Structural Functionalism And Crime

Improved Essays
The social problem highlighted in this video is society’s failure to understand and police crime properly in the United States. Furthermore, the United States has the largest prison population in the world at a cost of 80 billion dollars per year, paid for by the taxpayers. The film Three Strikes Law, states in the 90’s the United States saw violent crime rise at epic proportions in the big cities across the country. The United States had already been locking up these criminals, but the criminal justice system would allow violent criminals to be released from prison early. Most of these career criminals were repeat offenders and ended up back in jail. It took two horrific crimes in California to grab the nation’s attention and create a social …show more content…
This theory states that a crime has a function in society because it strengthens group cohesion with individuals who do not commit crimes to band together. This can lead to social change, such as, higher arrest rates in communities or the creation of special task forces. Crime has always been part of the fabric of society. According to Merton, “crime occurs because some people are not able to attain all of their needs and desire through legal means. … Furthermore, the theory of anomie suggests that they then try to attain those things through illegal means” (p. 148). Most repeat offenders who are released from jail have a hard time transitioning to civilian life. These individuals can feel lost and are usually strained for resources. This structural environment opens the door for previous inmates to commit petty theft or crimes, which under the three strikes law can get them locked up for life. Society must find a way to address the underlying issues that maybe forcing individuals to commit crimes they normally would not …show more content…
The first steps have been taken in 2012. Voters were able to amend the three strikes law to remove non-violent crimes as a means to staying in prison. Another idea to cut back on the prison costs is to implement more drug treatment counseling and probation for low-level offenders. This is much more cost effective and has been proven to work better than staying in prison for life. Most criminals learn from other criminal in prison and come out with more knowledge to commit crimes. Probation and counseling breaks that cycle and allows the individual to become a productive member of society. Furthermore, with the money saved from these programs, better transition programs should be implemented to help former inmates transition to civilian life. Moreover, this should include partnerships with local businesses to give these individuals a chance at a job, instead of brushing them aside once they see their record. I believe these small changes can go a long way to solving crime in

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    Prison System Ineffective

    • 1557 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Our Prison System is Broken and Ineffective American prisons are among the most overcrowded correction facilities in the country. America is leading the countries with the highest incarceration rate in the world since the majority of the people taken to prison are non-criminal drug offenders. The issue of a failing prison system is one that increasingly elicited debate among American politicians. In particular, the concern has been that the judicial system is highly biased, with certain communities being the main target for arrest. Statistics also indicate that men are the majority inmates, both in local and federal prisons.…

    • 1557 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    What benefits, if any, have you seen from Proposition 47? “Most of the benefits have been to the offender. Instead of being charged with felonies, they get a misdemeanor. For the offender, a misdemeanor is less damaging than a felony conviction, increasing the person 's chances of acquiring gainful employment, enter college and qualify for financial aid, get approval for housing, etc.” Do you expect to see any benefits from Proposition 57? “While it 's too early to tell how many offenders will actually benefit from Proposition 57 we are hopeful that inmates will take advantage of the opportunities to reduce their sentences and be released back into society with good assimilation skills.…

    • 2250 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Treating criminals like animals does not leave a positive impact on them, it can make them worse or they are more likely to commit the same crime or different crime once they are released. “They opine that as mass incarceration disrupts patterns of social interaction, weakens community social organization, and decreases the stigma of imprisonment, its longer-run effects may be to reduce its effectiveness” (Lynch par 1). Crimes that happens in certain communities or neighborhoods continue to happen because they all influence each other creating a high crime rate area. “The subjects of interest are all individuals who are convicted of a crime for the first time, some of whom receive a sentence of incarceration following their conviction” (Apel par 2). Incarceration at a young age affects teens and young adults making it harder for them to find…

    • 1593 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    It makes more sense to have criminals serve slightly less sentences, but have them rehabilitated while in prison. If we can have people serve for a shorter time, and not commit another crime, then society will benefit as a whole. That is the biggest point prisons need to make. It should be a place to fix how criminals think, and to show them there are other options. It shouldn’t be a place for young people to sit for many decades.…

    • 734 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Gangs in long island have been a problem in the community for a long time. Not only do gangs increase the crime rates but also have made the community to live in fear and terror since they do not know when the gang will strike. The community has urged legislators to introduce laws that curb gangs but often most policies put in place have not been successful or they are implemented halfway. The law enforcement has tried to use many ways to disintegrate gangs such as isolating and separating, dissociation and correctional treatment. Many are times that gangs are involved in inter-gang wars.…

    • 851 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Hence, individual in society who are in lower classes are more prone to learn more definitions that are favorable to crime. This outcome is a huge reason why most people in jails are individuals who are poor. Unfortunately, this cycle keeps repeating itself over and over again. In order to stop this essential for the State and society to emphasize the definitions that are more unfavorable to crime throughout disadvantage communities. Since people are blank of paper, according to learning theories, they can be heavily influenced by authority figures in order to modify their deviant…

    • 1140 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The number has jumped from around 200 thousand people 50 years ago, to over 1.5 million in 2015 (“Trends in U.S. Corrections”). Compared to the rest of the world, the United States has the highest percentage of the population in prisons (“Trends in U.S. Corrections”). The prison overpopulation is due to the ineffective model of generally longer sentences being given in the United States. It is difficult to determine if the growing number of people being incarcerated affects the crime rate in the United States. Many people argue for tough-on-crime policies but many studies show that putting more people behind bars is not the solution.…

    • 1343 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    What if it wasn’t their behavior? The lack of police enforcement can play a huge role in crime rates. The Fresno Bee states that due to the bankruptcy in 2012 for Stockton, the rate of crime increased. This bankruptcy “forced to lay off almost 25% of its police force.” With a smaller police force, there is no doubt that people are a lot bolder to take action and commit crimes. With this bankruptcy in Stockton, it reached a new “record high for homicides—6 so far, 10 more than the previous record last year.” (The Fresno Bee, “Stockton 's financial policies lead to growing crime rate - Unwise city decisions turn Valley city into the wild, wild West.”) Luckily, Operation Ceasefire was created to deal with the 2012’s increase of crime rates.…

    • 1356 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Incarceration Model

    • 889 Words
    • 4 Pages

    However, not all crimes deserve jail or prison time. People who are committing nonviolent crimes, in my opinion, should be given probation instead. Probation is less expensive and can also provide rehabilitative help for these offenders. Over the years, there has been a great amount of prison reform and many lawmakers were pushing to…

    • 889 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Brilliant Essays

    The goal of this paper is to give ways of how to improve the system of prisons in California and reduce the overpopulation in it. This new policy will help reduce problems like mental health, anger issues which are hard to address by the staffs because of the high population. Another problem which is supposed to be addressed is the understaffing in the prisons which leaves few staffs to handle the prisoners. The policy will also lead to reduction of jail terms to minimum sentences. “If a formal charge is filed by the prosecutor, it still can be reduced to a less serious felony or to a misdemeanor during plea bargaining” (Samuel, Cassia and Miriam 2011).…

    • 1752 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Brilliant Essays