In The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison, Jeffery Reiman argues that the best way to understand our policies toward crime is through the Pyrrhic Defeat model. Basically, it explains the failure of policies within the criminal justice system to reduce crime. According to Reiman, the criminal justice system does not eliminate all crime. It deals with a smaller portion in order to keep it from completely getting out of control. Crime is not drastically reduced, and it is never eliminated, therefore it is always present in society. Moreover, the whole system develops a stigma against the poor, who are trapped by it, while the rich go on living their lives unaffected.
Reiman supports the Pyrrhic Defeat Theory by arguing that by not eliminating the poverty that causes people to commit crimes, society is actually failing to protect people from crime. This is most likely valid given the fact that most of prison population is poor. If society wants to eliminate …show more content…
The first is that criminal law does not define crime properly because it does not include the most dangerous antisocial behavior that takes place (Reiman, p. 67). The second is that police and prosecutors do not make charge and arrest decisions based on criteria that will help them get the most dangerous criminals (Reiman, p. 67). The third is that criminal convictions are also not necessarily the ones that are most dangerous (Reiman, p. 67). The fourth is that the decisions that sentencing judges make are not made with the intentions of protecting society from the most dangerous criminals, nor do they reflect proper punishment according to the crime and the harm done by it (Reiman, p. 67). The fifth is that the first four hypotheses validate that criminal acts are indirectly identified with the poor (Reiman, p.
And, the crime starts with the street only, Reiman told that in the title only that poor get prison, so this is the reason why poor gets prison, because they are doing street crimes. We are totally unaware of those people so we are not able understand that how they create crime, as per my assumption most probable cause of the crime is the drugs, money and depression. But, our society is totally unaware of this that those people might also change, if we provide them good education, but instead of providing them positive and good habits they are blaming them as always. Moreover, our society is not understanding that if we do not provide them a good habit, they will get more influenced by the readily available guns and all those stuff to increase more crime rates. However, Reiman is telling that we have to provide them as much as possible support and positivity to decrease the crime
Reiman begins his essay be explaining and describing the reasons in which he is against the common sense idea. The basis behind this theory is that common sense would tell someone that if something cost higher than something else, then fewer people will choose the item that cost more. Reiman offers three arguments in which he disagrees that the common sense idea will deter crime. The first one being that just because a person fears one penalty more than another, does not mean that this will deter the criminal behavior. It was stated that there is an equal likelihood of crime being deterred for the death penalty than there is for life behind bars.
”(Reiman, 2010, p.5) This means that by creating an image that our system is trying to fight crime, but at the same time allowing certain crimes to exist and scare society, it benefits the wealthy in several ways. First, it promotes that the wealthy population is
Through the decades, crime and crime control have been analyzed in an attempt to find the causes of crime and decide how to combat them. The United States showed an increase in their prison population in the 1970s when the country turned towards a more punitive justice system. Referred to as just deserts theory of crime, the aim is to inflict as much pain on the offender through harsh prison sentences, in hopes to cause as much pain as the crime they committed. The worse the crime is, the worse the punishment the criminal will endure. The issue surrounding just deserts theory is the vast amount of offenders who return to prison after being released, also known as the recidivism rate.
This issue led to what is now resulting in mass incarceration. Mass incarceration has been shown to affect mostly poor and minorities. Individuals living in poverty are not afforded the same royalties as those who are not in poverty. They are more willing to commit crimes because of their lack of fortune. The crime rate is more prone to be in urban communities, which hold a significant number of minorities.
In this day and age, There are five times as many people in jail as there were in the 1970s. Almost 5 percent of the population of the United States will go to prison at in point of their life. Conservatives believe that imprisonment reduces crime in two ways: it removes criminals from the public so they can not commit more crimes, and it also discourages people who would commit a crime as they consider the consequences. Unfortunately, neither of these outcomes have come to be true. In fact, mass incarceration and “tough on crime” laws have been extremely ineffective that instead of reducing crime, it increases it.
Policies that are made to make people feel safer imprison more minorities and the saddest aspect is that it is considered a success by current politicians. The first feature of the Pyrrhic defeat theory states, “failure to implement policies that stand a good chance of reducing crime and the harm it causes” (Reiman and Leighton 179). Everybody in society wants lower crime, but the methods that are currently used to reduce crime are not deterring criminals, but are harsher imprisonment for lesser crimes. The first rule of the Pyrrhic theory emphasizes the failure of the criminal justice system because it takes the wrong approach of reducing the main cause of crime, poverty. Those in poverty are scapegoats for those with wealth who get little consequences for their own
Criticism of Merton’s Strain Theory One critique of the strain theory is how it overemphasis the position of the social class in regards to crime and deviance. As we know, the strain theory applies mainly to the American lower class as they struggle the most. Our lower class are faced with the lack of resources to help them reconcile their goals. However, by looking at the variation of deviant and criminal behavior, the strain theory does not adequately account for any type of crimes besides the normal street or neighborhood crimes.
2. In criminological/sociological study, what are some of the limitations to defining “crime” as only those actions in violation of criminal law? Do you feel that criminologists should limit their study in this way? Support your response. Crime is learned from a person’s interaction within a given society.
Families that are poor or have a low income are more likely to commit crimes for the purpose of their own needs to survive. “It is a fact that neighborhoods where the poor are concentrated are more prone to high crime rates, and poor residents are the most common victims of crimes” (1). The best explanation for this is that poorer people have the same needs as a regular middle-class citizen. The poor citizens need certain things to help him or her live a healthy life, such as healthcare, food stamps, and more employment options. One may argue that healthcare is too expensive and that food stamps have been taken away from many people.
Some of the policies include increasing the amount of fines and other charges to offenders. This has led to stereotyping of race since Blacks and Latinos due to their poverty levels fills most of the spaces in prisons. The correlation between poverty and crime relates to the arguments that people who do not have much would want to take from those who have. It is unfair to associate poor people with crime but it is also true that crime levels are higher in places with low-income earners (Nebbitt et al
Many people have different viewpoints as to what criminal justice and criminology are, in my point of view I believe these two terms have a distinct definition and action. Although they might sound somewhat similar based on the textbook criminal justice is said to be defined as “institutions, policies, and practices with the goal of maintaining social control through sanctions and rehabilitation.” and it also states that criminology is “academic discipline that investigates the nature extent and causes of criminal offending”. In my own words, what my understanding of criminal justice is that it refers to the system of law enforcement, courts, and corrections in the U.S. that includes actions from the government in which aim to lessen the occurrence
According to Phelps (2013), as from 1998 to 2007 states that had the greatest increases in incarceration rates failed to observe a corresponding drop in crime rates. On the other hands, states such as New York, Texas, New Jersey and North and South Carolina that lowered their incarceration rates in favor of community corrections programs experienced a drop in crime rates (p.53). Incarceration has also failed in correcting prisoners. Most of the prisoners always go back to committing crimes once released from prison. It has led to a rise in the recidivism rates of prisoners.
Another criticism of the classical theory is that deterrence and rational choice theory both overlook social factors of crime (Bazelon, 2015). If criminal offending arises out of a temporary irrationality, classical theory fails to explain why the distribution of crime (according to official data) is not spread evenly among the social structure (White, Haines and Asquith, 2012). Cornish and Clarke (1986) argue that for some individuals, offending may only be considered rational in a way which is not responsive to the deterrence resulting from punishment. In a society where social inequalities are predominant, universal equality cannot be achieved by viewing everyone equally before the law (White, Haines and Asquith, 2012). Rational choice may cause some individuals to offend exactly as a result of social inequalities (White, Haines and Asquith,
Crime offers a way in which poor people can obtain material goods they cannot attain through legal means. Often, threat or force helps them acquire even more goods, encouraging them to commit more violent acts such as robbery and rape. Thus, poverty increases crime