local collaborative efforts both from a political and societal perspective.

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            The challenge of drug trafficking in Colombia is mainly attributed to highly organized crime groups and corruption that runs deep within administrative systems. Indeed, Colombia is renowned for its notorious cartels that manage drug operations and criminal activities. Some of the most famous cartels were the Medellin, Cali, Norte Del Valle, and North Coast Cartels (PBS). Cartels are responsible for supervising the production and distribution of illegal drugs. Some cartels have used extreme tactics such as amalgamating with guerilla movements to enhance their trafficking level. For instance, the Medellin Cartel combined with the M-19 militia group to eventually traffic over 80% of cocaine delivered to the United States. It is estimated that 70% of the world’s cocaine is produced in Colombia. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), this amounts to about 1400 tons, a significant chunk of the 2000 tons produced in the Andean region. Other cocaine-producing countries in the Andean region include Peru and Bolivia (Popescu 258). In each of these countries, organized groups contribute to the persistence of trafficking.

Read also Drug and Substance Abuse Among School-aged Youth

            Poverty contributes to the growth and perpetuation of cocaine trafficking in Colombia. Poor farmers are compelled to cultivate coca to earn a living (Gootenberg 27). Much of the coca used in the production of cocaine is cultivated in remote areas where authorities are absent, and locals lack access to Colombia’s legal economy. The lack of state control means that land is readily available for informal and illegal activities, such as coca cultivation. In 2018, it was estimated that over 160,000 hectares of land were used to cultivate cocaine. A more significant part of this land is farmed by 130,000 families who benefit directly from small-scale coca farming. Each family receives an average of $1000 per month from coca-growing activities. The mean price of coca across Colombia is one dollar per kilogram, albeit pricing is mainly dependent on the region. Approximately 125 kilograms of coca are needed to produce one kilogram of cocaine. To buy such an amount of coca, a local drug lab needs barely $150. However, once processed, the value upsurges to about $2200. The value further escalates when the cocaine reaches consumers in the United States to roughly $60,000.

Read also Drug Trafficking Organization in America

            Colombian authorities have tried to curb the production and sale of cocaine through various methods. The most prevalent methods are the eradication of coca plants via spraying chemicals. Even so, the country still records high levels of cocaine production. For instance, the country produced over 1300 tons of cocaine in 2017 alone. The Colombian defense ministry claims to have destroyed over 80,000 hectares of coca and confiscated over 400 tons of cocaine in 2018 alone. The mission of eradicating cocaine is a complicated task because of several issues. Firstly, farmers have no alternatives to earn livelihood and entirely depend on coca farming to feed. Secondly, the Colombian regime lacks the capacity to counter illegal groups that control the industry. Such groups have considerable financial resources to lure government officials and bribe authorities. Additionally, there is a high degree of corruption within the Colombian government. At the international level, foreign powers have not managed to strike a lasting agreement on tackling Colombia’s illicit drug trade. Although Europe and the United Nations have proposed substituting crops and forced eradication through aerial fumigation, these methods have not been successful. Colombia lacks an effective crop substitution program. Furthermore, cartels that control coca production are incredibly violent.

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            Experience has proved that eradicating crops is not an adequate measure of solving Colombia’s drug crime problem. Perhaps this is why international bodies such as the UNODC support administrative efforts to help farmers who abandon coca farming. Examples of collaborative programs that have been designed to help farmers are the Productive Projects Program and the Forest Warden Families Program. Such initiatives help ensure that former coca farmers switch to legal incomes that are adequate for sustenance. Rural activities designed to rehabilitate former coca farmers are incorporated into comprehensive socio-economic development projects to benefit all Colombian populations. The UNODC guesstimates that the area under coca cultivation reduced between 2009 and 2010 (Bagley 8). However, these figures increased in the succeeding years. This shows that current efforts are not sufficient to solve Colombia’s illicit drug trade crisis.

Read also Significance of Drug Courts in the United States – CJUS 230 Final Research Paper

            The involvement of the Colombian military has also been a critical strategy against cocaine production and trafficking. While it has achieved moderate success, it has not resulted in significant changes. Even in locations where military presence is significant, the justice system remains inefficient. If the state has not managed to establish significant presence and control, the presence of the military and police officers does not have any potential to shift the status quo. The capacity of the judiciary to impact changes on the ground in areas where coca is cultivated has particularly proven inadequate. Therefore, the presence of the police and the military promises little effect. There is a high level of incompetence among Colombian institutions, which seems to be a critical source of the ensuing drug problems.

            In conclusion, Colombia’s drug crimes represent a critical and tricky question that demands international, national, and local collaborative efforts both from a political and societal perspective. The challenge of drug trafficking in Colombia is mainly attributed to highly organized crime groups and corruption that runs deep within administrative systems. Colombia is renowned for its notorious cartels that manage drug operations and criminal activities in the country.  Poverty contributes to the growth and perpetuation of cocaine trafficking in Colombia. Much of the coca used in the production of cocaine is cultivated in remote areas where authorities are absent, and locals lack access to Colombia’s legal economy. Colombian authorities have tried to curb the production and sale of cocaine through various methods. The most prevalent methods are the eradication of coca plants via spraying chemicals. Experience has proved that eradicating crops is not an adequate measure of solving Colombia’s drug crime problem. The involvement of the Colombian military has also been a critical strategy against cocaine production and trafficking. While it has achieved moderate success, it has not resulted in significant changes.

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Crime Victims’ Rights Act and How they have Progressed over the Years

Introduction

For a very long time, crime victims have been neglected by not being considered in the legal process whereby offenders are prosecuted and sentenced. This was because their rights had not be considered as part of the constitution. After some time, there was an introduction of a list of rights expected to be offered for crime victims, but the issue is that there was no legal grounds to act as punishment in case these were violated. Today, the case is completely different, as victims have rights which are enacted in the constitution, and have a legal route to follow in case of violation. This paper features the crime victims’ rights act and how they have progressed over the past few years.

The Significant Manner In Which The Crime Victims Rights Act Protects The Rights Of Crime Victims

Approximately 30 years back, crime victims had few legal rights within the criminal justice system. Victims had no right to be updated on the court proceedings, nor were they even offered victim assistance programs. Fortunately, tremendous changes have taken place as there has been a creation of legal rights and assistance programs for crime victims (Cassell, Mitchell & Edwards, 2014). Today, all states have established an extensive body that promotes the basic rights and protections for crime victims within the statutory code. The Crime Victims’ Rights Act protects the right of victims by influencing how they are treated within the state, federal and local criminal justice systems. By including the crime victims’ rights in the state constitution, the strength,  permanence and enforceability of rights of victims are increased (Cassell, 2005). The crime victims’ rights act is strong, because no law can violate a provision of the U.S constitution. These rights protect crime victims by ensuring that no matter the court being used, the constitution will still ensure their rights are enforced.

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This piece of legislation is effective as crime victims of today are protected and supported. Only a few states offered recourse for victims whose rights are not honored. This is inclusive of states that had adopted the constitutional amendments. There was usually no clear civil action to take when a victim suffers from damages resulting from a violation of rights. In most cases, when a crime victim’s right is violated, there was no grounds for new trials or even an overturning of a sentence (Musgrove & Groves, 2007). Enforceability was further restricted as the bill of rights does not create a cause of action against the state.

Read also Cases Where Intoxication and Mistake of Fact were used as a Defense To Crime

These factors changed, however, when the Crime Victims’ Rights Act was passed. The rights of victims have been enlisted to show exactly what they are entitled to. To make even better, this act gives victims a legal standing in case they are violated (Cassell, Mitchell & Edwards, 2014). A mechanism of receiving complaints and investigating the reports are in place.

Victim Impact Statements Add Value During Sentencing And Parole Hearings

Victim impact statements are indeed an important part of the criminal justice system as they offer crime victims a chance to be heard. It is basically a description provided by the victim of how the crime has affected his life, as well as those of his loved ones (Musgrove & Groves, 2007). It also features a suggestion on what the victim thinks will be the best punishment for the offender. It is not compulsory to fill out this statement. However once the judiciary have a view of how the crime affected the victim’s life, they are better placed to choose the best mode of punishment (Cassell, 2005). For instance, a person who is a victim of rape can fill out the statement arguing that she also suffered financial losses due to not being in good health to go to work for a month or two. If this person chooses not to fill out the form, the offender may only be punished for the act as the judiciary will not have a clear picture of other effects of the crime.

Read also Index Crimes Comparison – Evaluating Rates of Homicide, Robbery and Rape in United States, Canada and Germany for 2012

Which Is More Important To A Victim: The Right To Be Notified Of Proceeding Or The Right To Participate In A Proceeding

The right to be notified of proceeding is not as important to a victim as the right to participate in a proceeding. The latter is usually the most important as victims feel like they are actively engaged in the criminal proceedings. This option helps victims to listen to counsel’s arguments and view the kind of reactions offered by the judge, jury, and defendant (Cassell, 2005). Being informed of a proceeding only involves being told the dates and results or conclusions that the jury reached. The victim is otherwise not included in the process. For most of the victims, it is preferable to play a part in the criminal proceedings rather than be in the back seat and only get information from a third party.

How to Ensure that Correctional Employees adhere to the ACA Code of Ethics

The ACA code of ethics is supposed to promote the human rights of all individuals. Criminals are also human beings, and thus should still be treated like so (Musgrove & Groves, 2007). To ensure that their mistakes are not used against them, and that they are not mistreated while in the correctional facility, the first strategy should be to implement a reporting system (Cassell, Mitchell & Edwards, 2014). This should involve a body that the offenders can trust enough to go to when something wrong happens to them. With such a system in place, the correctional employees will know that they are being monitored, and can thus be punished for denying the inmates their human rights.

Second, the facility should make use of a training system under which the employees are taught and educated that these people need help, and not mistreatment (Cassell, 2005). Most prisoners have factors in their backgrounds that led them astray. During their stay in the facility, the employees should understand that it is their role to help them get back on track.

Conclusion

There are many reasons why it is important for the victim to have a voice in a legal process. First, it helps them to share how the attackers actions have influenced life negatively for them. It paints a clear picture, from the first hand experience of the victim, and not simply the prosecutor. In most cases, the prosecutors usually end up misinterpreting a victim’s situation, just as lawyers can use altered stories to win a case. If the victim is given a voice, it will not be for other reasons, but for his own benefit. Second, giving the victim a voice offers a chance of starting the healing process. This is because the victim is given a chance of sharing the experience with others, including the judge and jury. These people can then use the victim’s emotions to help gauge the right step to take in his or her favor. Therefore, it offers an opportunity for the victim to give a firsthand account of his or her experience. Third, by being given a voice, the victim is allowed to share what he or she thinks will be the best mode of punishment.

Victorian Community Crime Prevention Program

The Community Crime Prevention Program (CCPP) was created by the Victorian government to avert misconduct and provide effective solutions to crime within the Victorian territory. The program consists a series of initiatives delivered by the state authority which include:

  • Graffiti Grants Program (GGP);
  • Community Safety Fund (CSF) grants program;
  • Reducing Violence against Women and their Children (RVAWC) grants program;
  • Public Safety Infrastructure Fund (PSIF) grants program;
  • Community Correctional Services Graffiti Removal Program (GRP);
  • CCPP Communications Program; and
  • Neighborhood Watch Reinvigoration (NWR) program.

Victorian Community Crime Prevention Program Major Objectives

The Victorian Community Crime Prevention Program has three key major objectives namely

  • building knowledge of local and other communities about effective ways to reduce crime,
  • providing resources that enable communities to implement local solutions to crime,
  • and building relationships between community organizations and community members to strengthen local crime prevention responses.

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The backbone of the CCPP is a blend of competitive grants for which a broad range of local government authorities and community organizations are eligible. The program kicked off as an outcome of an election commitment after the appointment of the minister for crime prevention in 2010.

Victorian Community Crime Prevention Program Evaluation

A fundamental obligation of any government is keeping communities safe and the justice system fair. Crime is driven by a range of factors relating to the broader social and environmental context and the characteristics of individuals. Addressing social and economic disadvantage and improving community connectedness can be protective against antisocial and offending behavior as well as the fear of crime. The government believes that early intervention and a comprehensive approach to reducing crime, implemented across the community, is the best defense against a cycle of crime and violence. Effective, evidence-based crime prevention strategies can deliver a range of benefits for the Victorian community, including: reducing the long term costs associated with the criminal justice system, reducing the direct social and economic costs of crime, reducing the indirect costs of crime, including in areas such as health and social services, improving community cohesion and the quality of community life. Effective crime prevention requires individuals, communities, businesses and all levels of government to work together in a coordinated way to develop and implement effective strategies to address the causes of crime.

Crime prevention contributes to community safety as one part of the government’s overarching approach to reducing crime. Crime prevention is defined as “…any action or policy designed to influence the underlying or contributing factors that increase the risk of crime or victimization occurring or improve actual or perceived safety.” The CCPP implements the government’s approach to collaborating with and supporting councils and community organizations to deliver local crime prevention programs through the delivery of a competitive grants program. The grants program engages the community in effective crime prevention action and builds the number and quality of local crime prevention responses across Victoria. The CCPP ensures government and communities can build on, share and enhance the good work that has been done to date.

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Theories of Crime Prevention within Victorian Community Crime Prevention Program

Situational crime prevention

Situational crime prevention is based upon the premise that crime is often opportunistic and aims to modify contextual factors to limit the opportunities for offenders to engage in criminal behaviour (Tonry & Farrington 1995). Situational prevention comprises a range of measures that highlight the importance of targeting very specific forms of crime in certain circumstances (Clarke 1997). This involves identifying, manipulating and controlling the situational or environmental factors associated with certain types of crime (Cornish & Clarke 2003). It is also based upon assumptions regarding the nature of offending and of offenders (Cornish & Clarke 2003). Underlying the situational approach are four key elements, including:

  • three key opportunity theories—routine activity, crime pattern and rational choice theory;
  • an action research methodology that involves analysing of specific crime problems and contributing factors, identifying possible responses, selecting and implementing of the most appropriate or promising response and evaluating and disseminating the results;
  • a classification of 25 situational prevention techniques; and
  • a growing body of evaluated projects and examples of different types of strategies (such as those available on the Problem-Oriented Policing Center, which helps to inform the selection and design of specific interventions (Clarke 2005).

The focus of the three key opportunity theories is actually quite different. Under routine activity theory, three critical elements must occur simultaneously for a criminal event to take place—a motivated offender, a suitable target and the absence of a capable guardian (Clarke 1997). The theory seeks to explain how societal changes can impact upon opportunities for crime (Sutton, Cherney & White 2008). Crime pattern theory seeks to explain the influence of communities and neighbourhoods, and focuses on how offenders may come across opportunities for crime in the course of their everyday lives (Clarke 2005). Rational choice theory has a more individualistic focus and explores the decision-making processes that lead to an offender choosing to become involved in crime or specific criminal events, including weighing up the relative risks and rewards associated with offending (Clarke 2005; 1997).

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Situational crime prevention interventions include activities such as improved security through strengthening locks and improving surveillance. Cornish and Clarke (2003) have classified 25 situational crime prevention techniques into five broad categories that are based on the mechanisms underlying the different methods:

  • increasing the effort involved in offending;
  • increasing the risk associated with offending;
  • reducing the rewards that come from committing a crime;
  • reducing situational factors that influence the propensity of an individual to offend; and
  • removing excuses for offending behaviour.

This relative simple classification scheme provides a useful framework for describing the range and variety of situational techniques on offer to those working in crime prevention (Cornish & Clarke 2003).

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Important lessons for the implementation of situational crime prevention projects (taken from the UK experience where situational approaches have been common), include that it:

  • works most effectively when it is targeted at a specific crime problem in a specific context;
  • involves a thorough and systematic analysis of current and emerging crime problems and their causes and risk factors that is based on accurate and wide-ranging sources of information and has analysts with the capacity to interpret the data;
  • requires appropriate consultation mechanisms to seek input from stakeholders and the community into the development of strategies that are likely to require their action, involvement or cooperation; and
  • requires strong project management skills, a comprehensive implementation plan that describes the key stages in project delivery and the interrelationships between different but complementary interventions, and a committee made up of representatives from key stakeholder groups to oversee project development, implementation and review (Marshall, Smith & Tilley 2004)

There is considerable evidence of the effectiveness of situational crime prevention in reducing crime, both in Australia and overseas. Despite there being limitations in the evaluation literature, a review of the evidence by Eck (2006a) showed that opportunity reduction measures can reduce crime in many circumstances with little evidence of displacement. An evaluation of the UK Reducing Residential Burglary Initiative found that areas where more money had been invested in situational prevention rather than offender-focused prevention and those that were flexible in their delivery, were generally more successful in reducing residential burglary (Hope et al. 2004). While there is insufficient evidence to determine the most cost-effective approach in modifying environmental conditions to prevent crime, there is sufficient evidence that situational crime prevention is an economically efficient strategy in reducing crime (Welsh & Farrington 2001).

There are some notable exceptions. A recent systemic review concluded that CCTV has a modest but significant positive effect on crime, but that it is most effective in reducing crime in car parks and when targeted at vehicle crimes (Welsh & Farrington 2008). Further, the cost of establishing, maintaining and monitoring a CCTV system can be prohibitively expensive, and potentially exceed any financial savings that might result from a reduction in property crime (Clancey 2010). Taken together, these results lend support for the continued use of CCTV to prevent crime in public space, but suggest that it needs to be more narrowly targeted than its present use would indicate (Welsh & Farrington 2008).

Read also Community Policing Should Be Adopted To Address Crime Most Effectively – Persuasive Presentation

Developmental crime prevention

Developmental crime prevention initiatives are becoming increasingly popular in Australia (Weatherburn 2004). There has been considerable investment in early intervention programs in Australia, many of which do not have explicit crime prevention objectives (Homel et al. 1999; Weatherburn 2004). Developmental crime prevention is based on the premise that intervening early in a young person’s development can produce significant long-term social and economic benefits. While there is evidence of the importance of intervening early in life, the focus of developmental crime prevention is on intervening early at any of a number of critical transition points in a person’s development to lead them on a pathway to prevent future offending. Transition points occur around birth, the preschool years, transition from primary to high school and from high school to further education or the workforce (Homel et al. 1999).

Early intervention aims to address risk factors and enhance protective factors that impact upon the likelihood that a young person will engage in future offending behaviour (Homel et al. 1999). Risk and protective factors can be categorised into child factors, family factors, school context, life events and community and cultural factors (Homel et al. 1999). Developmental programs aim to identify, measure and manipulate risk and protective factors that research has confirmed are important in predicting future offending (Homel 2005). In practical terms, developmental crime prevention involves providing basic services or resources to individuals, families, schools or communities to minimise the impact of risk factors on the development of offending behaviours (Homel 2005). Most often these resources and services are directed towards disadvantaged or ‘vulnerable’ families with young children.

Several factors have been identified as contributing to the successful implementation of developmental crime prevention initiatives, including:

  • the importance of timing and intervening at critical junctures, such as times of stress or when people are open to external influences (which may not mean early in life);
  • the need to target multiple risk factors due to their cumulative impact, with bias towards those factors regarded as having the greatest impact, and to target multiple offence types;
  • the need to be sensitive to the needs of the local area (including the need to be culturally sensitive), involve and empower the community (in decision making, as volunteers and as paid professionals) and identify local change agents;
  • the importance of detailed assessments of community readiness (the presence of existing partnerships and management structures, leadership stability, community engagement and support for and commitment to prevention), which is a key component of programs such as Communities that Care (Crow et al. 2004);
  • the importance of strategies to make programs accessible, keep people involved and to avoid stigmatising at-risk young people or families;
  • the value of partnerships and coordination between new and existing service providers, whether they rely on formal interagency structures or more simple arrangements; and
  • the requirement for longer term investment, as the benefits of developmental crime prevention are not immediate (Crow et al. 2004; Homel et al. 1999).

Evidence from a small (but growing) number of comprehensive evaluation studies has demonstrated the long term effectiveness of early intervention in achieving significant reductions in participant’s involvement in crime, as well as improvements in areas such as educational performance, child maltreatment, workforce participation, child and youth behaviour, income and substance abuse (Homel 2005). In addition to the obvious social benefits, these outcomes are also associated with significant financial savings, both for the community and the participant (Homel et al. 2006; Schweinhart et al. 2004). The savings produced by early intervention programs include reductions in welfare assistance, decreased need for special education, increases in income tax revenue from the higher wages of participants (due to improved educational attainment), reduced operational costs to the criminal justice system and reduced costs to victims (Homel et al. 2006). Conversely, at least one study has demonstrated long term negative outcomes for participants and the problems of stigmatising participants as being ‘at risk’ or delinquent (Homel R 2005). Further, despite the increased popularity of early intervention as a crime prevention strategy with promising results, evidence of long term cost effectiveness has been limited to a small number of overseas studies and one notable Australian example. Nevertheless, taken as a whole, research into the impact of developmental crime prevention suggests that intervening early in a young person’s development is a promising strategy in improving the life course development of at-risk children and their families, and in reducing the long-term costs associated with delinquency and future criminal offending (Schweinhart et al. 2004; Welsh & Farrington 2001).

Cases Where Intoxication and Mistake of Fact were used as a Defense To Crime

Intoxication

This defense is often used in cases involving aggravated murder. While it does not completely exculpate the defendant of the charges of aggravated murder it may serve to lower the charge of aggravated murder to murder. In the case of State v Slagle, it was alleged that the defendant broke into the victim’s house, attempted to rape her and stabbed her multiple times before she died. The defense of intoxication was denied as the defendant did not portray any signs of intoxication upon his arrest or in the course of his detainment. Moreover, if the intoxication had indeed been present, which from all indications it was not, it was not to such an extent that it precluded the formation of the intent to commit the crime as was established by the account of the defendant’s actions during the commission of the crime.

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Despite the applicability of intoxication as a defense for aggravated murder, using it as a defense, in this case, was inappropriate due to the overwhelming amount of evidence that could prove the contrary. Intoxication should negate the elements of deliberation and premeditation. However, in the case of Slagle, there was a deliberate attempt to avoid detection by entering through the front window which was farthest from the victim’s bedroom and from the view of the family residing in the adjacent house. Moreover, Slagle’s movements in the house were stealthy, he exercised caution by removing his shoes to avoid detection and when he attempted to escape capture from the police he did so with speed and agility which is not typical of an intoxicated individual.

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His inability to prove that he was indeed intoxicated also rendered his attempt to cite a violation of due process without merit. This violation, hinged on his alleged intoxication and its capacity to prevent him from knowingly waiving his rights to remain silent and obtain an attorney. The intoxication having been proven to be absent this particular proposition was rejected.  I would argue this defense in specific cases where intoxication was involuntary and other more favorable defenses such as accident can serve as supporting defenses to preclude intent and negate the element of premeditation.

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Mistake of fact

Using this defense requires proving that the harm done was not caused by the defendant’s voluntary action. That the defendant lacked the mens rea required to commit the crime and that a reasonable man in the defendant’s position would have thought that things were as the defendant alleges them to be. This defense brings to mind the classic example of a man who takes an umbrella that does not belong to him without knowledge of the fact. This man is innocent because he lacks the intent to steal the umbrella. Mistake of fact is a defense if the commission of a crime results from ignorance on the part of the defendant and would not result in the commission of another crime if the things were as the defendant believed them to be.

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For instance, in the case of United States v Kairouz, the defendant arrived in Boston Airport with a girdle and an apron strapped to his waist which he believed concealed cocaine (class II controlled substance). Upon search by customs officials, five pounds of heroin (a class I controlled substance) were discovered. During his trial, the defendant maintained that he was under the erroneous assumption that the substance he was carrying was not heroin but cocaine. However, this defense was denied and the defendant was convicted of importation of a controlled substance, possession with intent to distribute said substance. This defense was not valid and completely inappropriate in this case since importing and being in possession of cocaine still carries the same sentence as importing and being in possession of heroin.

Read also Cases Related to Entrapment by the Police

Why the defense thought the defense of mistake of fact would be applicable in this case is difficult to elucidate. The defense of mistake of fact is not only an inappropriate defense for this case but also for cases where it seems likely that it would be looked upon favorably. For instance, take our classic case of the man with the umbrella, it is probable that the defense of mistake of fact could get him an acquittal should he be tried for larceny, but it would also open up an avenue for the defense to show evidence of the man’s familiarity with his own umbrella and thus, such mistake is unlikely. In my opinion, it would be much safer to argue that the man lacked the intent to steal the property of another and leave it at that.

The RICO Act and Organized Crime

According to (Scheb & Scheb, 2011) organized crimes includes offenses that individuals or groups of people commit with an attempt to gain political influence by virtue of corruption or graft. Woodiwiss (2015) points that organized crime activities include smuggling, extortion (racketeering) and fraud. The threat that organized crime posed was sounded through the 1960 presidential crime commission and congressional hearings. This was responded with the 1970 enactment into of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO Act).

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            The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO Act) is more powerful than the then existing conspiracy law. According to (Paoli, 2014) the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO Act) provides the federal investigators and prosecutors with a strong anti-organized crime weapon. The RICO Act outlaws racketeering activities and use of proceeds of such an activity and unlawful debt to gain an interest in an enterprise. The act also makes it a federal crime to have an interest in an enterprise by the virtue of commission of a pattern of criminal activity or through a collection of unlawful debt. It is also a federal crime under the act to participate in conducting an enterprise activity through racketeering activity or collection of unlawful debts.    

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The RICO Act has been employed successfully in prosecution of several organized crime activities. The act was used in the prosecution of Interbank Group of Herndon, Virginia. According to (Anderson & Jackson, 2004) James O’Connor and James Geisler, who were the founders and principal owners of the company, were indicted for immigration and visa fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering among other crimes. The act has also been used in prosecution of Edmond Boyle of racketeering and racketeering conspiracy and subsequent imprisonment for 151 months in jail for his involvement in bank robberies (Sergi, 2017). Keeping an organized crime unit in place is important since the increase in globalization has increased the threats the organized crime pose to individuals, organizations and the economy. Having such a unit in place ensures not only such a crime can be fought but it also ensures organized crime activities can be tracked and busted before they occur.

Female Crime Rates Between the United States and Saudi Arabia

Treatment of Females and How it Affects Criminality

            In the early and middle of 1990s, there was an increased media focus on the increased rates of female involvement in crime. It is reported in (Kontos, Brotherton & Barrios, 2012) that during the period, the number of women joining gang memberships, involvement in drugs, possession of guns, violence and other activities that were seen as a preserve for men, was on the rise. Although a number of perspectives developed to explain the increased involvement of women in crime, one perspective stood above others; the feminist theory that increased female opportunities increased their likelihood of participation in crime. In this paper, this perspective will be examined through a comparison in female crime rates between the United States and Saudi Arabia.

Read also Index Crimes Comparison – Evaluating Rates of Homicide, Robbery and Rape in United States, Canada and Germany for 2012

            The United States is one of the world’s most powerful states with also one of the largest gross domestic product. Unlike Saudi Arabia, United States ranks ahead in terms of human rights and gender equality. Saudi Arabia on the other hand is a conservative country with dominant Sharia laws the major cultural determinants, dictating the way men and women should behave (Human Rights Watch, 2017). Theft is one of the biggest crimes in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Arab News, 2016). However, in this largest form of crime in the country, the Arabia News points that over 50% of such crimes committed in 2015 in the country were perpetrated by women. In comparison, according to (Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, 2016) the female crimes cases in U.S have been increasing since 2010 at an average annual rate of about 3.4 %.

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            The treatment of females in Saudi Arabia and the United States show very small similarity, which owes mostly to how men perceive the roles of women in the society. Although the U.S culture is advanced and the roles of women have started to shift, women there are still disparities between women and men in terms of public office and economic activities. The same is true of Saudi women, where they still receive less favorable treatment compared to men in terms of public office positions. However, there are great differences between the way women in the U.S and those of Saudi Arabia are treated.

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            The women in the United States enjoy the greatest freedom and rights than those of Saudi Arabia. Until recently, women in Saudi Arabia were not allowed to participate in sports, drive cars, and hold public offices or even to vie or vote in national elections (Human Rights Watch, 2017). Moreover, women must obtain permission from male guardian in order for them to travel, exit prison or marry. They also face problems in filing legal claims or from renting apartments. In contrast, women in U.S have exclusive rights to all the rights that Saudi Arabia women do not have. For example, whereas women were allowed to vote and seek for public office in Arabian Congress, they were not allowed to talk to men while seeking for votes. In contrast the U.S had the record number of women seeking for office in Congress and they have freedom of seeking for votes from any gender without restrictions.

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            Although there are differences between the U.S and the Saudi Arabia regarding the way women are treated, the greatest rise in crime rates among women has been noted in Saudi Arabia. This can be attributed to inequality and other nature of social and cultural limitations that women face as outlined in (Arab News, 2016). According to the authors, the increase in number of women in crime in Saudi Arabia could be attributed partly to their poor economic status caused by the cultural limitations on their roles in society.       

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The understanding of the way women are treated in other countries will positively impact my workplace relationships. It will allow me to appreciate the big role that women can do within the society given that though it was originally felt that women deserve less, learning about the nature of treatment that women in Saudi Arabia undergo has increased the desire to have more women actively participate in workplace roles. In order to build effective relationships and bridge cultural differences, it is important to be culturally competent. This entails having knowledge about the culture of the other and knowing how to treat them based on their culture. This includes avoidance of prejudice that can possibly result from cultural differences.

Crime and its Elements

The actus reus and the mens rea or guilty mind are important requirements of criminal liability. The element of actus reus is often referred to as human conduct rule and demands that a crime must be an act. According to (Boyes-Watson, 2014) people cannot be penalized on basis of criminal thoughts instead they are made accountable for deeds. It is the conduct that is prohibited by the law and not thoughts and the behavior that pushes such thoughts into action is what is punishable. Moreover, (Lippman, 2014) asserts thoughts cannot be penalized because it is difficult to measure harm caused by thoughts whereas social harm caused by an act can be measured easily and proportional punishment imposed.

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            Criminal acts can only be considered for criminal liability if they result from voluntary acts. According to (Lippman, 2014) once an act is determined as resulting from involuntary act, it is not punishable as this will not deter similar offence in future. Examples of involuntary acts include a hypnotized person smashing an ice cream in another person’s face, a sleep walking person breaking into a neighbors’ house and an unanticipated heart attack that affects a bus driver leading to an accident that results in loss of life. Generally, involuntary acts are not punished because they do not result in criminal liability because the acts do not give the person a choice on what course of action to take since they just occur out of consciousness.         

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The concept of criminal intent refers to the conscious state of mind to perform a harmful act, which can be constructive, general or specific (Boyes-Watson, 2014). Examples of criminal intents are a person informing another person that s/he is going to kill another person and proceeds to do so, a person breaking into a home and a father leaving a loaded gun in the table and his child picks it and fires at a guest.

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