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POLS CH 1-3 BOOK AND LECTURE NOTES
CHAPTER ONE
-Crimes: Actions that violate laws defining which socially harmful behaviors will be subject to the
governments power to impose punishments
-Statutes: Passed by a legislature and signed by an executive. Outlaws certain kinds of
behaviors and often sets the penalty if it is violated
-Can be state or federal
-The criminal law is defined by elected representatives in state legislatures and Congress, who
make choices about the behaviors that the government will punish.
-Mala in se: Wrong in themselves. Offenses that are wrong by their nature
-Ex: Rape and murder
-Mala prohibita: Offenses prohibited by law but not necessarily wrong in themselves.
-Ex: Gambling, prostitution, etc
-CJ system has three goals
1. Doing Justice
a. Offenders accountable for actions
b. Protect rights of those in system
c. Life offenses will be treated alike
2. Controlling Crime
. Catch and punish offenders
3. Preventing crime
. Deterrence: the action of discouraging an action or event through instilling doubt or fear
of the consequences
-Why do legislators enact criminal statutes (aka criminal laws)?
-Enact laws based on their beliefs about the nature of the problem and the response that
will be effective in addressing it
-Sometimes policy based on convention
-Recently, there’s been the rise of evidence based practices
-Doing justice concerns fairness and equity in the treatment of people who are drawn into the cj
system.
-Doing justice forms the basis for the rules, procedures, and institutions of the cj system.
-The goal of doing justice embodies three principles:
1. Offenders will be fully accountable for their actions
2. The rights of persons who have contact with the system will be protected
3. Like offenses will be treated alike, and officials will take into account relevant differences
among offenders and offenses.
-The criminal justice system is designed to control crime by arresting, prosecuting, convicting,
and punishing those who disobey the law. A major constraint on the system, however, is that
efforts to control crime must be carried out within the framework of law. Thus, criminal law not
only defines what is illegal but also outlines the rights of citizens and the procedures officials
must use to achieve the system’s goals.
-Police officers and prosecutors must follow the law when investigating crimes. They
cannot use unrestrained methods of their own choosing in conducting searches and
questioning suspects.
-Crime can be prevented in various ways, but perhaps most important is the deterrent effect of
the actions of police, courts, and corrections. These actions not only punish those who violate
the law but also provide examples that will likely keep others from committing wrongful acts.
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Document Summary

Crimes: actions that violate laws defining which socially harmful behaviors will be subject to the government"s power to impose punishments. Statutes: passed by a legislature and signed by an executive. Outlaws certain kinds of behaviors and often sets the penalty if it is violated. The criminal law is defined by elected representatives in state legislatures and congress, who make choices about the behaviors that the government will punish. Mala prohibita: offenses prohibited by law but not necessarily wrong in themselves. Ex: rape and murder: doing justice, offenders accountable for actions, protect rights of those in system, life offenses will be treated alike, controlling crime. Deterrence: the action of discouraging an action or event through instilling doubt or fear of the consequences. Enact laws based on their beliefs about the nature of the problem and the response that will be effective in addressing it. Recently, there"s been the rise of evidence based practices.

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