Despite Its popularity, the implementation of harsh punishments has been shown to be counterproductive. It continues to spread ignorance, which is eluded by politicians and the media. Harsher punishments include (but are not limited to): sentencing enhancements and Juvenile waiver policies, which both have been reported to be detrimental In the long run. Overall, the criminal justice system should consider seeking other approaches that may be proactive. Gang-related crimes are one of the most discussed issues in criminal justice system.
The root of gang violence could to be traced to as early as the asses. In the film, Crisp and Bloods: Made In America, African Americans were being oppressed under the Jim Crow Law, which allowed for the legal segregation of Blacks and Whites. By forcing Blacks into their neighborhoods, the Lap’s actions resulted in segregation, alienation and development of self-hatred (Parental, 2008). At first, many activist groups were formed such as the Black Panther, though they never considered themselves as a gang but as a club (Parental, 2008).Eventually, the groups were terminated and then African Americans found themselves helpless which lead to the urination of street gangs. Crisp and Bloods are the biggest well-known gangs: it was formed due to racism (Parental, 2008). “The Punitive propensity in the U.
S. Gang policies all too often Ignores the context of offending and appeals to fear and racial animosity for support of policies of mass incarceration” (Alexander, 2010; Headgear and Cheney-Lind, 2013).The most recent reports showed that there are 27,000 gangs and around 788,000 gang members In United States (Headgear and Cheney- Lind, 2013). Emerging of gangs and gang violence has lead to the cause of gang lenience polices to form and medias are attacking this topic to deliver fear into citizens which pushing harsh penalties for gang violence crime to be implemented (Headgear and Cheney-Lind, 2013).
Medal diverts the public attention to gang violence, which proves that the media coverage of gang violence crimes undoubtedly has influenced gang-crime policy making (Headgear and Cheney-Lind, 2013).Due to the media’s heavy focus on gang violence, political candidates use the “war on gang” as a selling point to run for political office. As It Is dubbed, the “war on gang”, it is the movement by politicians ND lawmakers to attack the gang movement, calling gang members as “urban terrorists” (Headgear and Cheney-Lind, 2013)). Medias are ignoring the real trends 1 OFF everything. Contrary to popular belief, the murder rate in America is actually decreasing, despite of population increased of 100 million or more (Headgear and Cheney-Lind, 2013).Also, the media has tendencies to publicize more wrongdoings of lower and working class, which is where most gang members are belong (Alias, 1994). “The media fail to hold policymakers responsible for strategies which predictably don’t work.
Indeed, they help make the problem worse; the media’s amnesia, unwitting or not, encourages people to support policies which actually promote the growth of crime” (Alias, 1994, 4). To continue this wave of ignorance, the media continues to sensationalist gang violence by advocating for harsher penalties in criminal Justice system.They claim that evil people cause crime and some are Just born naturally evil (Alias, 1994). “Instead of the “revolving door,” we need more draconian penalties, including the death penalty: the only language the “savages” and “monsters” among us understand” (Alias, 1994, 5). Media had delivered this false idea that harsh penalties would decrease violent crimes which pushes politicians to make tougher laws.
During Reagan and Bush presidency, they implemented get- tough policies against crime that resulted in hash punishment (Alias, 1994).Politicians are in favor of get-tough policies but yet crime are still in the rise and citizens are still live in fear of being a victim of crime violence (Alias, 1994). Despite politicians and media’s constant claims that tougher punishments are the solutions to gang violence, but in reality, it is distracting people from pursuing the real elution.
As a response to the “war on gangs”, sentencing enhancements, a form of harsher punishments, was developed by lawmakers. Policies were created to lengthen sentences of gang members (Headgear and Cheney-Lind, 2013).Additional amount of prison time would be given to criminals who are in gangs. The increase of harsh penalties has lead to mass incarceration of gang members in America prisons, which evidently resulted to the gangs dominance of the prisons’ subculture and, making gangs the most powerful force in prisons (Headgear and Cheney-Lind, 2013). Mass incarcerations instigates other controversies such as racial profiling which continues to increase the gap between Americans. Nonetheless, gang members are taking prison less seriously: it has become a community for gangs. Today gangs from prisons are dominating, or attempting to control, street drug market everywhere” (Hayden, 2004; Moore and Williams, 2010; Headgear and Cheney-Lind, 2013).
Gang members are going in and out of prison system that develops created strengthen in and out of prison (Headgear and Cheney-Lind, 2013). Mass incarceration of gang members strengthens gang power instead of than demolishing t. This proves that, harsh punishment, although good motives, inevitably increases gang power.In a self-reported research program, it has found that three percent of boys from age 12-16 and one percent of girls had participated in a gang (Headgear and Cheney-Lind, 2013). Juveniles who committed adult crimes are being prosecuted as adult even though trends are proving that it does not work (Headgear and Cheney- Lind, 2013).
In the asses and asses, people doubted the effectiveness of Juvenile lustier system: their main focus was the rehabilitation of Juvenile offenders due to heir statutes during the asses to ‘get tough’ on crime, increasing the number of juvenile offenders prosecuted as adults” (Checkup and Goose, 2013, 192).As a result, Naives laws, another example of severer penalties, have allowed Juveniles to be legally tried as adults. The law was used to sentence serious Juvenile offenders harshly than in Juvenile court; Judge them by their offenses rather of their age; and lastly to protect the safety of the public (Checkup and Goose, 2013). Even though Naives laws were aggressively practiced in Juvenile Justice system, Judges, erectors and defense attorneys in the adult system still considers immaturity a big factor in Juvenile committing adult crime; therefore, they still tried to rehabilitate Naives Juvenile offenders (Checkup and Goose, 2013).The waiver law did not deter juveniles from committing violent crime but also increased the risk of public safety :Checkup and Goose, 2013).
Waive law increased recidivism in Juvenile offenders, “here they are tarnished with serious adult offenses which resulted in disqualifications in employment and education, the two points that have been proved o reduce recidivism (Checkup and Goose, 2013). One of waiver laws goal is to deter juveniles from committing gang violence crime.However, by sentencing them with harsh penalties as adult offenders to diminish of any future that they may have, proves that harsh punishment is counterproductive and hypocritical. Nonetheless, the implementation of harsh punishments maintain its appeal for its simplicity as a cause and effect: if one commits crime, one must pay for it. It deters crime to an extent.
However, researchers and analysts have proved that this approach is flawed because it leads to more crime.Because of the increase in crimes due to the execution of harsh punishments, media will continue to board cast the marginalia statistics of crime, causing a ripple effect of lawmakers pushing for tougher laws such as waiver laws and sentence enhancing, which have shown to escalate crime even more. The never ending cycle proves one thing: the application of harsher punishments does not work alone in stopping crimes. Gang violence is a complex issue: therefore, it should be addressed with more than Just the simple tactics of harsh punishments, because after all, severity has its limits.