SOCI 475: Chapter 1
Sept 16 :h
According to Reiman, the way to make criminals not conform to society is by making prison brutal and makes them
angry. American Justice system the system isn’t to decrease crime it actually is to keep crime stable. The criminal
justice system goals are normally different.
Pyrrhic defeat theory argues that the failure of the criminal justice system amounts to so much power that it amounts
to a success, appears to be losing this war against crime, but if you assume that the goals are others, then it is a victory.
The people gaining from this would be prison officials, police officers etc. People employed in the criminal justice
system have no incentive to dismantle this institution because it is against your interest.
Page 6 Historical Inertia: This system ends up advantaging the wealthy; they have no incentive to do good to the
society. This is a Marxist take on it.
Ryman says that this is not a conspiracy, it is a system in which basically the ideas of capitalism are implemented in
society, in a socialized viewpoint in the way society works and it is difficult to dismantle. Thinks that the poor is
dangerous and lazy, and people who are wealthy and represent everything that is good.
According to Ryman, when you have a perverted society when it puts people against each other, you cannot be
surprised when crime is one of the costs of this system. Crime is the cost of capitalist system.
Crime control when crime rates go up, no one takes responsibility, politics. Crime rates have gone down and Clinton
claims that he put in the funds to do so. Crime is one of the highest in the Industrial world. Enormous amount of money
spent on CJ system.
p.14 Handguns stats about murder in the USA
p.19 every American citizen has a chance of being a victim or being a murderer.
Why crime is said to be inevitable: 3 excuses:
Too soft on crime if incarceration is the way to measure crime, US are very tough on crime. Canada is the
same way on crime, but our crime rate is much lower.
Youth is the problem: table 1.2 you see t hat there is not correlation between age and crime rates. 1424 aged
peoples not as much crime.
Cost of modern living: Other countries like Japan are as urbanized as the States.
Question is what makes older people less likely to commit crime?
You have more to loose
When you age social class, income, accumulation of wealth
Stake in conformity becomes greater, reducing crime
Cant blame it on kids, there is not corelation with age and crime.
Age is about maturity quality about aging. Greater investment and conformity.
Poor people more likely to commit crime The gap between rich and poor has increased over the last 3040 years in US and Canada
Philosophy and ethics of capitalism.
Difference principle inequality in a society is justified in a society to an extent where the under class have
their lives improved in economic terms
Inequality is acceptable as long as the bottom is moving up
Property owning democracy, guaranteed rights and freedom vs. in welfare state equal liberties are given but
We need to have a society where we raise the level of the poor.
Next source of crime prison (not a source of crime)
Stigma so no job
Generates more hatred towards the system creating more crime
Impact on families
Kill more people
Fatality rate with a gun is higher
Argument is that you should make it legal, so there is not as much crime
If the legalized it, would reduce the price
When people are addicted to these drugs, that coupled with necessity increases the price
Critical about prescription drug abuse
Don’t like to see legitimated PCP, acid because they create hallucinations bad effects
Sept 23 ,
Accident VS. Murder:
Why is one labeled a mine accident where the company was informed of the problem, and the other is a criminal that
shot people. The difference is the desire to extinguish life, and the other was informed but no measure taken to prevent
it. How do you determine who is the one to blame in a company. Carnival mirror: we don’t know what crime really is. Warps your perception of reality. Crime is not an accurate
reflection of what crime really is. The attributes of the typical criminal a person are male, urban, typically black, poor
person. Distorts the reality of crime that all white people are generally good and they don’t commit crime.
Typical crimeJ▯ esse Jackson quote about how relieved he is that a white person is walking behind him than a black
person. He is a black activist. Funny the carnival mirror of crime would affect that him as well.
Defenders page 75 argue that offenders purpose that tries to purposefully harm than ones in accidents. Corporate take
time and though process of killing.
Dangers, not crime
Big businesses in democratic point makes a person little compared to a big company.
Companies are more exploitative.
WalMart is an example, they don’t pay their employees, exploit them and they treat the workers badly, and
they get supplies from third world countries.
September 27 th
Companies have to prove that their product is safe. Pepsi adding something to it that causes cancer banned in
Sept 30 chapter 4:
Derek Duff case, police brutality problem how many more are there out now.
Table 3.1 cost of whitecollar crime (2007)486 billion, which they say is a conservative estimate. Including
check, insurance, credit card, bankruptcy fraud (this is not something only the rich people can do, lots of poor
people can claim bankruptcy as well), bribery, kickbacks and pay offs, computer and internet related crime
(all classes can engage in)
Criticism of the above table what should the table look like
Type of crime $ Billion working class Middle class Upper class
Cell phone fraud
Insurance fraud Middle class would commit more number of crimes compared to someone like bill gates, so who is the real