Presentation Title

The Structure of the Criminal Justice System and its Effect on Society

Faculty Mentor

Jean-Pierre Gatillon

Start Date

17-11-2018 3:00 PM

End Date

17-11-2018 5:00 PM

Location

CREVELING 81

Session

POSTER 3

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

This study investigates the structure of the criminal justice system and its effects on both inmates and society. The key point of this research is to explore the question: Does the structure of our criminal justice system promote recidivism, and is it detrimental to inmates and society? After thorough review of several published peer-reviewed articles and conducting two qualitative interviews, it is clear that there are existing discriminatory and educational issues in the criminal justice system which promote recidivism and detrimentally affect inmates and society. This topic was chosen because there is a clear disconnect on this matter which creates a cycle of crime for the millions of inmates in the United States prison system and fails the men and women who would like to get out of the system, but lack the resources. Through the two qualitative interviews, social structure theory and rational choice theory were both illustrated as key components as to why the criminal justice system fails the very people it is supposed to help. The social structure in the United States keeps the underclass impoverished, while essentially forcing people to choose a life of crime to survive. Social structure limits job opportunities and produces communities where the rational choice is to commit crime. Based on the primary and secondary research, several proposals of how society as a whole can improve have been included within the results. Instead of leaving inmates without essential skills to survive, the criminal justice system must further improve education and rehabilitation efforts by teaching them trades that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. The greatest challenge will be changing wider society’s judgement of race and socioeconomic class, emphasizing that everyone from every class and race makes mistakes, and lives should not be defined by them.

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Nov 17th, 3:00 PM Nov 17th, 5:00 PM

The Structure of the Criminal Justice System and its Effect on Society

CREVELING 81

This study investigates the structure of the criminal justice system and its effects on both inmates and society. The key point of this research is to explore the question: Does the structure of our criminal justice system promote recidivism, and is it detrimental to inmates and society? After thorough review of several published peer-reviewed articles and conducting two qualitative interviews, it is clear that there are existing discriminatory and educational issues in the criminal justice system which promote recidivism and detrimentally affect inmates and society. This topic was chosen because there is a clear disconnect on this matter which creates a cycle of crime for the millions of inmates in the United States prison system and fails the men and women who would like to get out of the system, but lack the resources. Through the two qualitative interviews, social structure theory and rational choice theory were both illustrated as key components as to why the criminal justice system fails the very people it is supposed to help. The social structure in the United States keeps the underclass impoverished, while essentially forcing people to choose a life of crime to survive. Social structure limits job opportunities and produces communities where the rational choice is to commit crime. Based on the primary and secondary research, several proposals of how society as a whole can improve have been included within the results. Instead of leaving inmates without essential skills to survive, the criminal justice system must further improve education and rehabilitation efforts by teaching them trades that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. The greatest challenge will be changing wider society’s judgement of race and socioeconomic class, emphasizing that everyone from every class and race makes mistakes, and lives should not be defined by them.