• August 28th, 2018

Discuss 1.

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After reading the three articles for Week One, is the criminal justice system, in your opinion, an institution that perpetuates racial divisions and inequality within the United States? Take a position either way and fully defend it. Also, in her article, “On the Run,” Alice Goffman argues that police officers may pursue individuals with open warrants at their places of work, hospitals, or daycare sites, even for individuals that are low-level offenders. In your opinion, should there be “safe spaces” where law enforcement should not be permitted to apprehend low-level offenders who fail to pay fines or make court appearances? Why or why not? Be sure to fully elaborate. Next, after reading the article, “Debunking the Myths of American Corrections,” please come up with one aspect of prison life that you believe may be a myth or misrepresentation that is not identified in the article. And, in your opinion, why do you suppose so few states allow inmates to have conjugal visits? Do you believe conjugal visits should be permitted for some inmates? Why or why not? Next, Ross (2012) discusses how policymakers misinterpreted Robert Martinson’s 1974 report and used it to justify longer and more punitive sentences. What, if anything, can researchers and academics do to make sure that their findings are not misinterpreted by the public and policymakers? Should they do anything to begin with? Also, after reflecting upon Virginia McKenna’s article, “Binded by the Star,” how can criminal justice practitioners avoid being negatively impacted by unquestioned myths and world views? In other words, how can these actors achieve a sense of fairness, equity, and justice when the nature of their profession may expose them to stereotypes and prejudices? Finally, once you have answered all of the above questions, please pose an original thinking question to the class.

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