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Book part
Publication date: 20 December 2000

Cassia Spohn and Miriam DeLone

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Sociology of Crime, Law and Deviance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-889-6

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Book part
Publication date: 30 June 2017

Elizabeth Chiarello

The United States has an uncomfortable relationship with pleasure. Cultural ambivalence is evident in discourses surrounding pleasure and the labeling and treatment of…

Abstract

The United States has an uncomfortable relationship with pleasure. Cultural ambivalence is evident in discourses surrounding pleasure and the labeling and treatment of those who act on their desires. Pleasure seeking, generally understood in moral terms, is often medicalized and criminalized (as in the case of pregnancy prevention and drug use), placing questions of how to manage pleasure under the purview of medical and legal actors. At the macrolevel, institutions police pleasure via rules, patterns of action, and logics, while at the microlevel, frontline workers police pleasure via daily decisions about resource distribution. This chapter develops a sociolegal framework for understanding the social control of pleasure by analyzing how two institutions – medicine and criminal justice – police pleasure institutionally and interactionally. Conceptualizing medicine and criminal justice as paternalistic institutions acting as arbiters of morality, I demonstrate how these institutions address two cases of pleasure seeking – drug use and sex – by drawing examples from contemporary drug and reproductive health policy. Section one highlights shared institutional mechanisms of policing pleasure across medicine and criminal justice such as categorization, allocation of professional power, and the structuring of legitimate consequences for pleasure seeking. Section two demonstrates how frontline workers in each field act as moral gatekeepers as they interpret and construct institutional imperatives while exercising discretion about resource allocation in daily practice. The chapter concludes with a discussion of how understanding institutional and interactional policing of pleasure informs sociolegal scholarship about the relationships between medicine and criminal justice and the mechanisms by which institutions and frontline workers act as agents of social control.

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Studies in Law, Politics, and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-811-6

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Article
Publication date: 9 July 2021

James Markey, Thomas Scott, Crystal Daye and Kevin J. Strom

Sexual assault investigations present uniquely challenging circumstances to detectives, and a small proportion result in arrest. Improving sexual assault investigations…

Abstract

Purpose

Sexual assault investigations present uniquely challenging circumstances to detectives, and a small proportion result in arrest. Improving sexual assault investigations requires expanding the evidence base to improve our understanding of how these investigations unfold and the factors associated with positive case outcomes, including the likelihood that an offender is arrested.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors abstracted data on 491 adult sexual assaults investigated by five large and midsized law enforcement agencies to describe the characteristics of sexual assault investigations and to explain the relationships between these characteristics and the likelihood that a suspect is arrested.

Findings

Overall, detectives move swiftly to investigate sexual assaults but tend to miss investigative opportunities that increase the likelihood of an arrest, like locating and processing the crime scene or pursuing interviews with key witnesses and leads. Sexual assaults typically lack physical evidence that can be used to identify and lead to an arrest of a suspected offender; when this evidence is present, the case is more likely to result in an arrest. Delayed reporting of the crime to law enforcement decreases the likelihood of a suspect being arrested, but the mechanisms are unclear.

Originality/value

Few studies have used a detailed data abstraction process for a large sample of cases from multiple law enforcement agencies to understand sexual assault investigations and their case outcomes. The results can improve practitioners' and researchers' understanding of sexual assault investigations, including those factors that increase the likelihood of a suspect's arrest.

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Policing: An International Journal, vol. 44 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2021

Pham Tien Thanh, Hanh Thi Hong Nguyen, Le Thi Bao Ngan, Doan My Duyen Nguyen, Gia Han Phan and Thi My Nhung Nguyen

COVID-19 presents a serious and unprecedented challenge around the globe. Street vendors are the most vulnerable group during this pandemic regarding livelihood loss and…

Abstract

Purpose

COVID-19 presents a serious and unprecedented challenge around the globe. Street vendors are the most vulnerable group during this pandemic regarding livelihood loss and contagion risk. This research aims to examine the roles of risk communication work in enhancing COVID-19 risk perceptions and adoption of COVID-19 preventive behaviors among street vendors.

Design/methodology/approach

The data were collected from the street vendors in urban Vietnam. A binary probit model was used for analyzing the relationships among exposure to risk communication, risk perception and adoption of preventive behaviors.

Findings

The analysis reveals the outreach of risk communication work to the street vendors. A rather large proportion of the respondents perceive high risks associated with COVID-19. All respondents adopt COVID-19 preventive behaviors; however, the proportion of regular adoption is moderate and even very low for most behaviors. Their frequent exposure to risk communication significantly raises their risk perceptions and encourages their regular adoption of preventive behaviors, particularly regarding the measures that are affordable and less detrimental to their livelihood.

Originality/value

This research is among the first attempts to examine risk communication to the vulnerable group, how they perceive risks and the extent to which they adopt preventive behaviors during a public health crisis. This research draws some implications for risk communication and social welfare policies to obtain sustainable development goals.

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Library Hi Tech, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article
Publication date: 16 July 2018

Christine L. Arazan

Prior studies of criminal sentencing have largely focused on individual-level predictors of sentencing outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of a…

Abstract

Purpose

Prior studies of criminal sentencing have largely focused on individual-level predictors of sentencing outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of a variety of theoretically derived community measurements of social threat and disadvantage on the criminal sentencing of convicted felons. This analysis permits an evaluation of whether legal ideals such as equality before the law and policy goals of equal treatment for like offenders are achieved.

Design/methodology/approach

The study examines data of individuals sentenced in the state of Florida and community level measurements of racial and ethnic threat and community disadvantage. Hierarchical generalized linear model is used to analyze the effect of these measures on the dichotomous in/out imprisonment variable, and standard hierarchical linear regression analysis is used to model the continuous dependent variable of sentence length.

Findings

The results provide support for the racial threat perspective though not for ethnic threat nor community disadvantage. The findings and their implications are discussed in terms of theory, research and policy.

Practical implications

Racial disparity in criminal justice practices is receiving increasing public and policy attention, as evidenced by the growing Black Lives Matter movement. Regarding sentencing, racial disparity remains a major research and policy question. While the current research and theoretical literature on sentencing is not conclusive, it is clear that race matters. As a result, racial disparity in sentencing needs to be a priority in subsequent “transitional criminology” efforts between researchers and policy makers to identify, explain and ultimately predict exactly how race impacts sentencing, and how to reduce it as a consideration from sentencing.

Originality/value

This study contributes to a growing body of literature that examines the social context of punishments by using several community level measurements of threat and disadvantage, while modeling the two-step sentencing outcome of imprisonment and sentence length.

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Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3841

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Book part
Publication date: 1 December 2014

Marwin J. Spiller and Jeffrey Porter

The drive to improve learning and safety in our nation’s public schools has resulted in the widespread adoption of zero-tolerance disciplinary policies. The practice of…

Abstract

Purpose

The drive to improve learning and safety in our nation’s public schools has resulted in the widespread adoption of zero-tolerance disciplinary policies. The practice of punishing any school infraction regardless of extenuating circumstances has been particularly detrimental to students of color. Black and Latino students are more likely to be suspended, expelled, and/or referred to law enforcement for nonviolent and/or minor infractions. Students who are removed from school fall behind academically and have an increased risk of being arrested and thrust into the criminal justice system. This reality has moved the Obama administration to urge school officials to abandon overly zealous disciplinary policies. However, the recommendations set forth by the Obama administration are nonbinding and fail to address the root causes of racially discriminatory school discipline practices.

Findings

Any meaningful effort to understand and/or disrupt the pattern of pushing students out of schools and funneling them into the criminal justice system must consider the adverse effects of the following three factors: (1) unchecked racial biases among school personnel, (2) inadequately resourced poor performing schools, and (3) the ever-expanding economic inequality in society. Omitting of any of these items from the guidelines and recommendations represents a glaring limitation of the Supportive School Discipline Initiative as a tool for addressing racial disparities in school discipline and the school to prison pipeline.

Originality/value

We aim to show that students of color would benefit from “need-based” educational reforms, a Presidential Administration that directly addresses racial inequality, and economic policies that target the most financially strapped communities.

Details

The Obama Administration and Educational Reform
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-709-2

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Book part
Publication date: 25 May 2017

Brian J. Smith

This chapter harnesses Western conceptions of justice, traditional justifications of social control, and existing social inequalities to frame and fully understand the…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter harnesses Western conceptions of justice, traditional justifications of social control, and existing social inequalities to frame and fully understand the racial and ethnic disparities which constitute the U.S. juvenile justice system.

Methodology/approach

Juvenile justice system disparities are framed within the theoretical contexts of Western conceptions of justice, traditional justifications of social control, and social inequality. The chapter’s perspective is based on these concepts of justice, social control justifications, and evidence from scholarly research on juvenile justice system disparities.

Findings

Overall, the U.S. juvenile justice system’s racial and ethnic disparities violate fundamental concepts of justice, traditional justifications of social control, and exacerbate existing social inequalities.

Originality/value

Through its utilization of Western conceptions of justice and social control justifications, this chapter offers a relatively unique framework for the examination of the U.S. juvenile justice system’s racial and ethnic disparities. While recognizing the overall quality and significance of disparities research, the chapter asks the reader to take a step back, and look at and think about the broader justice and inequality contexts.

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Race, Ethnicity and Law
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-604-4

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Book part
Publication date: 1 October 2008

M. Spohn

A number of international relations' mid-level theories about violence are inadequate to the task of explaining societal and group violence. Many of these theories, for…

Abstract

A number of international relations' mid-level theories about violence are inadequate to the task of explaining societal and group violence. Many of these theories, for example, confuse causality with correlation, or breakdown and then cannot explain why they fail. Building upon the theories of criminologist Lonnie Athens, both in their particulars and in their spirit of practical solution rather than entrenched debate, this article considers whether those theories of individual violence are suitable for extrapolation to the societal level. It explores some problems with the current theories in international relations, and reviews the theoretical foundations offered by Athens and some others, who have also laid strong groundwork for scaling Athens' theories to the societal level by considering their applications to communities. A number of those theories, although based upon analyses of individual dangerous violent criminals, lend themselves particularly well to groups and communities, suggesting strong suitability of scaling to these levels, and to the societal one as well. Also considering critiques of Athens' and Rhodes' work, this article ultimately argues that Athens' theories of violence, and those building upon them, constitute a strong foundation for theories of violence in international relations that relate to the societal scale.

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Studies in Symbolic Interaction
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-125-1

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Sociological Theory and Criminological Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-054-5

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Book part
Publication date: 1 October 2008

Abstract

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Studies in Symbolic Interaction
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-125-1

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