Midterm Criminal Justice Essay

Midterm Criminal Justice Essay

Policing in the community – Discuss community policing and its intended impact on policing?
Community policing represents an innovation in law enforcement as well as a major opportunity for law enforcement to make the dynamic switch from responding to crimes after they occur to actually being able to prevent crime. Simply put, what is referred to as community policing is the type of law enforcement whereby policing organizations develop close ties with the civilians in a given community, with the goal of working with those civilians in order to open lines of communication and encourage the local residents to share information with police and cooperate with them to actually prevent crime (Fielding, 1995).

The intended impact on policing through community policing is multi-faceted. Of course, as was previously discussed, community policing models make crime prevention more prevalent, and allow police to fight crime rather than simply investigating crimes that have already taken place. Beyond this, there are direct benefits to police organizations themselves; in a time when local budgets are stretched to the breaking point in many cases, the cooperation and assistance of the citizens makes police more effective and efficient without having to spend the money to increase police forces. Additionally, the visibility of police in the community improves the image of the police in the eyes of the citizens, possibly positively influencing young people, thereby keeping them away from criminal behavior. Lastly, in an age where terrorism is a possibility in any community, this policing model makes everyone more aware of their surroundings, which can in fact squash terrorist activities before they result in casualties.

Early English Laws – Which early English system of law enforcement work best in our criminal justice system today. Why?
The early English system of law enforcement that works best in our criminal justice system today is clearly English Common Law (Geldart, 1995). This claim is made for a variety of reasons. First, in looking back to the earliest versions of Common Law, which can in fact be traced back to the days of William the Conqueror in the late 11th century; this system of law seems to strike a balance between the powers of the state, the powers of the court, and the rights of the accused.

Under Common Law, in its earliest version, the king or queen was given the power to intervene in legal matters; today, the government established under the American Constitution provides for the state to have certain authority in legal matters, while still allowing for the individual to have given rights in a court of law.

Lastly, a very important element of Common Law which can be seen in the modern American legal system is the use of case law and legal precedent as a means of providing uniform and fair justice to all. In other words, American courts will often use prior legal cases as a means of establishing the rules under which a given case will be heard in court. This is especially important in criminal cases, whereby legal precedent is used not only to preserve the rights of the accused, but also to prevent defense counsel from abusing the legal system in order to unfairly aid their clients.
Technology and Terrorism – Discuss the different types of technology which have the greatest impact on fighting terrorism.
In the modern day, every civilized nation on the planet has to face the very real possibility of terrorist acts being launched on their soil at any given moment. With this in mind, technology has proven in many ways to be more effective than any soldier or bullet that ever existed in order to have a major impact on fighting terrorism (Cordesman, 2002).

To begin, few would dispute that Internet technology has had a massive impact on the fight against terrorism; for example, in the hands of a skilled computer expert, an Internet connection can be used to intercept emails, cellular telephone conversations, banking transactions and other tools that terrorists use in the 21st century, for in many cases, technology is likewise used by terrorists to construct much of their evil plans.

Nonlethal weapon technology is also proving to be an effective tool in antiterrorism; for example, the use of a Taser or similar technology can be used to incapacitate a terror suspect without the possibility of damaging the environment or harming innocent bystanders.

Lastly, biometrics are an excellent antiterrorism tool; to be specific, biometrics allow for the body type, mannerisms, facial structure and the like of an individual to be monitored, thereby making disguises and concealment of physical features of prominent terrorists impossible. Overall, technology is doing much more than traditional guns and bullets ever could.


Cordesman, A. H. (2002). Terrorism, Asymmetric Warfare, and Weapons of Mass Destruction: Defending the U.S. Homeland. Westport, CT: Praeger.
Fielding, N. (1995). Community Policing. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Geldart, W. (1995). Introduction to English Law: (Originally Elements of English Law) (11th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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