Criminals in the Caribbean

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Discuss the view that criminals in the Caribbean are products of the police and courts and not products of their social backgrounds. Support your position with reference to one the sociological perspectives. 25marks

Criminals in the Caribbean are products of the police and courts and not products of their social backgrounds. The writer agrees with this statement and the sociological perspective to which reference would be made is the Conflict. This emerged on the heels of the labelling theory and focuses on the political nature of crime and it examines the creation and application of criminal law. The essence of conflict theories is that societies are more appropriately characterized by conflict, rather than by consensus. Conflict theorists argue that consensus is temporary and would either return to a state of conflict or will have to be maintained at great expense. Conflict theorists are not concerned with the behaviour of the offender but with the making and enforcement of the law. This means they focus on the police and courts since they are the people who make and enforce the law. The law represents a resource and those groups that have values which oppose those of the winners find themselves in the position of being the most likely targets with the enforcement agents. Since the law embodies the values of those who create it, law is more likely to criminalise the actions of those outside the power groups. Therefore the people making the law will make it to suit them and their values, people outside their values are likely to be seen as criminals or deviant. To further examine this is Conflict theorist George Vold who produced a theory that emphasises the group nature of society and the various competing interests of those groups. These groups come into conflict because they interests overlap, encroach on one of other and become competitive. Vold argues that, ‘ The whole process of law making, law breaking and law enforcement directly reflects deep...
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