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Police in society - Essay Example

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The expectation that police will be able to solve all crimes is unrealistic and nearly impossible; Why? What role might police take to reduce the causes and effects that lead to crime? How might you implement your ideas with less than forward thinking federal, state or local police agency?…
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The expectation that police will be able to solve all crimes is unrealistic and nearly impossible; Why? What role might police take to reduce the causes and effects that lead to crime? How might you implement your ideas with less than forward thinking federal, state or local police agency? Teaching students to think critically and independently as a basis for self-governance, promoting moral decision-making as a basis for social justice, and encouraging citizens to get involved in community service all can lead to a wider recognition of harmony in a locality. Ultimately, it is the individual’s choice whether or not to obey a law, and this decision is made in the course of day to day life amidst all of the problems, conflicts, and unexpected incidents that occur in human relations. The police can only act retrospectively to apprehend those responsible for crimes, but even the police recognize between crimes of passion and organized crime. Similarly drug addictions and alcoholism lead to innumerable social crimes, thefts, acts of vandalism, accidents and violent crimes. In this regard, there needs to be a greater understanding of public behavior and how prohibition criminalizes people in the protection of the public good. Students should learn that freedom and its rights carry social responsibilities, but that external motivation or coercion reflects a failure of the individual to respect on a fundamental level the rights or responsibilities of his or her own citizenship. The concept of self-governance is integrally related to civil society in the ideal, but also requires knowledge of the standards of behavior that are accepted culturally (ethics) and the reasons for their enactment (politics). Because of this, critical thinking and independent decision-making are important elements of both individuality and citizenship that can be applied even in civil resistance if the social enforcement of law is too coercive and repressive. That self-governance is the basis of society is a given; most individual citizens make a personal negotiation of the public law in evaluating the standards of just conduct in behavior that is required of them as citizens. At the basis of this is a mutual respect for subjectivity which is similar to the Golden Rule in Christianity but found in many religions and secular value systems in variance. This mutual respect for subjectivity is fundamentally non-violent. Thus, when one citizen harms another in violence through attack or in another manner, there is social intervention and the police response. In this manner, the State acts in defense of the individual by dispensing justice impartially, imposing penalties on transgression that not only punish but deter, and preserves the public order represented in the life, liberty, and property of the citizens. Through this also, the defense against theft, fraud, sexual attack, hate crimes, or civil rights violations all proceeds from a common basis in justifying police activity. The government can only act through people and their instruments; the institutions themselves have no life outside of human behavior, social organization, and general accord. Related to this is the fact that the individual acts either in accordance with the value system unconsciously or consciously, and acts to transgress the law in a similar manner. The State itself reflects a difference in value by punishing the speeding ticket less than murder, but both instances are either consciously or unconsciously violations of the law by the individual. Self-governance asserts that the citizen should be conscious and responsible for decisions at all times, but this may be impractical universally and requiring tolerance. This conscious and responsible decision-making is another description for moral awareness, which students and citizens both must contextualize in the definition of social justice. After determining what social justice means personally, the individual can then act in society to reform it or to volunteer to assist it in various ways to make it better. The individual must develop from moral awareness to action as a consequence of citizenship, though this requires education that is free and open, critical and independent thinking in groups and organizations, as well as in individuals. Morality is considered variant, but if it is undetermined through social consensus then it cannot be a just basis for criminal legislation and police enforcement. The student and citizen need to be involved in governance as part of their daily responsibilities in life, as part of daily citizenship, but this proceeds most ideally through self-governance, moral awareness, and volunteer activity. If a student or citizen is active in the community and working to make it better, he or she will be less likely to be involved in crime theoretically because they are making a difference. The degree to which social marginalization through economic, racial, religious, sex, gender, or other factors leads to crime is discussed by Barak & Leighton in “Class, race, gender, and crime: The social realities of justice in America” (2006). They write: “...there is no standardized 'class' experience, 'race' experience, or 'gender' experience, but rather there is a repertoire of class, race, and gender experiences.” (Barak & Leighton, 2006, p.115) This highlights the key nature of human choice and free will in determining our own future, and this also shows that within every race, class, socio-economic group, gender, and ethnicities there are people who succeed and fail largely due to their own actions and decisions. The degree to which society prevents this total freedom of self-determination represents an aspect of reform, yet fundamental to this is a belief that self-governance, personal moral conduct, and social responsibility are interrelated in the practice of good citizenship. Volunteer or community service can help build or reinforce the understanding that government is only the organization of behavior in groups along ideological lines, but the greater service aspects of humanitarianism need to be completed daily in the community by some force of individual support. In the same manner that moral awareness fuels volunteer service, it also drives the individual in self-governance, with the conscience operating as a social compass. In keeping this ideal at the forefront of citizenship, both reform of institutions, policies, and injustices can be organized while still maintaining public security and harmony in the community. Sources Cited: Barak, Gregg; Leighton, Paul; and Flavin, Jeanne. Class, Race, Gender, and Crime: The Social Realities of Justice in America. Rowman & Littlefield, 2006. Web. 12 May 2011. Read More
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