4: Criminal Justice Policy

Learning Objectives

In this section, you will be introduced to policy in the criminal justice system. Policies that can be examined include issues related to juvenile justice, drug legislation, intimate partner violence, prison overcrowding, school safety, new federal immigration laws, terrorism, and national security. After reading this section, students will be able to:

  • Examine the relationship between theory, research, and policy.
  • Understand the factors involved in creating moral panics.
  • Identify the stages involved in creating policy.
  • Understand the role of evidence-based practice in policy.
  • Reflect on how current events and politics shape policy.

Critical Thinking Questions

1. What is a current example of a moral panic?

2. How does the media help influence policy?

3. If the media has so much influence over policy, how can we ensure fair and just laws and practices?

4. Think of a crime problem in your area. What policy would you enact to combat it and how would you evaluate this policy to see if it was working?

5. What are some policies you can think of that have changed over time? (eg. Marijuana legalization)?

 

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