Crime in America The Nature of Crime Crime on Campus Gangs and Crime Guns and the Law Substance Abuse and Crime Victims of Crime Preventing and Reporting Crime
You Decide • Assume you are a member of a commission established to evaluate laws. Consider the following acts. In each case decide whether the act should be treated as a crime. Then rank the acts from most serious to least serious using the following scale: • VS – Very Serious • S - Serious • U - Undecided • LS - Less Serious • NS - Not Serious • NAC - Not a Crime • Give reasons for your decisions
1. Robert sells crack cocaine and uses the proceeds to support his mother who is on welfare • 2. Marley is a passenger in a car she knows is stolen, although she did not participate in the theft of the car • 3. A corporate executive gives a million dollars to a candidate for the U.S. Senate • 4. A wife finds out her husband is having an affair and runs over him with her car • 5. Paulina is caught with a pound of marijuana • 6. Ted robs a liquor store at gunpoint • 7. Ellen leaves a store with change for a $10 bill, knowing that she gave the cashier a $5 bill • 8. Lilly approaches a man for purposes of prostitution • 9. The President of the United States lies under oath • 10. Ming refuses to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle • 11. A company pollutes a river with waste from its automobile factory • 12. Pat gets drunk and hits a child while speeding through a school zone • 13. Alfred observes a best friend shoplifting but does not turn him in
The Nature of Crimes • CRIME: something one does or fails to do that is in violation of the law. • Legislatures (fed and state) make the decision as to what constitutes a crime (based on what most people believe is rights and necessary for the orderly conduct of society) • Reasons for laws • Protect life and property • Preserve individual freedoms • Maintain the system of government • Uphold the morality of society • IDEALLY: to protect human rights for all and to regulate human conduct so that people can live in harmony
Crime in the United States • Along with freedom, comes the freedom to choose to do things that are wrong and illegal • Governments at all levels (local, state, and federal) are concerned with preventing crime and with apprehending and prosecuting criminals. • Data is collected at all levels and “indexed” or categorized • Larceny/Theft • Burglary • Motor Vehicle Theft • Aggravated Assault • Robbery • Forcible Rape • Murder and Non-negligent Manslaughter • Drug Related Crimes • Authorities agree that crime is a major problem but there is much disagreement as to the causes of crime and what can be done about it
Causes of Crime(be able to give reasons and examples) • Poverty • Permissive Courts • Unemployment • Lack of Education • Abuse of Alcohol and Drugs • Inadequate Police Protection • Rising Population • Lack of Parental Guidance • A breakdown in Morals • Ineffective Correctional System • Influence of Media (TV, Movies, Internet
Strategies for Reducing Crime(National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) • Build Safer communities with special attention to safe schools, after school programs, community policing and prevention of domestic violence and child abuse • Reduce the costs and improve the fairness of the criminal justice system • Develop cost-effective alternatives to incarceration, reserving prison sentences for those who cannot be safely treated in community based programs • Create effective drug-control policies. Reduce funds spent on catching drug sellers and users: expand funding for drug treatment and job training; and repeal laws requiring mandatory prison sentences for drug possession • Go to page 80 in your book. Complete the 4 items in Problem 7.4
Book Assignment • Use your book to complete this assignment. • Page 76 Problem 7.2 • Answers questions a,b,c,d • Page 78 Problem 7.3 • Answers questions a,b,c • Answer these questions • 1) What is the major crime problem in your school? • 2) What is the major crime problem in your community? • 3) Have most crimes increased or decreased over the past 3 years? • 4) Where might you get that information?
Weapons at School(after reading p. 81) • What conditions might have led up to Samuel’s decision to commit this crime? • What, if anything, could have been done to help Samuel? Were there signs at school or home that he was “at risk?” • Are there measures in place at North Mason to prevent acts of violence from occurring? Are additional measures needed? If so, what are they?
Crimes on Campus • Schools are generally safe places • The incidence of school violence is on the rise • Higher in Middle School (twice as high) • Weapons, bullying most common • Drug use also a growing problem • School shooting a rare but real problem
What Can Be Done? • From the STUDENT point of view???? • ????? • From the TEACHER point of view???? • Support Groups • Meaningful Discipline • Removal of Repeat Offenders
Gangs and Crime • What are GANGS? • A group that is closed to the general public, for certain common purposed that may or may not include violent criminal activity • Early gangs along ethnic lines and were mainly made up of adults * They had names, emblems, rules and initiation rituals * Were protecting turf, reputation and cultural heritage • Today’s gangs are generally younger • Status and turf • More Organized • Violence permeates gang culture • Criminal Activity (drugs, firearms, theft, prostitution and other crimes) • Use terror/fear to intimidate other gangs or those in the neighborhood • Often Racist, Sexist
Gangs and Crime • “Gang Nations” – affiliate with a national gang • Initiation used to “prove” they are worthy • Commit crimes • Being Beaten • For Females – have sex with multiple members of the gang • Prove ability to sell drugs and make a profit • Must endure a similar rite to get out of the gang
Gangs and Crime (continued) • Who Joins Gangs and WHY • 90% males of all races • Many have relatives or friends in the gang • Many come from difficult conditions at home or school • Often pessimistic about their future opportunities
Gangs and Crime (continued) • Factors that put young at risk • Poverty • School failure • Substance Abuse • Family Dysfunction • Domestic & Community Violence • Low Self-Esteem • Little adult participation in their lives • Wanting Attention/Feel like they belong • Pressure from friends
Gangs in our community • Is there a gang problem in our community? NO: What steps should be taken to prevent this problem? YES: How do you know it exists? What steps can be taken to deal with this problem? Should police put gang members (and wanna-bes) in special programs without charging them? EXPLAIN • Why do you think gangs are such a serious problem in the US? How do gangs resemble families? Why do you think people join gangs? What steps should be taken at the national level to deal with this? • Do you think gang memberships appeals only to those from lower socioeconomic groups? Is a group of middle-class or rich kids that hangs out, vandalizes and sells drugs a “gang”? • Do you think the nightly news and other TV shows, certain cartoons and movies, and the lyrics of some popular music encourage violence? What should be done about this?
How can the “Gang Problem” be Solved? • A mix of prevention and intervention • Operate outreach and intervention programs that counsel gang members to become involved in positive non-gang activities • Provide greater opportunities for young people (athletics, clubs, school tutoring, community service work, job training) • Mobilize government, schools, parents, community groups, religious organizations and other youth to increase awareness and develop opportunities for young people • Organize prevention strategies in which police and probation officers identify gang members and wannabes and place them in antigang membership programs • Prosecute gang members for illegal activities • Organize neighborhood watch groups that regularly remove graffiti and make it hard for gangs to establish a presence or intimidate the community
For Your Information • Between 40-45% of households have a gun in their homes(US Bureau of Census) • In 2000, firearms claimed the lives of 28,663 people in the US. • 10,801 were homicides • 16,586 were suicides • 776 were accidental shootings • 270 were the result of legal intervention • 230 were undetermined • Firearms are the 2nd leading cause of death for people 19 and younger (2nd only to automobile crashes) • In 2001, guns were used in 63% of all homicides. Young people aged 20-24 were the most common victims
Guns and the Law • Gun Control a controversial issue • Supreme Court just ruled the 2nd Amendment a fundamental right • Most who own guns use them lawfully • US has highest number of deaths and crimes with guns involved • Gun Control Act of 1968(passed by Dr. MarthinLutherKingJr and Robert Kennedy) • Prohibits certain people (convicted felons, minors, illegal immigrants)frombuying or possessing guns • Serial numbers on all guns • No mail order guns or ammo • Extra penalties for using a gun during a crime or drug trafficking • Set age limitations on purchasing guns (21 for handguns, 18 for long guns) • Brady Act of 1993 • Background check required • Firearm training in some states • State/City laws • Many have set limits that are now in question with current Supreme Court ruling
You Decide • 1) Which is a better way to reduce crime? • More Gun Control • Less Gun Control GIVE YOUR REASONS • 2) What restrictions, if any, should the government place on the manufacture of firearms? • The sale of firearms • The possession of firearms EXPLAIN
Washington State Gun Laws • Handguns • Permit to purchase handgun? No. Police record made of purchases from dealers. • Registration of handguns? No. Police record made of purchases from dealers. • Licensing of owners of handguns? No. Police record made of purchases from dealers. • Permit to carry handguns? Yes. Police record made of purchases from dealers. • Other Requirements • Is there a State waiting period? Yes. 5-day wait for handguns. • Is there a FBI *NICS check for firearm transactions? Handguns are checked through a state system, long guns via National Instant Check System (NICS) • Permit to carry a concealed weapon required? Yes. • Record of sale: Yes
Child Access Prevention Laws (CAP)p. 88 • Do you think a child access prevention law is effective? Give your reasons • Is it appropriate that there is a similar federal criminal law? Explain • Suppose you wanted a similar law passed in your state. What steps might you take to get such a law enacted? What organizations might help you? What organizations might oppose such a law?
Substance Abuse and Crime • Alcohol • Most widely abused substance in the US • Legal for those 21 or older (except 14 year period from 1920-1933 known as PROHIBITION) • Abuse is detrimental to society • Contributes to poor communications and dysfunction in families • Many commit spouse abuse, child abuse, and other crimes while under the influence
Substance Abuse and Crime • DUI – every state has DUI laws • Washington State is .08 BAC • 2006 – 1.4 million arrested for DUI, 35% highways deaths due to DUI • High Cost to individual for DUI • Monetary fine • DUI/Substance Abuse class • Community Service • License suspension/revocation • Jail Time (repeat offenders, injuries due to actions) • Car Insurance Increases for at least 7 years
Substance Abuse and Crime (continued) • Teens and Alcohol – teens report alcohol easy to obtain • Teen drinking and binge drinking on the rise • MIP – Minor in Possession • If you are under 21 and found to be in possession of or around alcohol • If you are under 21 and tried to buy alcohol • If you are under 21 and drank alcohol • Automatic revoking of your drivers license • 1st offense – 1 year or until 17th birthday, whichever is longer • 2nd offense – 2 years or until 18th birthday, whichever is longer • Parents can be held financially responsible if a minor uses then hurts someone (criminal charges for minor, civil charges for parents)
???Laws in your state??? • Assume your state has recently had a series of automobile crashes, including a number of deaths, caused by people driving under the influence of alcohol. A high percentage of these crashes have been cause by drivers aged 17-25. Others have been caused by older drivers who have had drinking problems for years. These drivers have been arrested before for DUI and were either fined or given probation.
???Laws in your state??? • Get into groups of 3-4. You will be a citizen group trying to address this problem, write up a proposal for the legislature • Key Idea for the law • 3-4 specific details • Analyze the law that you drafted. Will it create any new problems? What can be done to resolve them? • What else could be done to reduce alcohol-related crashes? Would these measures work better than the law you proposed? Explain?
Substance Abuse and Crime (continued) • Drugs: Illegal drug use costs society BILLIONS of dollars every year • Illegal drug industry has led to a dramatic increase in criminal activity (from murder or gov’t corruption) • Burden on criminal justice system is overwhelming • Possession, distribution, or sale of illegal drugs violate federal & state law • Harsher penalties for those selling/distributing (longer terms in prison, property forfeiture) • Repeat offenders face stiffer penalties as well
???Legalization??? • Are there any controlled substances that should be legalized (which might still allow some form of government regulation and even fines)? If so, which controlled substances should be legalized? • What are the most convincing arguments in favor of legalizing some controlled substances? • What are the most convincing arguments against legalizing any controlled substances? • How would society change if some controlled substances were legalized? Would these changes be good or bad? Explain
Initiative 502 • In your group, use the Voter’s Pamphlet to look at Initiative 502 • As a group – • Identify THE LAW AS IT PRENSENTLY EXISTS (p. 23) • Explain THE EFFECT OF THE PROPOSED MEASURE IF APPROVED (p. 23-24) • 3 Arguments FOR (p. 31) • 3 Arguments AGAINST (p. 31)
Substance Abuse and Crime (continued) • Legalization – to counter many of the problems drug abuse has caused, some favor legalizing some drugs • View drug abuse as a medical issue needing treatment rather than jail time • “War on Drugs” has created a market for illegal sales • Can regulate/tax and use the money to help treat those addicted • Opposition to legalization say that it will just make getting drugs easier and will lead to greater use, more deaths and increase drug related problems
Victims of Crime • Crimes affect all of society, but it affects the VICTIMS the most • Teens and young adults are more likely to be victims of crime • Males more likely to be victims of crime (except rape and sexual assault) • Lower-income households are more likely to be victims than higher incomes • Minority groups are more likely to be victims that Caucasian groups
Book Assignment(p 96) • Use the chart on page 96 to answer the following questions: • Which age group is most frequently the victim of crime? Least frequent? WHY • What trend do you see in the data on victimization by age? Explain this trend. • What trend do you see in the data on victimization by gender? How would you explain this trend? • What trend do you see in the data on victimization by racial group? How might you explain this trend?
Victims of Crime • Helping VICTIMS is becoming more of a priority • Victim Assistance Programs are being created in most states • ocva.wa.gov/ • Victim Compensation Laws have been passed in most states • http://www.lni.wa.gov/claimsins/crimevictims/ • Victim Impact Statements are allowed in most states during sentencing • Mason Co. • P.O. Box 386 Fx: 360-427-7785 Shelton, WA 98584 Ph: 360-427-7785 • Restitution Orders are used in most states • http://www.aardvarc.org/victim/restitution.shtml • Victim Advocacy Groups operate in most state • MADD is an example of a victim’s advocacy group • www.madd.org/
Preventing and Reporting Crime • Citizens can be effective in fighting crime • How to prevent crime and what to do if a victim of crime • To reduce the risk of crime • Report suspicious activity to the police • Always lock your doors and windows • Do not open the door to people you do not know • Be alert in high crime areas (dark, deserted streets and parking lots) • Use the “buddy system” • Do not flash money in public • If you witness a crime or have become the victim of a crime, be calm, call police • Provide the police with as much information as possible, write it down • Protect against IDENTIFY THEFT. Don’t give out personal info
Good Samaritan Laws • Are witnesses to crimes under any obligation to come to the aid of victims? Until recently, the legal answer, as opposed to the moral answer, was no. Most states have “Good Samaritan Laws” that relieve bystanders from most civil liabilities when they help people in danger, but they have not required bystanders to help. Now, however, several new states laws require witnesses to offer whatever help they can reasonably provide (washington state) without endangering themselves. In the case of violent crime, this simply means reporting the crime to the police. • In Washington state, you can be held liable if you DO NOT render assistance to a person in need. GO TO PAGE 99 AND ANSWER THE QUESTIONS
If YOU Become a Victim • 2 Theories of what to do • 1) Don’t Fight Back – Property is not worth risking your life • 2) Fight Back • Self Defense Techniques • Know your limitations • Make noise – criminals DO NOT want an audience • Run away if possible • Call the police as soon as possible • !!) Be a witness (Good Samaritan laws)
Quick Review • Vocabulary Words Crime incarceration community policing Gangs substance abuse drunk driving Implied consent recidivist restitution Victim • Key Concepts • The Nature of Crime • Crime on Campus • Gangs and Crime • What are Gangs • Who Joins Gangs and Why • How Can the Gang Problem Be Solved • Guns and the Law • Substance Abuse • Alcohol • Drugs • Victims of Crime • Preventing and Reporting Crime • If You Become a Victim • Getting Help for Survivors of Crime
Essays for Chapter 7 Test • How do drugs and alcohol contribute to the crime rate in the United States? Give Examples!! • Name and explain 2 things you can do to put yourself in a position where you are less likely to be a victim of a crime. Why is this important to know? • What is the “Good Samaritan Law?” How does this effect you as a (1) victim of a crime and (2) a witness to a crime? Do you think the Good Samaritan Law is a good idea or not? WHY • Vocabulary Words Crime incarceration community policing Gangs substance abuse drunk driving Implied consent recidivist restitution Victim