Pyrrhic Defeat Theory

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The United States prides itself on being a country of opportunities where the underprivileged can rise up and everyone is treated equally, but is that really the case? In reality the income of an individual gives them advantages of going above the system. The sociological explanation of the influence of the wealthy over the criminal justice system is described in the of the Pyrrhic defeat theory written in Jeffrey Reiman and Paul Leighton book The Rich Get Richer and the Poor get Prison Ideology, class and Criminal Justice. The Pyrrhic defeat theory emphasizes the failure of the criminal justice is the consequence of success for those in power, who are taking advantage of the system. Those in power had the resources to create a narrative and…show more content…
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…show more content…
There are issues with the equality of the system, as depending on the income of the accused their experiences will be completely different. The Pyrrhic defeat theory tries to explain this broken system as the consequences of those in power seeking a scapegoat the poor, and to escape responsibility of their own criminalities. The issue is perception; there have been such negative connotations of being poor that poverty and criminality have become interchangeable. Those with power have the narrative to keep this simplified view of criminality alive having their own success over the failure of others, The Pyrrhic theory is worrisome, because acknowledging it means fighting years of false narrative and realize how useless our criminal justice system really
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