For my final topic I will discuss the concept of crime and also some of the early theories of criminal behavior. During the late 1700s and the early 1800s there were many theories about crime any why people committed acts of violence that were beginning to pop up and one of the ones that comes to mind is Phrenology (Schmalleger, 2017). Phrenology was a study on the shape of a person’s head and if they had certain characteristics they were believed to have certain attributes that could tell if they were fully developed as a person or if they were less developed. In ” phrenology, education, and the politics of human nature” Stephen Tomlinson states “…during its heyday, phrenology was a scientifically respectable theory of human nature (Tomlinson,1,1997). With this being said the person who thought up of this idea was Franz joseph gall he believed that physical characteristics would indicate their personality but it wasn’t until one of Franz students named Johann Spurzheim would bring the idea of phrenology to America in 1829 (Schamlleger, 2017). Given that there are many theories and concepts of crime I will talk about criminal families, somatotyping, and also the chromosome theory (Schmalleger, 2017). The criminal families idea was a belief that humans inherited some sort of mental degeneration that would cause these people to commit crime solely based on their families (schmalleger, 2017). One of the first people to bring this idea to the table was Richard dugdale and what he would do is use a family tree to determine if they had degeneration somewhere along the line in the family (Schmalleger, 2017). The underlying illusion that people who are feebleminded or degenerate used crime as an excuse for urges they might have had although a good idea these studies didn’t recognize how these people were brought up a child so they jumped the gun and believed that all of these people did crime (Schmalleger, 2017). The other type of theory was called somatotypes and what this did was categorize people’s body types into three main categories and in doing so gave them each a list of how these body types performed (Schmalleger, 2017). The three body types were mesomorphs, endomorphs, and ectomorphs the mesomorph is characterized as being alpha with more muscle and usually gets very aggressive. The endomorph is characterized as being more on the hefty side while having shorter body parts and also having a nice personality. Finnaly the ectomorph is characterized as being small thin and fragile and is also very shy and keeps to themselves (Schmalleger, 2017).
For the second part of this paper I will be talking about functions of police, courts, corrections and how they all work together like one big happy family. To begin we will start with the police and how they function from the local, state, and federal level. The local agencies usually are like city departments small and rural sheriff departments they also include campus and transit police. The larger city departments usually receive more money because of how big they can make their budgets but they are all sworn officers who are given power by the government to help enforce the law (Schmalleger, 2017). State agencies usually help local law enforcement agencies in criminal investigations when they are asked, they operate the centralized identification bureaus and criminal records repository in order to better find and catch criminals (Schmalleger, 2017). One of the final and big things they do is patrol the state’s highways and also provide training for some city and county officers (Schmalleger, 2017). Finally the federal level of police are tasked with enforcing inspections, regulations, and control activities (schmalleger, 2017). One of the most popular and well known federal police agency is the FBI and their main task is to protect the United States from terrorists and foreign intelligence threats and to also maintain and implement the criminal laws of the United States (Schmalleger, 2017). For the court system I will talk about trial, appellate, and supreme courts and how they all apply the law in their own terms. Our court system is a dual court system in which there are only state and federal courts the reasoning for this is so that states can be independent from federal government control. To start the trial courts deal with criminal cases and they also are in charge of setting bail managing arraignments, taking pleas, and conducting trials. The appellate courts are In charge of appealing past decisions including laws and sentences people were given. the structure of these courts are intermediate and high-level appellate courts and the high level appellate courts are also referred to as courts of last resort which means that they have the final say and people cannot appeal their case any further (Schmalleger, 2017). The Supreme Court is the final and one of the highest courts there is and they are located in Washington D.C. The court is made up of 9 justices who are all appointed by the president and they serve life terms. The reason they are so high up is because they have the authority of judicial review over lower and state court decisions with the aim on making sure they follow the U.S. constitution. For the corrections side there are jails and prisons and both work on rehabilitation through evidence based practices. Today we have over 1,700 prisons and 119 federal prisons in operation in all the prisons combined they hold over 1.5 million inmates which are under high security of which about 110,000 are females (Schmalleger, 2017). One thing that greatly impacts the amount of people that are in prison is the cost it costs about 60-70 dollars per day to house an inmate which adds up when you take in to account how much we have in the system. The jail system is different in that they are usually locally operated and they are not meant to hold inmates for extended periods of time. Some of the things that jails to is that they take in individuals who are awaiting their arraignment or trial until they are eventually convicted. They can also detain juveniles but for short periods of time and same with those who are mentally ill until they are able to be transferred to proper facilities (Schmalleger, 2017). Jails also run community based programs which is like home detention, day reporting, and other types of supervision when doing these it gives alternatives to incarceration so that the jails wont be over crowded as bad (Schmalleger, 2017). One statistic that is true to jails is that roughly around 6% of jail facilities hold almost half of all inmates in the nation (Schmalleger,2017). With this huge population stems the problem of overcrowding that’s why many jails have accelerated releases and community based programs to help them limit how much inmates they are holding so that would reduce how much overcrowding lots of jails are dealing with today.
One of the final and major events of the twentieth century happened when the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration was created to research crime and was funded by the federal government from 1969-1982 in order to find out why people committed crime it was later discontinued in 1982 due to congress refusing to fund the program even further.(Schmalleger, 2017). Although it was said to be a failure many positive things came from it in the form of how we operate the police facilities. One of the terms created was called scientific police management which came from studies so that we could have law enforcement increase their effectiveness, reduce the complaints given by citizens, and finally making better use of their resources. Another term created was called evidence based practice which we still use today and what it means is that we take the evidence from research we have conducted and try to put what it give us into practice to increase the effectiveness of the police and their strategies(Schmalleger, 2017).
Even with all these advancements came downsides which came in the form of police corruption during the 1920’s. The reason for this corruption was because of the constitutional prohibition against all forms of alcohol where people who were illegally making alcohol were taking in very high profits in which they were able to pay off police officers so they could keep their illegal operations going (Schmalleger. 2017). To combat this corruption the United States attorney general George Wickersham created the Wickersham commission and their goal was to release reports and set up guide lines for law enforcement agencies and guided them up until the 1970’s (Schmlleger, 2017).
Another significant event that happened during the twentieth century was the first woman to be put in uniform which happened in 1910 and her name was Alice wells and she served the Los Angeles police department, before she was hired women did work in the justice system but they never were able to actually patrol they only were able to sit behind a desk (Schmalleger, 2017). Another reason they were hiring more women was because they could help their male partners when it came to situations in which they had to deal with children and more importantly when it came to holding back or restraining females (Schmalleger, 2017). By 1915 at least 25 cities employed policewomen and during that year the International Association of Policewomen was created in Baltimore (Schmalleger, 2017).
The start of the United States criminal justice system is said to have taken many ideas from the British and their previous experiences but it wasn’t exactly copied word for word and we implemented some of our ideas into the mix (Schmalleger, 2017). To begin, in 1658 was the start of the first paid police officers but they were called watchmen and they were hired in New York City to try and replace citizens that were drafted. It wasn’t till 1693 when we finally gave the first officer a uniform and was employed by New York (Schmalleger, 2017). To give a little more history about police Sir Robert peel is said to have created the first police force in London around the late 1820’s and in doing so us Americans were also looking at him as a role model of how our police system should function. Later on that year New York in 1844 combined both day and night forces into what we call now the New York City police department (Schmalleger, 2017). As the United States was reaching closer towards the twentieth century lots of advancements in technology allowed us to change the way we were able to police and with that change came the International Association of chiefs of Police which was formed in 1902 and they began the idea for a united states wide data base for criminal identification (Schmalleger, 2017). What they did to start this data base was to take a picture of a criminal in one county or state and send it to all the other counties and states so they could better apprehend and find criminals that may leave town or even the state. Other technologies like the invention of telephones, vehicles and radios this greatly impacted how the police force was able to perform and react when they were needed. For instance people were able to call and report crimes with telephones then with the invention of cars police were able to reach that crime much faster and if they needed too they could radio in for back up all because of these new technologies it better enhanced the way police were able to serve their community.