This week we learned about theories that suggest that in order to be a criminal this means that one first learns the values conducive to criminality. They also learn the “rules” of being a criminal and how to do it. To this end, according to the theory, when one is raised surrounded by bad influences, they are likely to adopt differential associations. One argument that might counter this is the idea that there are many who grow up in “bad” families that do not grow up to commit crime. Likewise, some argue that even those who grow up around different values and socialization regarding crime, could not possibly fail to understand that such values/socialization was counter culture and deviant. Their negative socialization would be confronted via TV, school, church and those in the community that are “decent”. Do you agree? Do the deviant youth truly believe that their bad behavior is acceptable or that the end (respect, status, stuff) justifies the means (criminal activity)? If not, then what else might be happening?
Secondly, do you think it makes sense that one needs to learn values, techniques and understand deviance BEFORE they actually engage in criminal or deviant behavior? Are there those that are deviant that are NOT socialized to be that way
– will post two peers response. Must reply to two peers after submitting the assignment.
Part two- Chapter 12 addresses African Americans and the Criminal Justice System:
Stephani Williams, one of the authors of our textbook, builds on the historical discussion of African Americans within the criminal justice system and uses modern-day examples of how and why there is such an overrepresentation of African Americans, particularly African-American males, within the criminal justice system. Williams provides an overview of justice policy and practice and the culpability U.S. laws and policy have in the criminalization of African Americans. She provides historical context to this criminalization and describes the current post-Civil Rights context. As she describes, even in our current post-slavery, post-Jim Crow era, African Americans continue to face disparate treatment by the justice system. Much of this disparate treatment has to do with policies such as the War on Drugs and policing practices including both over- and underpolicing of minority neighborhoods. Williams describes offending rates for African Americans and discusses issues such as driving while black, stop-and-frisk policies, and the militarization of police, among others, that contribute to African Americans as both real and imagined offenders.
This chapter is important to consider in relation to Chapter 10 because African Americans are considerably more likely to be arrested and incarcerated for their crimes, which gives the American public the idea that they must commit the most crime. However, as was discussed in Chapter 10, whites are the most likely criminal offender but the least likely (depending on other identities categories such as class) to be arrested and incarcerated for their crimes.
Williams illustrates that African Americans are at a statistically greater risk of violent victimization than are other populations. She additionally describes hate crime victimization and other types of victimization experiences for African Americans. She concludes the chapter with a discussion of possible ways to bridge the police–community divide in African-American communities in order to prevent the kinds of violence we are frequently seeing between police officers and members of the African-American community.
1. Read Chapter 12, pages 190-208.
2. Watch the documentary 13th.
Ok, this is a little tricky and I am not even sure if it is legal, but we are going to try it anyway. I created a Netflix account for our class. The log in is firstname.lastname@example.org. The password is $tudent, you have two choices for profiles, one is crimprof and one is Kathy, click on one of these. Then click on My List and you should see the documentary 13th. Watch it! If you have any problems accessing it, please let me know.
4. Ok, so this next task is even a bit more trickier. After reading chapter 12 and watching the documentary your assignment is to somehow, in your own creative way, compose a picture (8 1/2 x 11) depicting the things that impacted you the most from the chapter and the documentary.
For example, maybe what impacted you most was how African Americans were treated in our early American history – if so, then draw, sketch, cut and paste pictures about that topic. Or, maybe what impacted you the most was the court cases that affected the ideal of separate but equal? If so, draw, sketch, cut and paste pictures about that topic. See what I mean??
In other words, after the reading and the watching you are going to be left with some feelings and beliefs about something. Your job is to creatively put those feelings and beliefs in the form of a picture. You may use words to describe something in your picture or to give a name to something, etc. But most of your picture will be filled with a depiction (sketches, drawings, illustrations, etc.) and words should be used sparingly, unless a word is used as a picture – for example, the word PIGS on your poster could refer to a name that police officers are called. Also, try not to leave much open space in your picture, fill it with something!!!
Now, only you will know what your picture means to you! You are going to upload your picture to me, when you have completed it and you are going to write an essay about your picture telling me what your picture reflects. Do not forget to be thorough.