Weekly Summary Week 1

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We learned several things in week one. We learned that crime is an unlawful activity by an individual that is in violation of criminal laws set forth by federal, state and/or local jurisdiction. The class discussed several of their ideas on how to reduce crime including making changes towards stiffer and stricter punishments, placing repeat offenders in boot camp, and re-thinking sentencing for certain drug laws. We also touched base on the structure of criminal justice which consists of governments on federal, state, and local levels. It is also broke down into three different branches which are the legislative, judiciary, and executive branches. We also discussed how choice theories apply to the criminal justice system. One of the choice theories we discussed was the Rational Choice Theory. Its perspective states that crime is committed as a result of a conscious choice that the individual makes. Another theory is the Biological Theory that states that criminal behavior is passed down through genetics. These theories among others help people in the criminal justice system better understand people’s motives, reasoning, and/or actions behind why they commit crimes.

Another topic we discussed this week was the three components of the criminal justice system which are the police, criminal courts, and correction agencies. The police are the first one on the scene. They are responsible for ensuring safety to all citizens. They investigate the crime, apprehend or take into custody if needed, and process them into the system. From there it goes to criminal courts where they come to a guilty or not guilty verdict. The judge, prosecutors, and attorneys are all a part of this system. Then if found guilty the offender is sent to a correctional agency. Depending on what the judge decides, the offender could be sent to minimum or maximum facility which may include going jail, prison, correctional facility, and/or mental facility.
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