Legal and Ethical Scenarios Essay

Legal and Ethical Scenarios
Legal and Ethical Scenarios

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Legal and Ethical Scenarios

Order Instructions:

Legal and Ethical Scenarios

*Read the scenarios and the questions that follow. Answer Scenarios 1 and 2, and 6 and 7, for a total of four (4) scenarios.

*You must also provide an answer for the recommendations section. Identify and analyze the legal issue(s). Apply legal concepts and make potential arguments as directed using laws, cases, examples, and/or other relevant materials. Consider using short headings (consult APA materials) to separate the topics. Summarize the facts; do not copy the scenarios into the paper.

Support your answers with information from the textbook and at least four scholarly sources in addition to the textbook or course lectures. Prepare a paper that identifies the legal issues and potential solutions and answer all questions presented, supported by relevant legal authority. Do not exceed the page length by more than two pages.

Legal and Ethical Scenarios

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Headquartered in Savannah, Georgia, ________________ operates two coffee shops in Georgia and one in Alabama. Approximately 30% of the employees work full time; however, ____________ primarily hires part-time employees as baristas, delivery drivers, cooks and dishwashers. The company experienced explosive growth over the last four years, but with the growth came increased legal issues. The owners seek your advice on the following legal and ethical issues.

*Scenario 1 – Business Organizations

Bailey Andrews and Danita Brown met while working at Starbucks and attending college in Georgia. Bailey studied business at South University, while Dania attended the Art Institute for culinary management. The two friends were tired of working for someone else and opened [SELECT A NAME FOR THE COFFEE SHOP] as a partnership after college. Now that the business has grown, the two partners are considering a new legal form for their business.

Legal and Ethical Scenarios

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*Analyze three types of business organizations Andrews and Brown might consider for their existing restaurant. Be sure to consider at least one limited liability option. Explain the advantages and disadvantages of each type.

*Select one type of business for Andrews and Brown and provide support for your choice.

*Select a name for the coffee shop and use it when answering the remaining scenarios.

*Scenario 2 – Employment Discrimination

Born in 1975, Juanita Mendoza immigrated from Mexico in 2005 and became a U.S. citizen in 2010. Mendoza speaks fluent English with a strong Hispanic accent. Her accent does not interfere with her ability to communicate with others. Mendoza worked as a cook and waitress for 20 years. Although she did not have any formal management experience, Mendoza applied for a shift manager’s job with [Restaurant Name]; however, she was not hired for the position. The restaurant currently employs 5 full time employees and 14 part time employees.

Legal and Ethical Scenarios

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*Analyze the possible grounds Mendoza might have for a discrimination lawsuit against [Restaurant Name].

*Provide support for each ground selected and then provide arguments that [Restaurant Name] could make to counter each claim.

*Explain how your answer might change if the restaurant only employs a total of 12 people.

*Scenario 6 – Liability on Negotiable Instruments

Andrews and Brown hired a bookkeeper, Jenice, and gave her general authority to issue company checks drawn on SunTrust Bank so that Jenice can pay employees’ wages and other company bills. Jenice decides to cheat her employers out of $10,000 by issuing a check payable to the Bayside Distributors, one of the suppliers of seafood and fresh local produce. Jenice does not intend for Bayside to receive any of the money, nor is Bayside entitled to the payment.

Jenice endorses the check in Bayside’s name and deposits the check in an account that she opened at Wells Fargo Bank in the name “Bayfood Dist. Co.” Wells Fargo accepts the check and collects payment from the drawee bank, SunTrust. SunTrust charges [Name of Restaurant] account $10,000. Denice transfers $10,000 out of the Bayside account and closes it. [Name of Restaurant] discovers the fraud and demands that the bank return the money.

Legal and Ethical Scenarios

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*Evaluate which party or parties bear the loss.

*Scenario 7 – Breach of Contract and Remedies

Andrews ordered 20 round tables to seat parties of two, 25 square tables to seat parties of four, 5 tables to seat larger parties and 175 chairs. The tables were specially ordered to contain the logo of the restaurant on the top of each table. Andrews paid for the entire shipment when placing the order; however, the supplier was responsible for making the shipping arrangements. The tables and chairs arrived three weeks later; however, five were scratched and damaged. Seven of the chairs were missing.

*Analyze the restaurant’s options related to the damaged tables and missing chairs. Be sure to address the applicability of the UCC to the transaction.


Conclude your paper by justifying suggestions for [Restaurant Name] to help prevent future occurrences of these types of legal problems. Identify any ethical issues you find and present recommendations as applicable. Be specific in your recommendations.

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Reliability of Evidence

Reliability of Evidence

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Reliability of Evidence

Question one

In legality terms, reliability has been used in evidence. The reliable evidence used is that one a lawyer or a judge find it to be credible to depend on upon when making an informed decision.

In terms of consistency, reliability is used evaluate or analyze the notch that various assessment on items do review same concept yield similar items. It is used to determine the correlation coefficient of similar items.

In terms of export testimony, reliability is used in a specialized way of wisdom that help the trier the fact to comprehend the evidence given in order to define a fact in subjects. In this context, the witness is the expert who has the knowledge, skill, well trained, experienced, and education may testify in form of an opinion freely, (Jardine, & Tsang, pg. 87, 2013).

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Question two

Countermeasure are non-violent acts which are often seemed illegal but when executed by one person to another, they become legal. One of the countermeasure is polygraph. Polygraph countermeasure are said to be ineffective since they are usually detected. The polygraph countermeasures are used because the proclaims that when used in closed doors, it becomes difficult for the polygraph to be detected easily, (Nelson, pg. 54, 2015).

Question three Bogus pipeline is a performance used by the social psychologists that help to minimize wrong answers when trying to assemble self-report information. The bogus pipeline is fake because it gets to convince the respondents that they are been witnessed and whatever they say will be questioned. They therefore proceeds by telling the truth about themselves, (Brunell,  & Fisher, pg, 39, 2014).

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Jardine, A. K., & Tsang, A. H. (2013). Maintenance, replacement, and reliability: theory and applications. CRC press.

Nelson, R. (2015). Scientific Basis for Polygraph Testing. Polygraph, 44(1), 28-61.

Brunell, A. B., & Fisher, T. D. (2014). Using the bogus pipeline to investigate grandiose narcissism. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 55, 37-42.

Palmatier, J. J., & Rovner, L. (2015). Credibility assessment: Preliminary Process Theory, the polygraph process, and construct validity. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 95(1), 3-13.

Robinson, C. (2012). Brake check technology: real time, all the time: electronic monitoring addresses the CVSA inspection standard. Bus Ride, 48(12).

De Ayala, R. J. (2013). The theory and practice of item response theory. Guilford Publications.

Moshagen, M., Musch, J., & Erdfelder, E. (2012). A stochastic lie detector. Behavior Research Methods, 44(1), 222-231.

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Politicians Make Policies

Politicians Make Policies
Politicians Make Policies

Politicians Make Policies


This paper intends to discuss the making of policies by politicians. A politician is a term used to refer to individuals engaged in the long-term political practice (Arendt, & Marquart, 2015). Notably, most politicians are endowed with a certain political vision and have various political skills. Furthermore, as a politician, one is expected to be a member of a specific political party within a particular country.

Markedly, politicians often have a great impact on the development of social history (Arendt, & Marquart, 2015). To efficiently discuss the making of policies by Politicians, this paper considers politics in the United States. The politicians in consideration are Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Barrack Hussein Obama.

Generally, politicians are engaged in politics with the aim of upholding different ideas, for the country and the people (Arendt, & Marquart, 2015). Mostly, the motivation of politicians in politics is focused on the well-being of the world, upholding of peace and increasing economic development. Notably, many politicians have considerable achievements in politics.

The achievements by politicians can be termed as pillars of the country, or influential models for future generations (Arendt, & Marquart, 2015). Most successful politicians are usually highly skilled in government management matters. Furthermore, highly skilled politicians have a significant influence in promoting national well-being and overall interests of their citizens.

Accordingly, all politicians represent different classes or political forces. Furthermore, politicians are the political subjects that hold the core power (Arendt, & Marquart, 2015). Thus, politicians are engaged in social activities along with political activities as the dominant personalities. Dominance in social activities places politicians at the center of political activity. Hence, every move of a politician becomes news (Arendt, & Marquart, 2015).

For instance, the state of health of the head of state will attract the world’s attention. Notably, since politicians hold the core of power, their decisions mostly lead to a major impact on the nation. This implies to both political leaders and chief executives and legislative leaders. As the core of political power, politicians must deal with all aspects of people in order to achieve their goals and policies. The main interest of politicians is how to achieve their goals and policies. Since politicians are coordinators to how activities are done, exercise their own political interests.

To competently illustrate the role of politicians in making of policies, this paper will major its discussion on public policies. Public policies play a major role in determining the distribution and use of public resources in diverse parts of the world (Maclennan, 1980). Consequently, the process of policy formulation involves the interaction of numerous political forces. Notably, policy formulation develops from a combination of primary factors such as economic status of a country, cultural values held by the society within a specific country and known facts about the existence of a problem in a given country.

Outstandingly, the combination of economic status, cultural values and knowledge of facts regarding the existence of a problem leads to political interplay, which gives politicians a central role in the process of policy formulation. As the process of policy formulation takes shape many areas that require the attention of political players emerge. These areas include legal framework requirement, allocation of funds and participation of the general public.

Ultimately, political players find themselves at the center of policy formulation. Consequently, the central argument in the paper will be that policy formulation is not only done by fact and rationality alone, but also involves the interplay of political intrudes.

This paper will therefore, analyze the influence of politics from three perspectives. The first perspective is Political personality. The second perspective is the political role, while the third perspective is the difference of the role of political individuality in different systems. The first perspective, which is political personality, deals with psychological analysis.

Psychological analysis makes an analysis from the perspective of individual personality, political personality, and the basic political personality type. The second perspective, which is political role, discusses the meaning of three terms, political role, political personality and political role of interaction. The third perspective, which is the difference of the role of political individuality in different systems, analyzes the politician’s personality psychological characteristics and political behavior and the politician’s personality tendencies and political behavior.


Politics; Politics refers to an activity by which people make, amend and preserve various governing rules which administer how they live. Additionally, politics is an art of the government to control public affairs and oversee distribution of resources (Maita, 2009).

Political system; Political refers to system a system via which interactions and values are authoritatively apportioned to society. Political systems exist by continually allocating orders and enforcing them. Moreover, a political system is a persistent pattern governing human relationships that involve rules, power, and authority (Maitah, 2009).

Policy; Policy refers to a course of action that a government follows with the goal of dealing with problems and issues in a country or state. A policy is based on laws and regulations.

Legislature; Legislature refers to a body of the government that makes policies through a particular set of guidelines.

Factors and parties influencing policy formulation

When talking about democratic politics, the term refers to an open, fair, transparent, free and equal citizenship politics. Therefore, democratic politics requires extensive and active participation of citizens. Additionally, democratic politics also acknowledges the need for political personality from traditional to modern changes (Jensen, & Wu, 2016).

Based on the theory of individuality and governance, this paper analyzes the influence of political leaders, on the political behavior and political system within a country. Moreover, the paper analyzes the role of different political systems in promotion of the process of political democratization, through providing a theoretical reference.

Notably, due to the attention accorded to politicians by the media, people miss interpret politicians to be the government. However, it is important to note that, agendas which are politically articulated get transformation to reality, through bureaucratic systems. In many countries, bureaucracies form the main systems of exercising government control over peoples’ daily lives.

Apart from politicians and bureaucracies, interest groups are also involved in policy formulation (Zeng, 2015). For instance, in the United States of America, interests groups play an influential role in making of policies. Interest groups gather American citizens, who demonstrate similar concerns, as the ones presented by the specific interest group. When gathered, interest groups and American citizens match to the offices of the concerned officials to present their concerns.

Therefore, interest groups are efficient mechanisms used by citizens of the United States of America in presenting their views, current needs or ideas to the elected officials. Additionally, different interest groups specialize on different concerns (Thompson, & Cook, 2014). The existence and ease of performance of activities of interest groups is encouraged by the decentralization of power in the politics of the United States.

Notably, in the United States, political power is allocated to states and different localities. The decentralization of political power in the United States, explains why the political system of United States is referred as a federal system. Generally, politicians are involved in formulating policies, which are short-term while interest groups focus on long-term policies.

Another party which is interested in policy formulation is the scientists. Scientists influence the formulation of policies based on a mutual understanding, recognition of nature and uncertainty magnitude. Therefore, scientists tend to exercise cautiousness and be conservative. Moreover, scientists are always doubtful of results and the conclusions they make. Hence, scientists use evidence and in-depth analysis in advocating for policy formulation. Consequently, policies are aimed at guiding actions that are directed to achieving any desired outcome.

Outstandingly, mass media also plays an influential role in the formulation of policies. Notably, mass media affects the social context of any policies developed (Zeng, 2015). The media is involved in making citizens aware of how proposed or made policies will impact their lives. Moreover, the government is also able to gain feedback from its citizens, regarding proposed or made policies. Thus, mass media presents a link between policy makers and potential policy making process influencers (Tombs, 2016). 

Notably, in any liberal democracy, the media is mandated the role of critically scrutinizing the government in its affairs. Thus, the public is able to hold the government accountable for its actions. However, in democratic processes if the media acts politically powerful, the close link they maintain with corporate economies leads to questioning of the credibility of the media in investigating government activities. Just as the mass media, other parties involved in the formulation of policies are the Non Government Organizations.

Mostly, Non Government Organizations conduct humanitarian activities. Thus, Non Government Organizations are interested in suggestion of policies, drafting of policies and implementation of policies. Notably, recently, Non Government Organizations have recently ventured into the political life, through acting as pressure groups. For instance, the famous anti-slavery movement gave birth to the convention for anti-slavery.

However, Non Government Organizations, mostly operate in a specific country since their actions are purely motivated by situations and conditions that the locals go through. Therefore, interests of Non Government Organizations are narrowly defined (Jensen, & Wu, 2016). Consequently, Non Government Organizations will focus on advocating for implementation of policies that favor their interests.

However, the difference between politicians and Non Government Organizations, in advocating for policies that favor their interests is that, politicians have short-term interests, which favor the period between two elections (Thompson, & Cook, 2014). Conversely, Non Government Organizations have long-term interests, which favor easy running of their activities in a country.


Cannan, J. (2013). A Legislative History of the Affordable Care Act: How Legislative Procedure Shapes Legislative History. Law Library Journal, 105 (2), 2013-7.

E-health (2016). History and Timeline: Affordable Care Act History and Timeline of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Retrieved from

Henrey, J. (2013). President–Elect Barack Obama’s Health Care Reform Proposal. The Kaiser Family Foundation. Retrieved from

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Prison and Jail System

Prison and Jail System
Prison and Jail System

Criminal Justice: Prison and Jail System

Question 1

Prison litigation refers to cases filed by inmates in the public courts of law. The number of prison litigation in the 1980’s skyrocketed to 23,230 filed in the US district courts under the Title 42 within the Federal Statute.  The number increased by 49% in the 1996 an aspect that necessitated the Congress to pass the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) to reduce the number of cases (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2014). The PLRA has two pillars, which are the prospective relief provision and the prisoner litigation provisions.

The two pillars have three major facets that hold the prison litigation in place. The prisoners need to go through all the administrative channels before going to the federal courts. Secondly, prisoners filing forma pauperis are required to pay the courts and filing cost via their funds that are present in the correctional trust fund. Lastly, the prisoners are not permitted to file forma pauperis if they have filed cases that have were terminated by the courts due to malevolence (Campbell, 2009).

The PLRA amendments served to benefit one party that is the courts by reducing the number of cases in the courts but were disadvantageous to the prisoners. The amendment makes it difficult for the prisoners to be guaranteed fair hearing in the federal and state courts. The amendment provides a long chain for the prisoners to follow before they file their cases in the court termed as exhaustion requirement.

According to Margo Schlanger who has done research on the impact of PLRA, she discovered that most of the cases filed within the system are discarded for frivolous issues. Some of them include missing a deadline, filing the documents with red ink or attaching medical records to support their claims in their submissions. The aspect makes it harder for the prisoners to not only file their cases but also win them (Sullivan, 2013). The legal system needs to make sure that the rights of all citizens by the fact that they are human beings are upheld, but inmates are shunned under the pretext of the PLRA.

The second effect is that it does limit the number of experienced lawyers willing to represent the prisoner. The reason for this is that the PLRA does limit the contingent rates that the lawyers can recover to 150% of the judgment and the hourly fees to 150% of the appointed counsel rates by the courts. This aspect coupled with the fact that the chances of winning are minimal deters them from taking the cases hence placing the inmates at a disadvantageous point.

 Based on Booker (2016), only 5% of the cases involving inmates in 2012 was represented by lawyers when compared to 65% of the cases involving non-incarcerated individuals. The disparity reduces the chances of the inmates to get a fair trial and have an equal chance of winning the cases filed against the system.

Thirdly, the policy restricts the inmates from recovering from mental or emotional injury without proving a physical injury took place. In the prison case scenario, inmates are at times coerced into sex, discriminated against regarding religion, ethnicity among other violations within the constitution that do not involve physical injury. The prison and the legal system have a duty of ensuring such aspects do not occur, and in the case, they do the perpetrators face punishment. Based on this aspect the inmates end up adopting violence as a coping mechanism in the harsh environment while some commit suicide as a way of escaping their torture (Bark, 2014)

Prisons are areas where the criminals are expected to reform, but with the PLRA the reform involves infringing immensely on their rights as human beings. The courts have minimal authority when it comes to altering the prison policies to protect the inmates. The incapacitation of the courts gives more power to the administrators to set up more hurdles when the inmates are filing their cases (Schlanger and Shay, 2008). The increase in procedures and policies set do frustrate the inmates as it limits the chances of addressing their grievances.

Question 2

According to Schlanger and Shay (2008) jails play an integral role in the criminal justice system as they hold inmates as they await their trial, sentencing or charges. The jails serve to separate the criminals from the innocent people in the society. The aim of the separation is to keep the society safe from the criminal who wants to create havoc. Jails are typically run by the local government while others by cities or managed by people privately through contracts with the local government

The jail system holds criminals who have done petty offenses or those serving a sentence of less than one year. The inmate, in this case, is run through a system that will help them change their perspective on life, in other words, make them fit in the society. Jail system has a rehabilitation program that does give the inmates skills that will enable them to get employment after their sentence (Terry, 2009).

Furthermore, the jails decongest the state prisons hence ensuring manageable numbers. The USA as an estimate of 3,300 jails that hold 1/3 of 2 million inmates, the number has increased tremendously over the years due to the lifestyle changes in the society. It is true that there is a negative correlation between the rate of criminal increase and the jails in the country resulting in overcrowding in the system (Sullivan, 2013).

I believe the jail system is necessary as it does deter people from engaging in crime. The harsh conditions in the present jail system make many people rethink their decision to commit a crime. Moreover, the jail system does punish the criminals by taking away some privileges they enjoyed in the free world and aid them in reforming. Retribution is part and parcel of the jail system as it saves to bring a reformed individual to the society.

Question 3

 Three punishment and incarceration theories form the basis of treatment programs they include utilitarian, retributive and denunciation. The utilitarian theory focuses on punishing the criminals to serve as a lesson to them and other members of the society. Under the utilitarian theory, offenders go to jail or prison to deter them from engaging in the same crime for a period (Mallik, 2014). When they are under the system, the system does introduce harsh living conditions that will make them regret their mistake.

The regret is what leads to the next step, which is rehabilitation. Rehabilitation deals with treating mental illness, violent behavior, and drug dependency. It also does incorporate educational skills that give the inmates skills and knowledge that will enable them to get jobs when they integrate into the society (Schlanger and Shay, 2008).

The second treatment program focuses on the retributive theory where the criminal gets punished for their offense (Mallik, 2014). In the USA, some states still have the capital punishment for offenders. The capital punishment serves to punish the offenders for the crime they committed and does give justice to the victims. The severity of the issue does make many potential offenders abstain from engaging in any criminal activity that will cost them their lives (Gottschalk, 2006).

The last one is the denunciation whereby the society subjects an individual to societal condemnation (Mallik, 2014). An example is when someone gives out information to a competitor in the business world. The publication of their name in the newspapers and the media serves to condemn them for their actions, and the business industry will shun their serves.

Treatment programs serve as a means of reforming the criminals into productive citizens. The programs give the criminals a second chance to achieve their potentials which do result in the growth of the nation. The treatment programs give the society an opportunity to deter potential criminals from engaging in crime. The major disadvantage is that managing the programs is costly and does add an immense burden to the state and federal system (Lowenkamp, Latessa and Smith, 2006).

Based on my analysis, I can conclude that they are necessary for ensuring that the victims get justice and the offender gets punished for their offense. The treatment programs provide the society with an opportunity to move forward from a negative event in their lives.

Question 4

Correctional system in the USA has undergone many amendments with the aim of formulating means to reduce the over congestion in the prisons and jail system. The first correctional policy is the reduction in the harsh sentences within the criminal judicial system. Many states in the USA have eradicated capital punishment in preference for the rehabilitation sentences (Lowenkamp et al., 2006).The adoption of the utilitarian approach with the aim of appearing democratic has increased the number of offenders hence increasing the number of inmates in the system.

Secondly, the AB 109 also known as the realignment bill serves the purpose of diverting the risk of punishing low-risk offender to the counties from the state. It also altered the three strikes law……” where the defendant convicted of any new felony, having suffered one prior conviction of a serious felony to be sentenced to state prison for twice the term otherwise provided for the crime…,’’ (California’s Three Strikes Sentencing Law – criminal_justice, 2017).

The AB 109 does increase the chances of criminals viewing the system as being lenient hence increasing their chances to engage in serve crimes.  An example of the negative impact of this is the shooting of Whittier police officer Keith Boyer by an offender who was on a locally supervised probation instead of jail (Realignment (AB 109) in California, 2017).

The third correctional policy is the hands-off doctrine that eliminated the supreme court’s involvement in prison operations. The policy has resulted in the correctional facilities being under the direct control of the administrators. In the case, an inmate feels offended by the jail system and want their grievances addressed the long channels tend to limit them from getting justice (Gendreau, Goggin, and Smith, 2000). The hands-off policy is closely tied to the denunciation theory where the society does shun the inmates, in this case, the administrators. The aspect as resulted in the increase in violence in various jails and prisons around the country.

As discussed in this paper there is a conflict of goals that tend to affect the future corrections system. Different states apply different correctional policies when it comes to dealing with offenders. The drive is often political, civil or economic pressures faced by the legislature. The conflict in goals leads to lenient policies that favor one party while ignoring the other party directly or indirectly involved in a crime.

The second challenge is getting adequate funding. The correctional facilities in the current are underfunded by the federal and the state government. In 2016, the total budget allocated to the correctional facility was $71 billion which is not proportional to the high number of inmates in these facilities.

Thirdly, the correctional facilities have understaffed an aspect that makes it difficult to enroll the correctional programs fully. The aspect results in the offenders viewing jail term as a break from their real lives instead of a period to reform. The perception has led to the increase in the number of second-time offenders across the country (Gottschalk, 2006).

Lastly, there is a lack of proper coordination between the different agencies involved in the criminal justice system when it comes to correctional activities. The lack of a seamless flow of information on how to reform the inmates and decongest the system has rendered the correctional system ineffective (Gendreau et al., 2000).

In conclusion, the future seems bleak in the correctional system if the legislature and the society do not take a step to work together. The joint effort will enable the future generations to grow up with morals and the institution of progressive correctional policies that will reduce the rate of crime in the country.


Bark, N. (2014). Prisoner mental health in the USA. Int Psychiatry, 11, 53-5.

Booker, M. (2017). 20 years is enough: Time to repeal the Prison Litigation Reform Act | Prison Policy Initiative. Retrieved 1 July 2017, from

Bureau of Justice Statistics, US Dep’t of Justice, (2014). Survey of State Criminal History Information Systems.

California’s Three Strikes Sentencing Law – criminal_justice. (2017). Retrieved 2 July 2017, from

Gendreau, P., Goggin, C., & Smith, P. (2000). Generating rational correctional policies: An introduction to advances in cumulating knowledge. Corrections Management Quarterly, 4, 52-60.

Gottschalk, M. (2006). The prison and the gallows: The politics of mass incarceration in America. Cambridge University Press.

Lowenkamp, C. T., Latessa, E. J., & Smith, P. (2006). Does correctional program quality really matter? The impact of adhering to the principles of effective intervention. Criminology & Public Policy, 5(3), 575-594.

Mallik, A. (2014). Theories of Punishment in the Ethics of Philosophy. Scholarly Research Journal for Humanity Science & English Language.

Realignment (AB 109) in California. (2017). Retrieved 2 July 2017, from

Schlanger, M., & Shay, G. (2008). Preserving the rule of law in America’s jails and prisons: The case for amending the Prison Litigation Reform Act.

Sullivan, K. T. (2013). To free or not to free: Rethinking release orders under the prison litigation reform act after Brown v. Plata. BCJL & Soc. Just., 33, 419.

Terry, C. (2009). Prison Litigation and What It Means To You as a Corrections Professional. Retrieved 1 July 2017, from

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Punishment in the Criminal Justice System

Punishment in the Criminal Justice System
Punishment in the Criminal Justice System

Punishment in the Criminal Justice System

All over the world, the criminal justice system of any state serves two major objectives; enforcement of the law of the land, and correction of offenders through various reform institutions. In this regard, criminal justice can be construed to mean a system governed by standard practices that aim to uphold social control, detecting and preventing crime, and most importantly sanctioning offenders through the use of various forms of punishments.

Significantly, criminal punishment is applied as a way to encourage proper conduct between individuals in the society and at the same time make one take responsibility for a wrongful act committed against another. In this respect, retaliatory acts are avoided because victims of crime will be satisfied that the wrongdoer has faced equal punishment in comparison with the act done. Notably, Lollar (2014) asserts that punishments can also be used as a compensatory tool towards victims of crime.

Retributive punishment

Foremost, this type of punishment is founded on the belief that the best way to respond to a wrongful act is by using a proportionate punishment. According to Flanders (2014) retributivists are of the opinion that when an offender commits an illegal act, the criminal justice system should make such a person suffer an equal and proportionate punishment.

Amusingly, retributivists attach their justification for proportionate punishment from ancient religious laws such as the ones contained in the Holy Bible, for instance, Exodus 21:23 avers that if any person commits harm, then the resulting punishment should be equal, hence the catchphrase “a life for a life, an eye for an eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” Notably, similar sentiments are proclaimed in Biblical verses such as 5:38 and Deuteronomy 19:21.

Retributivists argue that as long as the damage has been done, there is nothing that can be done to reverse such damage hence the only way to administer justice is by giving equal punishment (Flanders, 2014). Seemingly, such reasoning can be said to be backward looking such that it does not take into consideration that at times crime may be committed in a unpremeditated way such that punishing an offender for the same would be harsh or excessive.

Another going concern for this form of punishment is that it may encourage revenge and promote retaliation in the society. Also, in some instances, it may be hard to draw the line between punishment that is sufficient and from the punishment that is excessive.

An example of a retributive form of punishment is the death penalty which according to Luliano (2015) is no punishment at all because it only seeks to insert pain as a measure of administering justice but does not address the root causes of crime or even ways of helping individuals refrain from such crime.

Utilitarian Punishment

First, from a wider scope, the utilitarian theory developed by Jeremy Bentham emphasizes that any action within the society should be directed towards achieving maximum satisfaction and catering for the well being of the majority members of the society. The utilitarian form of punishment, threads on the same footing by asserting that the laws that guide the conduct of the people in the society, should be used to maximize the happiness of the society (FERRARO, 2013).

Hence, crime and punishment should be kept to a minimum because they are inconsistent with happiness which the utilitarian theory of punishment asserts. Importantly, proponents of this theory of punishment recognize that having a crime free society may be a fallacy as such recommend that the form of punishment handed down to a wrongdoer should be directed to producing “good” from the person. In this respect, the punishment should not be unlimited.

Unlike the retributive form of punishment, which is said to be backward looking, the utilitarian form of punishment is largely presumed to be proactive on crime. For instance, the laws that direct how punishment should be handed down on crime should be designed to deter future crimes of the same nature.

Accordingly, rehabilitation of criminal offenders can be said to be one of the methods that the utilitarian form of punishment emphasizes as a way of administering justice.  Rehabilitation mainly aims at reforming an offender rather than punish so that they may be integrated back into the society. Equally, jailing as a form of incapacitation of an offender also falls under the utilitarian form of punishment because, by removal of the offender’s ability to commit offenses from the society, future crimes of the same nature may be prevented.

Preferred rationale/form of punishment

First, it is important to appreciate the fact that in certain instances, the commission of a criminal act may not be planned such that one will be deemed unswervingly guilty of the act. Offenses such as murder may happen due to provocation such that one may end up taking another one’s life in the heat of passion. Similarly, minors and persons of unsound mind are not spared either when it comes to the commission of a crime. However, such a category of persons may be deemed to a special group because of the underlying issues such as the lack of understanding of the consequence that a particular act may lead to.

From the examples mentioned above, a retributive form of punishment will certainly administer justice in the wrong way because of its backward-looking nature of offering proportionate punishment. Without taking into consideration factors that may have led to a crime, any form of punishment handed down to an individual may be excessive or uncalled for.

By the same token, criminals are presumed to be ordinary persons such that one factor changed that status, for instance, one may seek to steal due to poverty. Alternatively, another person may engage in crime as an act of revenge for a wrongful act done on them. Under such circumstances, the form of punishment handed down should be directed towards enabling such a person reform and be integrated back into the society so as to continue developing.

Notably, even under religious laws, the principle of forgiveness is widely discussed. In this respect, retributive punishment does not give individuals any opportunity to reform or even afford the wrong persons with the chance to deliberate on pardoning the person after serving their sentence as an act of compassion.

Hence, I will argue that the utilitarian form of punishment stands out as the best-placed method for punishing offenders because it not only takes into considerations of the underlying factors that may have led to a crime but it also focuses on handing down the punishment that in the long run will stem out goodness from a person. Goralski (2015) is of the same views by asserting that models of punishment that presume criminals to be bad people who deserve harsh punishments should be relatively be avoided because this leads to vengeance rather than reform.

Philosophy of Imprisonment

Borrowing meaning from the Law Dictionary (2016), imprisonment means restraining or putting an individual in confinement such that his liberty is subjugated. In this respect, imprisonment can be said to be a tool of crime deterrence going by the fact that is limits one’s movement and activities.

Arguably, the rationale for imprisonment as a form of punishment can be said to have stemmed from the belief that by subjecting a person to a place whereby their rights and freedoms were limited to a minimal level, then people would be careful not to commit crime because of the hardships that one would experience while in prison.

However, one can say that imprisonment only acts as a form of banishment of an individual. This is to say, prisons only act as means of putting an individual away from his ordinary life such that he is disassociated with the society. Hence, for imprisonment to reform an individual, an extra effort must be provided a failure to which the individual will only lack his privileges which may not be enough to deter future crimes.

Stuart Greenstreet (2017) argues that imprisonment does not serve its purpose of preventing crime. In his discourse, “Prison Doesn’t work” he asserts that the reason why prisoners even after being released are likely to commit crime is based on the fact that by putting together equal minded people that share similar criminal mindsets, the likelihood of having a worse crime is high because of the perception that jail is used as a way of punishing them.

Also, innocent persons may be subjected to imprisonment such that if they are not helped in having a changed mentality of a criminal justice system, then the likelihood of prisons remodeling such a person by just having them locked up can be equaled to a time bomb.

From a personal point of view, imprisonment only serves to confine people to a place whereby they can no longer commit the crime, but it is not effective in deterring the occurrence of future crimes. Imprisonment should be supported with other special programs that help prisoners have a different perception of prisons and importantly assist them on being integrated back to the society.

Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice largely emphasizes on the usage of alternative measures to solve crimes and social disorders. According to Walgrave (2013) restorative justice embraces the ideology that wrongdoers should be empowered to rehabilitate, reform and be reconciled back to the community. Seemingly, any form of crime causes harmto another as such focusing on repairing the harm in perceived to be vital in assisting the warring parties. United Nation’s office on drug and crime asserts that restorative justice seeks to put things right between conflicting parties while at the same time preventing occurrences of similar misconducts through the use of corrective strategies and programs.

Nevertheless, this concept has been purported as being too ambitious in a bid to restore ties between the victims of crime and the offenders, especially when compared with traditional models which emphasizes on the punishment of offenders for any crimes committed. However, restorative justice must be applauded for promoting values such as forgiveness, dialogue, accountability and fraternity (Arlene Gadreault, 2015). Evidently, the main aim of restorative justice is to give both the offenders and victims of crime a bigger role to play within the criminal justice system so as to yield positive outcomes and at the same time offer the necessary assistance to both parties.

Notably, restorative justice can be regarded as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism, which uses less punitive channels often in the form of diversion programs under various state agencies that are meant to aid the involved parties to resolve the previous conflict. Accordingly, restorative justice affords offenders with the opportunity to take responsibility for the harm or injuries caused to victims and consequently, make adequate compensation.   

Bentham project

Foremost, Bentham being a prominent law scholar that developed various law theories such as the utilitarian school of thought theory, it is then important to have a deep understanding of the message that he intended to put across through the use of his works. Thus, the Bentham project can be said to largely focus on Bentham’s writings and how they can be made relevant to the modern world’s activities.

The Bentham Project also can be said to focus on how to formulate basic codes of conduct within the society. For instance, the utilitarian theory of punishment can be said to follow the guidelines of Bentham’s utilitarian theory.

Lastly, this project is of great significance especially for learners to get to know the foundation and originality of various concepts that are applicable in today’s world. Having a deep understanding of the origin of things or events is important in assisting one to comprehend their significance in the society.


Arlene Gadreault (2015, January 7th). The Limits of Restorative Justice, School of Criminology,

Universite de Montreal, [online]. Retrieved from

FERRARO, F. (2013). Adjudication and expectations: Bentham on the role of the judges. Utilitas, 25(2), 140-160.


Flanders, C. (2014). Can retributivism be saved? Brigham Young University Law Review,

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UNITED NATIONS Office on Drugs and Crime (2016), ‘Handbook on Restorative Justice

Programmes’, Vienna. Retrieved from>06-56290_Ebook

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encounters: Extending theories of procedural justice. Tijdschrift Voor Criminology, 55(2), 229-233. Retrieved from

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Counter Terrorism in The United States of America

Counter Terrorism
Counter Terrorism

The various counter terrorism units in the country play an integral role in ensuring that the fight against terrorism is won. They are focussed on ensuring that not only the USA but the world in general is peaceful. A number of agencies are involved in the fight against terrorism in the USA but the focus of the paper will be centered on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The FBI serves as an intelligence and law enforcement agency and has its headquarters in Washington D.C. The agency was started in 1908 and has grown immensely to cover a wider range of responsibilities. It currently has over 35,104 employees that have a wide range of skills and knowledge that are essential in protecting the citizens of the USA from terrorism attack (Gulati, Raffaelli, and Rivkin, 2016).

Counter terrorism: Structure of FBI

            The FBI has a centralized organizational structure that ensures a seamless flow of information. The head of the agency is the director who works in close conjunction with the office of the General Counsel, chief of staff, inspection division. The next in line is the deputy director who works in close conjunction with the office of professional responsibility, office of equal employment, office of the public and congressional affairs.

The other units that are controlled directly by the director and deputy director are criminal justice information service division, tracking division, administrative services division, training division, information resource division, information resources division, national security division, criminal investigative division, laboratory division, finance division, investigative services division, and counter- terrorism division ( United States Federal Bureau of Investigations(FBI) Academy Handbook, 2014, p.89).

From an international perspective, the FBI has over 64 legats and smaller sub offices in various cities around the world. The presence of the agency is present in over 200 countries and they have been set up through a mutual understanding from the governments and the agency. Most of the offices are located within the U.S embassy or the consulate. Their main aim is to ensure that they share intelligence information that will benefit the country they are operating and the USA (International operations, 2017).

The agencies that they work with are Interpol, foreign police, CIA and other international organizations that safe guard the people. The interactions between the country they are hosted and the USA is based on the treaties, statues, executive orders and Attorney general guidelines that are agreed upon by all the agencies.

The Legat program goes further ahead to offer international intelligence training to the security agencies in the different countries that they operate. The training does provide an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the agency, USA and the countries they operate in. Moreover, it does provide an opportunity to consolidate the security of the entire world with respect to combating terrorism activities (International operations, 2017).

After the 9/11 attacks in the USA, the agency’s responsibility, intelligence work increased immensely to ensure efficiency in the operations to combat terrorism (McClintock, 2016). The counter terrorism division within the FBI is divided into four branches which are operations Branch 1, operations Branch II, analytical and operations support branch.

The Operations Branch I is further divided into two sections which are the international Terrorism Section I that does concentrate on al Qaeda activities on a regional and international basis. The second section concentrates on terrorism affiliated groups in Iraq/Syria/Libya, Palestinian rejectionist groups, Iran and Hezbollah, and other terrorist groups that are present in different parts of the globe (Anderson, 2010, p. 19).

The second branch, operations branch II, concentrates on weapons of mass destruction, terrorist financing operations, domestic terrorism and communications exploitation sections. The FBI does provide intelligence information on nuclear, radiological, biological, chemical or other weapons that are used by terrorist groups to clear a large number of people or cause extreme damage to the infrastructure of any nation. The second section, terrorist financing operations section, focuses on the investigating the funding of the terrorism groups and freezing their assets to decapitate their operations (Gulati et al., 2016).

The section does play a vital role in carrying out in depth investigation, prosecution, disruption and continuous demolishment of the terrorist activities that are tied down to fund-raising activities. The section has been further divided into four units to enhance efficiency, they are financial intelligence analysis, global extremist financial investigations, radical fundamentalist financial investigative, and domestic WMD, and global financial investigations unit (Gulati et al., 2016).

The third branch is the counter terrorism branch that deals with analysis and preparation of the intelligence reports.  The branch does serve as the clearing house for all the intelligence gathering and processing. The branch has five divisions which are activities, ideology, linkages, trade craft and terrorist group composition. The branch does identify intelligence assets, blind spots and gaps in the intelligence system, evaluating the threat levels within the country, and the source of funding for all the terror groups.

The most dangerous groups that the branch monitors are the Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas. Last but not least it does share the intelligence they have gathered with other security agencies in the country to consolidated their work efforts (FBI Counter terrorism Analysis Branch Jobs and Salary, 2017).

The last branch, operations support branch, does focus on handling a number of responsibilities that are essential in ensuring that the tactical personnel are able to operate efficiently in the various missions. They develop budgets, organize training programs for the units, formulate CTD strategies, and consolidate partnerships with external private entities in the intelligence security organizations (FBI Counterterrorism Operational Support Branch Jobs and Salary, 2017).

The branch has two divisions which are the national threat center and the counter terrorism operational response section. The division is the backbone of the FBI and does share intelligence information with the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Department of Homeland Security to counter terrorism. Moreover, the unit also shares information with the general public when it comes to counter terrorism programs.

Additionally, the branch oversees the FBI personnel who have been seconded to other security agency and finally it does work in close conjunction with the Department of Defense when it comes to coordinating operations (FBI Counterterrorism Operational Support Branch Jobs and Salary, 2017).

On the logistic perspective focuses on ensuring that the agency can be able to work effectively in their operations. The employees in the logistic centre work in construction, space management employee health and safety, telecommunications management, facilities operations, mail/freight management, and security electronics. The logistics of the team does go beyond consolidating the operations within the Washington D.C offices and the legate in different parts of the world (Our very own global logistics Service, 2017).

 Logistic aspect also does come into action when the FBI is engaged in field activities. The team that handles their logistics is referred to as the Rapid Deployment Logistic Unit (RDLU), the unit is the first respondents when the agency is called to handle an attack and it does constitute counter terrorism experts, communicators, medical staff, military liaisons, lab personnel among others. They also have the Crisis Advance Team (CAT) that does determine the number of specialist that are required to combat counter terrorism.

When the specialist responds to any attack the field specialists segregate areas to set up the command post, and other machines that will be essential in linking the operation to the FBI offices in the USA. The RDLU also does work in setting up temporary operation centers that provide the team with an opportunity of hosting major diplomatic meetings, international sports and other special events (Our very own global logistics Service, 2017).

On the financing aspects the agency does receive funds for operations mainly from the federal government. The president does provide the agency with the finances required to run the operations each financial year based on the budget prepared by the operational support branch of the FBI. The machinery and weapons used by the tactical team vary based on the mission that the agents are carrying out. As discussed, the unit has different agents handling varying issues with respect to countering terrorism (Operational Technology, 2017).

The one aspect that is clear is that the agency uses the latest technology in their role to combat terrorism in the USA and the world at large. The FBI has launched the operational technology division located in Virginia that does incorporate technology in the intelligence, law enforcement and national security aspect of the nation. Some of the specific areas that they focus on are advanced electronic surveillance and search, digital forensics, radio program, specialized support and coordination, tactical operations, technical personnel and defensive programs among others (Operational Technology, 2017).

In conclusion, counter terrorism is an issue that does affect everyone in the different parts of the world. The FBI is one of the agencies that our focus group concentrated on evaluating their organizational structure, size, the different responsibilities of the branches, the finances and the type of machinery that is used. The FBI is not the only agency that tackles terrorism issues, but it does play an effective role by collaborating with the internal and external agency to combat terrorism.


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Impact of changing nature of crime on criminology

changing nature of crime
changing nature of crime

Impact of changing nature of crime on criminology

The changing nature of crime has a significant impact on criminology, leading to more intriguing research on new aspects of crime.  As noted by Barlow & Kauzlarich, 2010: 18), criminology theories have established that the complexity of behaviors and criminal actions as explained in different criminological theories point to the fact that the nature of crime will continue to change.

The modern times are characterized by unique crimes including unusual cases of terrorism, larceny and cybercrime among others. Criminals have become more tactful and the advent of technology and crime-based films have further increased expertise in criminal activities. The need to address the changing nature of crime in a proactive manner is absolutely necessary and criminology must adjust to accommodate such developments.

Besides, there is need to investigate the impact of traditional forms of crime correction and punishment to establish its effectiveness in the wake of the changing nature of crime. Accordingly, criminology has been affected by the changing nature of crime and there is need to keep studying such crimes and ensure that they are amicably addressed. Criminology is tasked with the duty of studying crime and developing solutions; such that urgent research is required to address new aspects of crime.

The changing nature of crime could be a reflection that theories in criminology have been outdated and that new focus is needed in order to manage modern crime. New paradigms need to be explored in order to ensure enhanced crime management. In the case of terrorism for example, the field of criminology is tasked with determining the major motivations of crime and the possibility of preventing the attacks before they can happen.

Changing nature of crime: Terrorism

Recently, there has been a surge in the number of terrorist attacks in the form of lone shootings, an illustration that terrorism goes beyond the alleged question of religion where research has mostly been focused. The recent shootings in Las Vegas that left 59 people dead and nearly 500 injured on October 1, 2017 were perpetrated by a lone gunman whose motive of crime is yet to be identified.

Stephen Paddock as he has been identified planned the crime for a long time, purchasing guns and rounds of ammunition and booking hotel rooms that gave him a clear view of the venue (Yan & Karimi, 2017: 1). The attack raises questions on how such a crime could be executed under the tight security measures that the United States has taken against terrorism.

Paddock did not only purchase numerous guns and explosives but also managed to transport them in his car and into the hotel room without being flagged by security. It is possible if he managed to escape the scene as originally intended, he may have committed another crime such as a bombing, given the police found explosives in his car.

Paddock was mostly a private person and since no accomplice has been identified so far, finding the motive may require an investigation into his psychological health. Barlow & Kauzlarich (2010: 15) note that psychological causes have been linked to crime but its relation to terrorist attacks is still a new subject of study.

The changing nature of crime as far as terrorism is concerned needs to explore more theories than are currently being studied. This insinuates that criminology would have to change the direction of study towards investigating the impact of psychological issues and other factors as a trigger of terrorism (Corner, Gill & Mason, 2016; 561).


Barlow, H. D. & Kauzlarich, D. (2010). Explaining Crime: A Primer in Criminological Theory.

Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield.

Corner, E., Gill, P. & Mason, O. (2015). Mental Health Disorders and the Terrorist: A Research

Note Probing Selection Effects and Disorder Prevalence. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 39(6), 560-568.

Yan, H. & Karimi, F. (2017). Las Vegas killer had more explosives, 1,600 rounds of ammo in

car. Retrieved from https//

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