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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 48823 Find in a Library
Title: CRIME AND LEGISLATIVE RESPONSIBILITY (FROM CRIME AND AMERICAN SOCIETY, 1978 - SEE NCJ-48822)
Author(s): R C ECKHARDT
Corporate Author: Ctr for the Study of Democratic Institutions
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Sponsoring Agency: Ctr for the Study of Democratic Institutions
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
Publication Number: 753
Sale Source: Ctr for the Study of Democratic Institutions
Box 4446
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF LEGISLATION AGAINST CRIME IS PRESENTED, AND PROBLEMS FACING LEGISLATORS WHO MUST FIND A SOLUTION TO THE HIGH CRIME RATE BY ENACTING NEW LAWS ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: MANY AMERICANS CONSIDER CRIME TO BE THE MOST IMPORTANT DOMESTIC PROBLEM IN THE COUNTRY. LEGISLATORS MUST TAKE A POSITIVE APPROACH TOWARD CRIMINALITY AND REALIZE THAT THE CRIMINAL HAS CHOSEN THIS TYPE OF BEHAVIOR AS A RESULT OF SOCIETAL CONDITIONS. CHANGES IN CRIME MUST BE EVALUATED IN ORDER TO OBTAIN A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE CAUSES AND POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS TO CRIME IN THE UNITED STATES. LAWS MUST CHANGE ALONG WITH THE TIMES. IN THE 1800'S AND EARLY 1900'S, THE COUNTRY WAS BASICALLY AGRARIAN, AND THE LAWS REGARDING CRIME WERE MADE IN TERMS OF AN AGRARIAN SOCIETY. IN THE PAST 50 YEARS, PEOPLE HAVE MOVED TO THE CITIES AND SUBURBS. THESE DEVELOPMENTS HAVE SHOWN A NEED TO CHANGE THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM SINCE IT IS BASED ON A RURAL FARMING SOCIETY. UNEMPLOYMENT AND UNDEREMPLOYMENT ARE PROBABLY THE MAIN CAUSES OF CONTEMPORARY CRIME. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT A DESIRE FOR INSTANT GRATIFICATION FOR EVERY WANT HAS LED TO VIOLENT CRIME. THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM DISCRIMINATES AGAINST THE POOR. A POOR PERSON CANNOT POST BAIL, AND IS FORCED TO GO TO JAIL, WHERE IT IS NO LONGER POSSIBLE TO SUPPORT A FAMILY. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT SOME PUBLIC DEFENDERS WILL ASK THEIR CLIENT TO PLEAD GUILTY AND THEN APPEAL THE CASE TO A HIGHER COURT, ONLY TO PLEAD GUILTY AGAIN, WHERE THE FINES ARE MUCH HIGHER. STATISTICS SHOW THAT THOSE WHO ARE TOO POOR TO POST BAIL AND HIRE A PRIVATE ATTORNEY ARE GENERALLY FOUND GUILTY AND SENT TO JAIL WHETHER THEY ARE GUILTY OR NOT. WHITE COLLAR CRIMES AND ECONOMIC OFFENSES HAVE BECOME VERY COMMON AMONG WHITE COLLAR WORKERS. CRIME MUST BE REDUCED SOMEHOW, AND THE PROVISION OF BETTER OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOULD-BE OFFENDERS COULD REDUCE THE CRIME RATE. (BAC)
Index Term(s): Criminal codes; Industrialization; Law reform; Legislation; Unemployment; Urbanization
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS. 27 MINUTES, 1978 TAPE IS PART OF SERIES, SEE NCJ NOS. 48824-48829. FROM CHICAGO CONVOCATION ON CRIME AND THE AMERICAN SOCIETY, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, APRIL 2, 1977
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=48823

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