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Crime and Criminal Justice

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Essay title: Crime and Criminal Justice

Vanessa Luzzi

Professor Borrelli

Writing Assignment

Should racial and gender profiling be utilized by law

enforcement to combat terrorism in

the United States?

Racial profiling is inclusion of race in the profile of a persons considered likely to commit a particular crime or type of crime (www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racialprofiling). This is done by the law to certain persons whom are most likely to commit a crime. The Patriot Act is an act where the law is allowed to invade one's privacy if there are suspicions that a certain person will do harm to this country. With this act, the law is allowed to tap into this certain person's phone line and even use surveillance to watch their every move. The three theories that I will use to decide whether racial and gender profiling should be utilized by law are cultural deviance theory, social process theory and conflict theory.

Cultural deviance theory is a branch of social structure theory that sees strain and social disorganization together resulting in a unique lower-class culture that conflicts with conventional social norms. The social structure theory says that deprived economic status position is a major cause for crime. Along with these theories comes subculture and culture transmission. Subculture is the set of traditions that some social classes have. For example, Iraqis have many different traditions and they are brought with them everywhere they go. Now, the United States government is targeting Iraqis in the US because they are believed to be a threat to our society. Although the US was faced with a terrorist attack by the Arab nation, it does not give the government any right to invade in on all people's part of the Arab nation. With the Patriot Act, the government is now allowed to do so. This not only puts many American citizens in fear, but also takes away cultural transmissions which are values and traditions are that passed on from generation to generation. We realize that terrorists will kill themselves for their country, but the cultural deviance theory is a theory which deprives most cultures because of the fear of being watched by the US government.

Social process theory is the view that criminality is a function of people's interactions with various organizations, institutions, and processes in society. This is another reason why the government targets Arabs; because they are associated with Alquidea which is why they act a certain way. This also brings us back to when all blacks were associated with the Black Panthers. The government automatically believed that all blacks were out to commit crimes. In reality, they were just trying to fight for social justice, but the government just ignored them and treated all blacks as criminals. Although the relationship between social class and crime is uncertain the government still portrays certain cultures to certain crimes. Such as Arabs with terrorist attacks, blacks with gang shootings, etc. In our text book, Criminology: The Core, it says that "social process theories have one basic concept: All people, regardless of their race, class or gender, have the potential to become delinquents or criminals." Ultimately, I agree with this theory because of this simple concept. Race and gender profiling should not be used in trying to identify a criminal.

Conflict theory is the view that crime is a function of class conflict and power relations. Laws are created and enforced by those in power to protect their own interests. This theory says, when one race is doing something to another, the law will do something to protect their own interest. This can also be related to the Patriot Act. Because of the terrorist

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