Contemporary Criminal Justice Policy

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For this activity, you will assess the Patriot Act in light of the theoretical assertions of Packer’s due process/crime control model.

First, read an abbreviated version of the Patriot Act which describes the newly enacted laws and regulations:
Doyle, C. (2002). The USA Patriot Act: A Sketch. (CRS Report for Congress) [PDF File Size 31.5KB]. Retrieved from .

Then, using your readings for this week, address the following questions:
Does the Patriot Act advance the philosophies of the due process or the crime control model? Use the readings and appropriate examples to support your selection of theoretical model.
Explain the implications of this Act on criminal justice systems in the United States.

Discussion Guidelines
When creating your posts remember that, at a minimum, you should:
Demonstrate a critical evaluation of the material
Include references to the readings in support of the main argument
Be original and thoughtful in response to the issue presented for discussion

Part 2 – 1 page
In this discussion, you will examine the theory behind the social construction orientation and apply its principles to a case scenario.

In Kraska and Brent’s Theorizing Criminal Justice: Eight Essential Orientations, review the following:

Article 10: Chicano Youth Gangs and Crime: The Creation of a Moral Panic

Based on the reading and what you have learned in this module about the social construction of crime, respond to the following:
In 1–2 paragraphs, explain why the social construction of reality orientation is concerned with the definition of criminality and the criminal justice systems’ response to criminality.
In an additional 1–2 paragraphs, analyze the portrayal of the Chicano youth gangs (as detailed in Article 10) and explain the impact of this portrayal on policy decisions related to the Chicano youth.
Utilizing the theoretical assertions and data provided in the article, identify and explain how the construction of Chicano youth gangs as violent has impacted the public, the police, and the criminal justice response to these youths.
Determine whether the impacts and policy decisions made in response to this epidemic were related to legitimate criminal justice concerns or whether they were a reaction to a socially constructed issue. Give reasons for your answer.

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