The Pros And Cons Of Crime

Good Essays
When policy and claimsmakers label crimes as social problems, they do not always account for all representations of crime. They neglect to realize that crime is a reality that filters through a series of human decisions running the full scale of the criminal justice system (Silver 265). Jeffery Reiman states within “A Crime by Any Other Name” that, “although there is a wide range of behaviors that the law defines as criminal, people tend to view crime as involving only certain kinds of acts committed by particular populations of individuals”. For example, the rhetoric presented within the War on Terror in the United States lead to moral panic which exaggerated and distorted perceived deviant behavior (Silver 330). Similarly, the rhetoric presented…show more content…
Furthermore, policymakers implemented administrative decisions in attempts to reduce the crimes and health risks associated with these drugs, but those decisions lead to negative consequences. Overall, the rhetoric behind the War on Terror and the War on Drugs in the United States greatly influences how the public views crimes as social problems by depicting and focusing on the stereotypes of crime and criminals. The rhetoric connected to both the War on Terror and the War on Drugs describe crimes that involve large public reactions. For example, the War on Terror emerged from terrorist acts; such as those acts committed on September 11, 2001 or during the Boston Marathon in 2013. Terrorism leads to moral panic because of the five stages of social problem actors. First, a threat of values is made; then, it is recognized by the media; furthermore, an increase of public concern ensues; therefore, reactions from people in authoritative positions occurs; and finally, panic results in social change (Silver 330). Although a moral panic in some cases is good because it results in social change, it also tends to embellish criminal acts. Similarly,…show more content…
For instance, “policymakers typically emphasize the instrumental purposes of their policies” (Best 220). According to Best in Social Problems, “they claim that the policy is intended to make a difference, to correct or improve a particular troubling condition in society”. Policies can also serve symbolic purposes because the policies embody values to help promote the structure of society (Best 220). Overall, these policies affect the way criminals associated with these crimes are prosecuted in the United States by providing explanation for prosecution. For example, with the War on Drugs, “many policymakers insist that legalizing drugs is unthinkable” (Best 221). In fact, according to Best, “maintaining a strong commitment to the prohibition of drugs may not have particularly positive instrumental effects”. Yet, “they affirm society’s commitment to sobriety and other moral principles” (Best 221). Similarly, with the War on Terror, people who appear to express criminal activity are prosecuted because policymakers adopt positions associated with values that support structure in the society (Best 221). Furthermore, some crimes may be considered more harmful than others because the values that the crimes break weigh heavier than other values. Overall the rhetoric associated with each “war” influences how many people, and even I, think about crimes
Get Access