Criminal Justice System

Society has a tendency to place labels on people. Children that are raised in environments where drugs, violence, and other crime are rampant become acclimated to these conditions to the point of considering it normal. Being surrounded by abject poverty, gang activity, familial discord, and financial strife contribute to the delinquency of minors. Seeing the relationship between income levels and neighborhood conditions creates dissatisfaction, resentment, and division among those who have a lower socioeconomic status. These feelings can instill a desire to obtain material goods and status regardless of the legality of how they are obtained.
Many other factors contribute to a higher rate of risk for involvement in the criminal justice system. This assignment focuses on identifying these factors so a plan of action can be taken to address them and to provide a prevention strategy for addressing these problems among youth. Effective prevention strategies are one of the most effective approaches available to reduce criminal justice system involvement among youth. When community-based solutions are undertaken, youths are more likely to escape the labels that have been placed on them by society, reducing their likelihood of becoming involved with the criminal justice system. Examining the actions that other countries have taken in addressing the socioeconomic problems that place citizens at increased risk for criminality will help you consider options for adopting effective policies in the United States.
Upon successful completion of this assignment, you will be able to:
• Analyze socioeconomic factors that place a person at risk for involvement with the criminal justice system.
• Evaluate whether or not financial sanctions and incapacitation appear to be comprehensively effective punishments.

• Textbook: Crime and the Economy
• Video: Young, Armed, and Dangerous
• Video: Catching Them Early
• Website: OCLS Criminal Justice & Political Science Guide
• Website: IWU Online Campus Library System (OCLS)

Background Information
As Chapter 1 of your textbook accounts, several factors have been identified as commonly causative of an increased risk of criminal behavior. Despite the fact that many of these influential contributors are unavoidable for many of those at risk, society can still take appropriate action to provide services and assistance for those identified as needing a prevention plan. Identifying socioeconomic factors provides the necessary information to develop appropriate policies and community approaches that will be effective at reducing crime. In this assignment, you will identify common socioeconomic factors depressing communities and increasing the risk for criminality, as well as create a comparative description of methods another country has used to address a specific socioeconomic problem in their society.


  1. Review the rubric to make sure you understand the criteria for earning your grade.
  2. Review Chapter 1, “Through the Looking Glass: The Complex Relationship between Crime and the Economy,” in your textbook, Crime and the Economy.
  3. View the following videos:
    a. Young, Armed, and Dangerous You can also read the transcript.
    b. Catching Them Early You can also read the transcript.
  4. Use the OCLS Criminal Justice Guide for journal recommendations and ideas for searching the databases. Research and review several recent (within the past five years) articles related to the common contributing factors that place individuals at higher risk of criminal behavior.
    a. Help to locate articles on OCLS:
    i. On OCLS, search as follows to get articles that are within the past 5 years on a relevant topic.
  5. Scroll down to the search box.
  6. Enter your topic in the search bar and select, Search.
  7. You may need to enter your MyIWU log in.
  8. You should see results, that may include articles, books, and media. Use the left-hand navigation to limit to current five years, full text only, and a specific format, e.g. Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Articles.
  9. Select eight socioeconomic factors from the videos and/or Chapter 1 that have been found to contribute to an individual’s involvement with the criminal justice system.
  10. Access APA style information (APA Style & Grammar Help) in the OCLS Criminal Justice Guide to organize a two-page paper with headings and to provide citations. In the paper, address the following:
    a. How do you think each of these characteristics affects an individual’s experiences with the criminal justice system?
    b. Describe or devise at least one possible community-based solution to address each of the factors.
    c. Research and obtain one peer-reviewed article pertaining to another country’s approach to handling and mitigating one socioeconomic factor that has led to negative involvement with their criminal justice system. Now that you have identified how your country of choice is addressing one social issue, answer the following: Would that same policy be effective in the United States? Explain your answer.
  11. When you’ve completed your assignment, save a copy for yourself and submit a copy to your instructor using the Assignment submission page by the end of the workshop.

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