Question 1: You may have heard of the book The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get

Question 1: You may have heard of the book The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get

Question 1: You may have heard of the book The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison Links to an external site. by Reiman & Leighton. Here is what its description says: “For 40 years, this classic text has taken the issue of economic inequality seriously and asked: Why are our prisons filled with the poor? Why aren’t the tools of the criminal justice system being used to protect Americans from predatory business practices and to punish well-off people who cause widespread harm?”
When reading this book, I was horrified by some of the examples of white-collar crime that led to multiple deaths of innocent people. One of such cases described in the book is the infamous case of Ford Pinto Links to an external site.. Apparently, the Ford Corporation’s executives knew of the problem with the car’s fuel tank and the fact that it would blow up in collisions, but decided not to do anything about it because it was too costly. It was a horrifying illustration of the corporation’s disregard for human life, and I felt certain that something like this cannot possibly happen again, especially here, in the United States, in modern times. Little did I know – almost exactly the same case happened here just a couple of years ago:
True Defective: GM – The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Video Clip) Links to an external site.
What are your thoughts on this case and other example of monetary considerations outweighing the importance of protecting human life?
Write a short essay (3 paragraphs) with your reflections.
Question 2: Start by choosing a news story or magazine/newspaper article about a crime or a criminal justice issue that grabbed your attention and that can also be explained using one of the theories we have covered in this course.
In your essay, you need to start by briefly re-stating the key parts of the story in your own words (and provide a link to the story/article in your References section).
Then you need to look up some statistics on the type of crime or criminal justice issue described in the story or find additional useful and trustworthy data/information about it. Feel free to use research literature and the links to UCR and/or NCVS; you can also use any other relevant information from reputable sources: for example, check out Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) data and reports and don’t forget the statistics on crime trends for cities!
Think of a criminological theory that applies well in explaining this type of crime and another theory that does not seems to fit as an explanation. (In case of the article I gave as an example above, I could use either psychopathy as a likely explanation for the behavior of the teen who showed no remorse or differential association/social learning theory to explain the peer influence on the other teenagers’ behavior in the situation. You only need to choose 1 best-fitting theory. For the worst-fitting theory, I would use Agnew’s general strain theory in this instance.)
Also, since the most useful application of theories is to improve CJ practice, think of a way to develop a theory-based program or policy to prevent crimes of this type. Are there similar programs that have already been tried? Have they been found effective? (CrimeSolutions.gov)
Structure/Format (6 double-spaced pages):
a) Title: Give your essay a title that reflects the key topic and theory.
b) Story: Start your essay by summarizing the news story in a few sentences (it will be the opening paragraph of your essay).
c) Key facts about the crime type or CJ facts/issues (you will select from the list of options): Start your essay by summarizing the key facts about the crime/phenomenon you are focusing on. Provide some information on the prevalence of this type of crime or criminal justice issue, describe who the typical perpetrators and victims are (feel free to use research literature and the links to UCR, NCVS).
d) Best-fitting Theory: Briefly summarize the criminological theory that you think is very applicable here and explain how the key concepts and propositions of the theory can explain the phenomenon you are focusing on.
e) Worst-fitting Theory (pretty much the opposite of what can explain the issue at hand): Briefly summarize the criminological theory that you think does not apply well and explain why not.
f) Applying theory towards crime prevention: Suggest a crime prevention program based on the best-fitting theory you chose for the essay. Briefly describe the key elements of the program and explain how this program is based on your best-fitting theory.
g) Summarize evaluated crime prevention programs similar to your proposed one: Check crimesolutions.gov for programs of this type and summarize what you have found on that web site (Is there a program similar to the one you suggested? Has it been found effective, not effective, or promising?).
h) Conclusion: Conclude your essay with a paragraph summarizing the key points and lessons of your essay.
i) References: Cite the sources that you used (in APA format).

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