Primary Task Response: Write 400–600 words that respond to the following questions with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. This will be the foundation for future discussions by your classmates. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas.
For many years, the United States has sought the partnership of many other nations in furtherance of its efforts to reduce, if not eliminate, the growing crime problems associated with transnational crime groups. Without doubt, these entities have enjoyed an exponential growth in numbers and the sheer volume and magnitude of their operations, both in the United States and globally. However, it is not possible for America to reduce the consequences of these international criminal enterprises domestically without the cooperation of other countries. One of America’s biggest problems in developing these partnerships, however, has been its unique position in the world with regard to the prolific incarceration of its citizens. America leads the world in numbers of citizens imprisoned, length of prison sentences, numbers of offenses that are crimes that are not recognized by other nations (to include drug related offenses), numbers of citizens executed, and the types of citizens who face the death penalty (e.g., youths and the mentally impaired). This has had a chilling effect on America’s ability to conscript many other nations into its international war on crime because of their moral objection to America’s approach to criminal justice.
Focus your discussion on the following:
Read the following three articles:
Collier, L. (2014). Incarceration nation. Monitor on Psychology, 45(9), 56. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/monitor/2014/10/incarceration.aspx
Dieter, R. C. (1999). International perspectives on the death penalty: A costly isolation for the U.S. Retrieved from http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/international-perspectives-death-penalty-costly-isolation-us
Gastrow, P. (2013). Transnational organised crime: The stepchild of crime-combating priorities. Institute for Security Studies Policy Brief, 46, 1–4. Retrieved July 21, 2016, from https://www.issafrica.org/uploads/PolBrief46.pdf
Based on the reading, in light of America’s commitment to reduce the threat of crime domestically by the pursuit of transnational crime groups abroad and the need for the cooperation of other nations in that effort, can it continue to occupy such a unique place in the world with regard to its criminal justice system, including punishment of those who enter the system? As the United States has criticized other nations for their human rights abuses, what is its accountability for its own conduct that draws international criticism? Discuss the various issues that are relevant to this, and present facts in support of your perspective.
It is possible (albeit unlikely) that America might bow to the will of international pressure and dramatically modify its punishment approach to crime to appease its desired partners in the battle against transnational crime. If that were to happen, what consequences could you foresee resulting inside the United States that would necessitate the involvement of domestic criminal justice organizations? As part of your analysis, be certain to present issues, trends, facts, and predictions from both sides. For instance, such a modification of America’s approach to punishment would likely result in hundreds of thousands of people serving sentences for drug-related charges being freed, thereby saving billions of dollars annually. Would this have the effect of improving criminal justice organizations’ process and functions, or would it ultimately cause greater demand for their functions because of the return of so many incarcerees into society?
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