Free Essay About Criminal Justice
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Crime, Social Issues, Law, Criminal Justice, Control, Police, Sociology, Evidence
Pick your favorite television show or movie related to crime and consider how the issues of crime and social control are framed. What is/are the implied causes of crime? How are the “solutions” to the crime problem framed? Finally, why is it important for a criminal justice student to understand the intersection of reality and Hollywood as it relates to crime and the perception of crime in the media?
The show that I have picked up is Law and Order: Criminal Intent. The social control as per the show is informal. Apparently, the crew set city or neighborhood happens to adhere to its own rules and obligations. There are no formal structures apart from the “Keep out. Crime scene” yellow tapes. The show predominantly focuses on the Major Case Detectives from the moment the crime is committed. Therefore the scope of gauging other aspects of the rest of that community is limited. However, the suspects or actual perpetrators have something to hide and always fear the chance of being incarcerated or killed; either way it takes them away from all that they long for. This instills the social control as being informal. Even the detectives; Detective Goren for example had to be at the bedside of his ailing mother in spite of knowing that the Police Chief’s daughter is missing. He could ask his brother to fill in but he chooses not to defy the social norm of the eldest son being there for his mother.
The crime control that is prevalent in Law and Order: Criminal Intent is the speed and accuracy in closing the case. The perpetrator’s biggest fear is getting caught. Imagine if his case was assigned to Detectives Goren, Eames, Wheeler or Nichols; it’s a nerve racking proposition. Especially since they solve the crimes within a few days or even hours at times; the control form used in the show is the fear of getting caught.
The cause for crime is always personal gain. The gain could manifest in the form of greed, sexual gratification, jealousy or avoiding capture. The solutions to the crime are framed from the Natural Law. The law of moral absolutes that was used to define our basic fundamental laws; the detectives constantly try to instill upon witnesses, suspects and even to members of their own department on doing the right thing. The actual scene of the crime is not that different from the crime scene from the show. There are no witnesses except an old alley cat is real for several cases however the legal boundaries that are established are seldom followed by the book.
The detectives from the show are also immensely blessed by good fortune in some witness coming forward or uncovering a crucial piece of evidence. They are also excellent psychologists in the interrogation room along with additional knowledge of cultures, languages and customs (Goren and Nichols). The police detective in reality is not so fortunate. They are experienced lawmen however they do not major in cultures of the world. They also do not get the speed in the flow of intelligence or investigative breaks like in the show. Although, DNA evidence takes longer for this show than some others like CSI or Castle, the actual duration is a minimum of six weeks. The detention techniques, arrest procedures, filing of reports, evidence chain of custody and a lack of workload clearly let us know that this cannot be real. Cases are thrown out when proper protocol is not followed in reality however; the judges in the Hollywood setup seem to think otherwise.
The media’s perception of crime is mainly the chance of taking its adoring viewers as close as possible to the solving of a case. They want to spread the word on how smart and savvy crime fighters can be in solving crimes. They want to show the masses how science aids law enforcement and how they (different agencies) team up quickly to stop dangerous criminal in their tracks. This creates an opportunity to prevent crime. The realization that crime will lead to getting caught or even killed irrespective of clever deceptions continually discourages would-be criminals to go over the risk factor again. After all, the law enforcement does have detectives like the ones in the show.