How to stop crime? Megan's Law as a strategic approach to crime prevention in the USA by Ariane Peters

How to stop crime? Megan's Law as a strategic approach to crime prevention in the USA

byAriane Peters

Kobo ebook | April 15, 2005

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Seminar paper from the year 2005 in the subject American Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 1,7, Ernst Moritz Arndt University of Greifswald (Anglistik/Amerikanistik), 16 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The United States is known worldwide for its serious crime problem. 'Nobody knows exactly what the actual crime rate is in America but everybody knows it is too high.'1 In fact, total crime rates in the USA are significantly higher than in other industrialized countries. By 1998, nearly six million people - almost 3% of the adult population - were under some form of correctional supervision.2 These developments have had important consequences for criminal justice institutions. More than 1000 new prisons have been built in the United States since 19803. Today state prisons are forced to operate above their capacity. If you have a closer look at the criminal justice system of the United States you could get the impression that crime is the product and punishment is the answer. Especially conservative politicians, together with the mass media and activists in the victim rights movement advanced that the criminal justice system has become more and more punitive since the late 1960s. This development is documented at great length. In order to explain the increasing crime rates, most criminologists and sociologists have devoted their attention to examining the causes of crime. The scientific and public discussion about how to stop crime is going to be continued because there is no definitive recipe for a safer society. Nevertheless, it is undisputed that crime must be prevented. This paper deals with Megan's Law which was enacted in the United States to prevent the victimization of children. It is America's first law authorizing public notification when dangerous sex offenders are released into the community. Firstly, I will define the terms crime and crime prevention to come to a better understanding of this complex theme. Secondly, I will examine several attempts to define crime prevention. Thirdly, I will compare the arguments for and against Megan's Law in order to answer the following questions: Is this law really helpful to protect the society against sexual abuse? And, if this is not the case: what could be done to prevent and even reduce sexual abuse? Finally, I will make a concluding assessment and give a short summary of the themes explored in this paper.
Title:How to stop crime? Megan's Law as a strategic approach to crime prevention in the USAFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:April 15, 2005Publisher:GRIN PublishingLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:3638366227

ISBN - 13:9783638366229

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