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Lstd 503

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Professor erisman

is there evidence that the Patriot Act was successful in preventing terrorist attacks?


Please explain.

James barney

The report impacts my thinking about the issue since it exposes some of the most important issues such as public spending that goes into the management of crime. It makes me move away from my previously held ideas about the purpose of punishing crime which include rehabilitating the offender. The issue of economics in crime also makes me understand some of the reasons why people commit crimes among them finding themselves in disadvantaged situations. For instance, disadvantaged youths from poor families are likely to engage in criminal behavior an indication that crime has very little to do with rationality but with economics (Kearney et al., 2014). The report also reinforces the idea that human beings are naturally rational and that they are only influenced by other factors which cause them to engage in criminal behaviors that go against societal norms.

In your opinion, why rehabilitation has fallen out of favor in United States despite the fact that it helps some people escape from a life of crime?  In your opinion, does it have anything to do with broader society’s perceptions of the “typical offender?”  Professor Barney


The US has been fighting against terrorism activities since the late quarter of the 19th century. Following attacks on United States soil, up to the recent one on the world trade center in New York, on September 11, commonly referred to as 9/11, several missions have been deployed into enemy territories to counteract terrorism activities before they happen, including the mission to capture or execute a terrorist leader called Osama bin Laden suctioned by former United States President Barrack Obama (Nacos, 2016). Osama had been responsible for several terrorist attacks on United States soil and media execution of United States citizens. Other legislative processes have been improved with the United States government passing new acts on counter-terrorism activities. Since the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the United States has not recorded any major terrorist attack on the United States’ homeland since 9/11 (Nacos, 2016). however, counter-terrorism missions have never stopped, and the US is spending billions of Dollars on defense systems following legislative processes; the bigger question is whether these processes deal adequately against terrorism. 

According to the US patriot act, the United States will punish and deter any terrorist activity within the United States and around the world to enhance the law enforcement investigatory tools and other issues that may jeopardize the state of security ( Doyle, 2002). This is one of the legislative steps in counteracting terrorism. However, such forms of legislative acts are not adequate. Before a legislative act becomes functional, it must be first proposed by a member of either of the two houses and debated upon by the Senate. It should be supported by many members of the common house and the Senate. It also passes through the president’s office, where it will receive the presidential accent. During this process, various elements are observed, including the human rights acts, jurisdictions, and other factors that, with time, reduce the power of the act. Human rights are universal in fulfilling cultural, economic, civil, political, and social rights (Goldman, 2009). This may force any terrorist arrested on United States soil to be deported to their country where they will be tried and receive a substandard punishment compared to the punishment they received in the United States. This may encourage further terrorist activities.  

I would be willing to give up some of my rights to support law enforcement in dealing with terrorism activities. For instance, security procedures on body searches should not be limited at any point. (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Human Rights, 2008). A terrorist can find their way into public places with bombs and biological weapons rooted deep in their guts and claim several innocent lives just because the law forbids body searches to the greater extent. I would recommend that when a person is suspected of being a criminal of any course, they should be pinned down and searched fully. 

Uriah jones

There are so many aspects and lenses to look through when it comes to dealing with terrorism both at home and abroad. I do agree that the legislative process is a great way to attack a problem that has been rampant for as long as it has. The PATRIOT Act was created as a direct result of the events that occurred on September 11, 2001. The PATRIOT Act and nearly two decades (2001-2019) worth of fighting terrorism was used to help deny those who wished to plan more large-scale attacks from coming to fruition and helped to bolster the local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies throughout the country.


While the PATRIOT Act was created in good faith, there were many flaws to the law regarding how it would affect the everyday lives of US Citizens. As Kyle (2015) describes the PATRIOT Act as “crisis legislation” – and in a sense it was. This is legislation that was formed in the wake of one of the most devastating terrorism events in US history. The lapses in the intelligence community and the lack of communication between the three letter agencies contributed to this disaster occurring in the first place.


Public Law 107-56 or the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (PATRIOT) Act created new laws, while amending others. Contributions that were introduced in the act included those to help identify persons of interest and any nefarious activity that may be in the works by expanding wiretapping, money laundering, and immigration for anti-terrorism purposes – among other things (107th Congress, 2001). With the lapse in intelligence sharing, the lack of immigration reform, and a subpar strategy to handle terrorism related issues during the Clinton administration, these issues contributed heavily to what would transpire on September 11, 2001 (Kyle, 2015).


While it is certainly possible to handle terrorism through the legislative process, everyone has to be on the same page. Government Officials, intelligence and law enforcement agencies, and those in the current administration need to be able to understand what the threat is and how that threat can be handled. The PATRIOT Act gave law enforcement an immense amount of power to act on leads of those who may be committing crimes that are terroristic in nature. While this piece of legislation gave law enforcement nearly unchecked power, it also provided a much safer way of life for the average citizen, as no other foreign terror group has been able to conduct a 9/11 style attack since.


As far as whether I would be willing to give up my rights for the safety of the country, I would. I would be willing to allow the government to possibly listen in on my phone calls or look at abnormal financial transactions if that meant the safety of the country. That being said, I certainly understand other views that those who oppose it would have. While I can see the downsides of the PATRIOT Act, I believe there are more upside to it. This piece of legislation helped to protect the country against those trying to do harm to it. Tracking illicit financial transactions, listening in on phone calls of those who may be plotting terroristic acts, and stopping those who use the US border to enter illegally to conduct those attacks are ways that the PATRIOT Act protected the country.

300 words a piece …1 reference

LSTD 502


Of the 5 purposes of punishment listed in your readings for this week, which do you believe are the most important to the prevention of crime and promoting a civil society?


As we learned from this week’s readings; the five purposes of punishment are incapacitation, deterrence, retribution, rehabilitation, and restoration all five of these purposes have a role in the prevention of crime and promoting a civil society. I believe that incapacitation, deterrence, and rehabilitation are the most important in the prevention of crime while promoting a civil society.

Incapacitation prevents future crimes by removing the defendant from society, through incarceration, house arrest, or execution pursuant to the death penalty. This theory argues that reductions in crime rates are achieved through higher imprisonment rates since the offender cannot commit new crimes while incarcerated (Stahlkopf et al., 2010).  Furthermore, this theory argues that a small percentage of society commits a large percentage of crimes, therefore crime could be significantly reduced by identifying and imprisoning these offenders (Stahlkopf et al., 2010). This philosophy is also a method to control the high-risk individuals who commit violent crimes by requiring ongoing evaluations for violent offenders, even after a sentence has been served (Stahlkopf et al., 2010).

Deterrence prevents future crime by “intimidating” the offender and the public. Stahlkopf et al. (2010) articulated that this is accomplished by imposing penalties on offenders which may discourage the public from committing similar crimes because of the fear of the punishment associated with crimes. Deterrence is effective for law enforcement because it increases the perception that criminals will be caught and punished. The three components of the deterrence theory are certainty, severity, and celerity; the certainty of being arrested and charged with a crime, celerity being the swiftness in prosecuting and obtaining justice, and severity of the punishment imposed on the offender (Mourtgos & Adams, 2020). Although I believe deterrence has an impact on crime I do not believe that it has any influence on those who choose to commit capital crimes.

An individual that commits murder should be punished for their crime. Although the foundation of capital punishment is to deter those contemplating committing heinous crimes, it does not guarantee the public’s safety (Death Penalty Information Center, 2015). Death Penalty Information Center (2015) articulated that the report also showed that although the southern region had the most executions there was an increase in murders by 3.4%. Overall, death penalty jurisdictions continue to have higher murder rates than non-death penalty states, including Washington D.C. 4.7 per 100,000 compared to 3.8 (Death Penalty Information Center, 2015). Lastly, ten out of the eleven states with murder rates currently enforce the death penalty even though six of the eight lowest murder rates do not have the death penalty (Death Penalty Information Center, 2015).

Rehabilitation prevents future crimes by altering the defendant’s behavior. Examples include but are limited to treatment center placement, counseling, and vocational and education programs. Ahlin et al. (2016) articulated that there are programs in place for sexual offenses and mentally unstable offender treatment programs and the offenders are mandated to participate in group sessions, take approved medications, and reside in community housing with other rehabilitated offenders. Incorporating these programs into the criminal justice system, not only helps the offender get rehabilitated, but it reduces the prison population. The purpose of rehabilitation is to improve the defendant’s behaviors, skills, mental health, access to education, and social functioning to aid in a smooth transition back into society (Ahlin et al., 2016).             

And, then you are asked whether a report attached to this email challenges your beliefs.    

The Hamilton Project report did not impact my thinking. I believe this project is based on implementing certain laws. The author’s point of view focuses on numbers and where the person lived. Just because individuals live in a poor neighborhood does not mean they are going to become criminals. In the UCR data, they compare numbers based on gender because the findings on social class differences in crimes are less clear (Saylor, Academy, 2012). The Hamilton Project showed the adolescent risk behaviors by family income level and according to the chart, the youths from low-income families attack someone, become gang members, and carry a gun (Kearney et al., 2014).


Of the 5 purposes of punishment listed in your readings for this week, which do you believe are the most important to the prevention of crime and promoting a civil society? 

How does “The Hamilton Project” impact your thinking on this issue? 

The following are the five purposes of punishment: Deterrence, Incapacitation, Restitution, Rehabilitation and Retribution.  All of these purposes of punishment have a role in our society to prevent crime and maintain order.  I believe the most important purpose depends on who you are attempting to make an impression on.  Under the purpose of deterrence, the goal may be to prevent future crime by frightening the public.  This purpose may be successful in accomplishing its intended purpose in a majority of the public. Incapacitation would be ideal for someone that cannot or will not control themselves from victimizing others or repeatedly engages in criminality that places others in danger as a result of that criminality (Price, 2019).  Rehabilitation is probably the most important purpose of punishment when you consider the desired outcome is altering the offenders’ behavior which results in the prevention of future crime(s).  The purpose of retribution is to leave victims and society feeling like the offenders have been adequately punished by the legal system so there is no reason for victims to avenger the wrongs done to them or the people they care about (Escamilla-Castillo, 2010).  The purpose of restitution punishment is to financially punish the offender while at the same attempting in some cases to make the victim whole again.  This is very important in cases where the offender has stolen and retained large sums of monies and the victim’s quality of life could be partially or wholly restored with restitution.


In the last few years, a relatively small percentage of the population has been able to convince many that our society has been over penalizing and incarcerating people of all ages, sexes, and races.  This has resulted in a soft on crime approach to even prosecute crimes, so the purposes of punishment never factor into the crimes that are never prosecuted.  The damage inflicted by this cessation of prosecution and incarceration has nullified the deterrence effect of codified laws with prescribed punishments. 


I believe the purpose of punishment that would be most important in general would be one that is multi-faceted.  Many of the crimes committed by recidivist individuals are individuals that have not completed their education, have a learning disability or poor communication skills, an unregulated mental health issue(s), a substance abuse problem, limited financial earning potential, or come from a broken home with little or no self-worth. In California, over the last 15 years, there have been at least (3) state-wide measures that require less incarceration of criminals and the repurposing of the monies saved to go into rehabilitative programs.  The real crime is that the majority of the public passed these measures with the goal of rehabilitation; but those that wrote the legislation had no plan on how to allocate the monies saved from reduced incarceration.  Instead we have a society not punishing or rehabilitating anyone and the monies saved from the decrease in incarceration has become part of the state’s surplus fund that the governor and politicians liberally be spend on providing benefits such as medical care, housing, and universal income to people that have illegally entered the United States and reside in California.  Most of these people are afforded benefits we do not provide to our homeless citizens including some of our veterans.


The ideal multifaceted punishment would be rehabilitative in nature.  The offender incarcerated in an environment where they would not be able to get access to any illegal substances and would be tested for learning disabilities and establish current educational grade level.  You would participate in hard labor programs until you are ready to address substance abuse and/or mental health issues (Fine & Kennett, 2004).  Once those issues were stabilized you would move on to basic communication and life skills training, and the into a career training field with job placement after release from custody.  This would allow the rehabilitated offender an opportunity to provide for him or her and their family after completing their punishment. 


Murders and heinous criminals must be incarcerated.  In most cases if the impact of the crime has permanent traumatic effects on the victims or survivors, retribution would be long term and regardless of positive rehabilitative progress, release from incarceration may never be warranted.  In some of these situations, a penalty of death would be appropriate; however, because of how complicated and costly the appeals process has become and delays carrying out the sentence, it needs to be streamlined (Wright, 2011).  We are a very diverse country with a lot of opinions, so I do not expect the crime and punishment problem to be resolved any time soon.


The Hamilton Project brought up some very interesting topics to consider and keep in mind; however, many of the studies I have seen that are similar, are usually propelled by organization with an ulterior motive and the data can be interpreted or manipulated to the desired results.


Good evening, classmates!

I personally believe that every theory or purpose of punishment which was discussed in this week’s lesson plays its own role of importance of overall prevention of crime and in order to promote a civil society, and I think that it is truly dependent on the individual who is being punished. The five purposes of punishment include deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation, retribution, and restoration (Criminal Law, 2012). Every individual has a background and story which led up to their commission of the crime(s).

The concept of deterrence does not aim to simply punish the defendants, but also to discourage them, and others from committing similar offenses in the future (Johnson, 2019). The concept of incapacitation is the physical prevention of allowing the defendant to commit further crime or harm, because they are incarcerated, and therefore, incapacitated (Criminal Law, 2012). With rehabilitation, the concept is to allow the defendant to grasp the fact that they committed a crime and allow them to prevent such future behavior by providing them with tools for a better post incarceration life, such as educational and vocational skills, treatment and counseling for any mental illnesses or addictions, and instilling them with the dignity of redemption (The Purposes of Punishment, 2015). Retribution engages with the purpose that the victim or aggrieved party in the instance feels satisfied; like justice has been served, and in turn feels like they have been made whole, which will most likely prevent them from seeking out any personal vendetta or avengement against the defendant (The Purposes of Punishment, 2015). Restitution is the financial punishment, in which the court orders the defendant to pay the aggrieved party (direct victim, or family of the victim) a set amount of money for the damage or harm occurred in the commission of the crime(s) (Criminal Law, 2012).

With that in mind, if we were speaking in broad terms, I will start off with the one I feel holds the least impact, and that is restitution; the defendant being made to pay a fixed amount of money will not do much to deter their future crime, nor do I believe it will make for a more civilized society, because anyone who does not have the means to pay that restitution will not be affected at all. From my reading, both independently and throughout the required reading, the conclusion I have come to is that the most important purpose of punishment is rehabilitation, but that also comes with exceptions. With rehabilitation, it forced the offender to answer for their crimes with a prison sentence, while giving them the opportunity to be treated like a human being who needs guidance. I believe that this will only work for first time offenders, and not recurring ones, because it will provide a culture shock of what prison or jail feels like, while giving them access to tools and resources they may not have outside of prison, like education, technology, books, and mental health/counseling services. Ideally, rehabilitation leads the offender down a path of self-reflection and when they are released, they can have something to show for their time spent behind bars, and the things that they learned, can be distributed throughout their community, in hopes of preventing someone they know from going down the same path. It all ties into the social construct theory, if this incarcerated individual who has faced rehabilitation gets released and goes on to spread their knowledge and experiences with those they know, it can get through to someone else, and possibly prevent them from following suit.

The report from The Hamilton Project does not change my mind about this, in fact, it also drives home what I am trying to say. Rehabilitation can be a trickle-down system, where the knowledge and self-reflection of one can be passed down throughout the community, especially in low-income areas, where crime may be more prevalent, and disadvantaged youth may tend to engage in more criminal behavior due to a lack of opportunity, and because of other mitigating factors

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