Week 1 Discussion:
1. Why is public order necessary? Primarily, its purpose is to maintain an ideal state of public decency as possible. A set standard applied to all citizens with little to no gray area in needed for this purpose. Without public order and its controls, no threat of repercussions against acts exists (to include criminal, personal or political violence) potentially creating a free-for-all and ensuing chaos.
2. Does our society have enough public order or too little? Unless the US implements a system commensurate with that of a totalitarian/communist government, it is hard to measure whether current public order policies are sufficient or lacking. Having said that, I believe there are enough controls in place to justify the amount that we do have without infringing on rights. As of now, they are stringent enough to make potential criminals at least consider the weight of actions before they act on them. Considering the individual wills and motives of 300 million people, the current system is doing as good a job as can be expected.
3. What can crime statistics tell us about the crime picture in America? How has that picture changed over time? It gives those that report/analyze crime rates data about how specific crimes can be compared across a spectrum of areas time. There have been three separate ebbs and flows of crime over nearly 70 years of statistics collection. The most consistent factor has been due to major shifts in the male population and socio-economic picture (wars, baby-boom civil rights struggle) during these times, coupled with increased government and law enforcement efforts.
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