Justice or Criminal Justice
Reiman wraps up his argument with
the assertion that a criminal justice system is a just system only if it
equally protects the interests and rights of all and that is equally
punishes all who violate these rights or endanger these interests.
When it does not, the system is criminal; the biased use of
coercive power - police, courts, prisons - is violence. Reiman
argues that the criminal justice system violates its own morally
justifying ideas of equal protection and fairness.
This chapter points out several strategies that must be put in
place if our system is to fulfill the goals of protecting society and
Reiman argues that in a modern
free enterprise society poverty brings with it conditions that breed
crime. In order to put an end to crime producing poverty he suggests
(among other things)
high quality education
in inner cities
Read Elliott Currie's Crime &
Punishment in America
Let the crime fit the harm and the
punishment fit the crime. Reiman
is arguing that we must treat all harmful acts in proportion to the actual
harm they produce without respect to the class of the criminal.
identify, in advance, the individuals responsible for specific acts
acts of the wealthy
victimless crimes such as prostitution, gambling and vagrancy
Getting Tough on Corporate Crime?
Enron and a Year of Corporate Financial
Scandals by Jeffrey Reiman and Paul Leighton
Deviance & It's Control
Legalize the production and sale
of illicit drugs and treat addiction as a medical problem. Reiman
argues that dealers charge high prices because the drug is illegal and
they are taking a risk. In
order to pay the high prices addicts resort to crime.
The point is, if harmless drugs such as marijuana were legal, we
would have less people under the control of the criminal justice system
increasing their chances of employment.
Reiman realizes that any reasonable plan
of decriminalization must draw the line somewhere.
It is not reasonable to legalize all drugs, particularly those that
are extremely addictive. However, the addictions must be treated as
medical problems and the addicted must be treated as patients rather than
drug legalization debate from Criminal
Correctional programs must promote
personal responsibility and offer ex-offenders real preparation and a real
opportunity to succeed as law-abiding citizens.
Reiman argues that the current prison system promotes rather than
reduces crime. Reiman suggests we must
Train offenders at a marketable skill
Assure them the right to equally compete for jobs after release
Utilize the time of punishment in such a way that promotes personal
Enact and enforce strict gun
control laws. Reiman argues
that the easy access to guns is a constant temptation and may escalate
conflict to fatal levels.
In order for the criminal justice
system to fulfill the goal of promoting justice Reiman suggests that in
addition to ending poverty we must reduce the discretionary powers
available to police officers, prosecutors and judges in addition to
holding them accountable for the fairness and reasonableness of their
decisions. To achieve this
the practice of multiple charging in order to coax a plea bargain
specific sentence and charging guidelines
judges and prosecutors to justify their decisions in writing
As demonstrated in previous
chapters, the ability to obtain effective legal counsel is paramount in
whether a defendant is ever charged or convicted let alone sentenced.
Therefore, Reiman argues that the equal right to counsel must be
expanded to the right to equal counsel.
In an effort to achieve this Reiman suggests:
Reiman concludes with the
assertion that a just system cannot hold individuals guilty of the
injustice of breaking the law if that law itself supports and defends an
unjust social order. Therefore we must establish a just distribution of wealth and
income making equal opportunity a reality.
Victims for A Just Society
Leighton & Reiman, Criminal