Procedural Justice System in the United States

Procedural justice unlike procedural due process is a psychological concept that influences the perceptions of procedures that are used to make decisions. Procedural justice system is the fairness employed in settling of dispute and allocation of resources. It is involved in the administration of justice and legal proceedings. It may as well be used in the informal resolution of conflicts or even divided benefits. It is concerned with the fairness and accountability of the processes which are involved in decision making. In the administration of the justice it is required that all the parties involved in the dispute are given a chance to be heard and this constitutes to what is commonly referred to as a fair trial. This paper keenly evaluates the procedural justice system in the United States of America.

In the mid 1980s procedural justice researchers focused primarily on the structural characteristics of formal decision making procedures and they paid  little attention to the interpersonal factors.(Walker et al, 1975) Empirical studies have shown that people will accept unfavorable judgments as long as they believe that their right to be heard was not violated. Employees feel more satisfied when their voices are able to be heard. (Greenberg et al, 2005) This would therefore mean that procedural justice strongly influences the legitimacy of the institutions processes. The concept of procedural justice therefore has many forms and is applicable in numerous cases. Procedural justice encompasses three distinctive concepts the perfect, the pure and the imperfect procedural justice. (John, 1971).

For the pure theory there are no criteria for the outcome besides the procedure itself.  In the perfect case there is a criterion for a fair trial and a procedure that guarantees a fair outcome. The imperfect has a criterion for a fair trial but not a method to guarantee a fair outcome. The theory of procedural justice is usually controversial with ranging views on what constitutes of a fair trial. These views fall under three families, the outcome model, the balancing model and the participation model. The outcome model is dependent on the fact that the process produces the correct outcome. The balancing model is based on the idea that there is a balance between the outcome it produces and the cost of producing it. The participation model is based on the fact that those who are affected are given an opportunity to participate in the making of the decision. For fair procedures a procedural justice must fulfill the following consistent, bias-suppression, representativeness, accuracy, accurability and ethical. (Edgar et al, 1988).

Similar judgments for similar cases independent of all the other factors will make the procedural justice to be more credible. Procedural justice has significant influences on the peoples attitude, values and cooperative behaviors. People want to maximize their control over decisions that determine their outcomes when interacting with others. (Tom  Steven, 2000). The procedural justice system requires that those who are affected by the decision have adequate access to the information that will be used to make the decision. The demerit is that explanations as to why a certain decision is taken usually happen after the decision has already been made. In procedural justice one also has the right to be represented and in so doing the procedural justice credibility is held up high. Procedural justice is differentially important depending on the context within which a decision is being made.

The procedural justice has not been without challenges with some people seeing it as a measure of status and they therefore use it to gauge how influential they are by the judgments they receive.(Tom  Steven, 2000). In essence people want control the outcome when there is a decision involving others that has to be made. Others want the chance to make their ideas known at such forums because they believe that they are given the opportunity to talk to those in high status.

The concept of procedural justice has become more popular with organizations that study the behaviors of their employees however the balancing test may lure an organization into expensive and unnecessary procedures in an effort to improve the employees perception of procedural justice.


Question one
The patterns that guide the lives of young people today affect the ways in which their behavior will be shaped. The relationships and interactions of these young individuals undergo a lot of transitions within the different stages of their lives. They tend to behave according to the pressures of their immediate environment such as the school, family and what their peers demands. These might lead them to behave in ways that are not socially accepted by their institutions. This delinquent behavior by the minors is known as juvenile delinquency.

In criminology, juvenile delinquency is understood to include all wrongs committed to the public by young individuals aged between 12 years to 17 years. In the US, it refers to the behavior of individuals who have not attained the maturity age and their behavior is not accepted by the formal institutions. Many theories have been put forward by sociologists in their attempts to explain juvenile delinquency. The approaches used vary from theory to theory. The main source of the factors that lead these individuals into behaving as described can be used to describe their cause (Siegel, 2002).

The differential association theory was put forward by Edwin Sunderland in his argument that individuals learn new and different attitudes, techniques and values through their interaction with others. Through the interaction juveniles learn how to commit crimes as they grow. The criminal behavior is learned by associating with both criminal and anti-criminal behavior patterns just as they are involved in other school learning activities. Their definitions of the accepted legal codes can be understood to be favorable or unfavorable and therefore if the juveniles believe that the legal codes are unfavorable, they will commit a crime (Felson, 1998).

The policy implications according to this theory are much easier if they occur in the school environment. Interaction and socialization with the different groups is the main cause of criminal behavior and therefore these gangs must be identified and kept away from the school children. Resocialization can be administered to those who are already caught up in it. Employment of intervention measures such as peer counseling, instilling personal and social skills through training and engaging them in school based programmes will help (Walklate, 2003).

Social control theories view juvenile delinquency as being caused by the absence or lack of social bonds that usually encourage individuals to adhere to the rules governing the institutions. These theories compare the relationships, values and cultural beliefs that prevent individuals from breaking the set rules and regulations with those forces that drive these individuals into committing such crimes. The theory specifies that delinquents can be influenced not participate in crime through their relationships with others, their values and norms.

This theory contains four control mechanisms that can be applied by educational institutions to reduce delinquent behaviors. This includes direct and indirect punishment to the offenders or rewards are awarded according to the act committed. The next is internalizing the notion that the individual will not engage in criminal acts and finally practicing control through satisfying the needs of the children in the hope that they will not engage in criminal activities (Clarke, 1995).

Rational choice theory and deterrence theory can also be used to explain why juveniles engage in criminal acts. Absolute deterrence can be used to determine the amount of successful prevention of crime as a result of the availability of a formal system that punishes those who commit crimes. General deterrence means that the students in an institution will stop committing crimes because they have witnessed others being punished as a result of committing the act. The rational choice theory specifies the rewards, costs and benefits that one will face by committing criminal acts (Tierney, 2006).

These learning institutions can design disciplinary measures that will be inflicted upon those who break the rules and also those who adhere to the rules and regulations must be rewarded. This will help in reducing the amount of delinquent behavior in schools. The measures include retribution whereby punishment is designed to fit the crime, using the scared straight program of the 1970s, specific deterrence and severity in the administration of punishment.
Question two
Today, criminals have resorted to engaging in violent acts using unlawful means. Terrorism can be motivated by a political social, economic or religious as part of the fulfillment of their interests these is achieved through acts such as assassinations, bombings and hijacking. A number of criminological theories can be used to explain the causes of such actions.

Criminological conflict theory can be used to determine the underlying causes of terrorist activities. It is based on the works of Karl Marx and Max Weber. Different parties in the society are in constant fights due to the existence of disparities brought about by the emergence of injustices as a result of economic deprivations. According to Merton (1993), these factors lead to the creation of emotional factors that bring about tensions between those who are economically advantaged and those who are economically disadvantaged. The resultant effects are power struggles in an attempt to control the source of the conflicting interest which in most cases is controlling the economic power. The less advantaged may resort to using illegal means such as terrorism in revenge for the denial of their interests.

This can be contained by determining the legitimization of norms and values, ensuring efficiency and accountability in public administration and also controlling the activities of different groups. The society should also ensure that there is no monopoly of power vested to certain individuals and all members of the society should be exposed to the same conditions. 

Strain theory states that citizens are encouraged to commit criminal acts as a result of social structures that exist in society.  It is majorly concerned with the structures within the society as being the cause of crime (Agnew, 1992). It follows the works of Emile Durkheim and has been advanced by a number of scholars including Robert Merton (1938), Cohen (1955), Agnew (1992) and Messner and Rosenfeld (1994. The strain is caused as result of frustrations and anger due to inability to achieve the expected socioeconomic goals. There are a number of ways used in the delivery of the deviant acts which include the use of innovation where they employ illegitimate criteria to achieve their economical gains. The other method is the conformity to an institutionalized framework of ritualistic beliefs such as suicide bombers. Another type of deviant behavior is seen in retreaters who turn against society and is mostly characterized in drug addicts. Finally, there are those who try to change the society and are rebellious to any form of development.

As it can be seen from the strain theory, the inequities and pressures that exist in society play a major part in leading people to engage in crime to fulfill their obligations of bridging the gaps that exist in society and also joining groups that are rebellious to the society. No individual is born as a criminal but they are just made to be criminals. Therefore to prevent the increase in terrorist activities, the society should identify the social factors that lead people to commit crime and put in place policy measures that will try to alleviate these stresses. The strain theory offers a structural as well as a functional explanation to the cause of crime and these can be combined in the identification and location of the processes, factors or events that might lead to crime (Agnew, 1992).

The psychological trait theory is concerned with all the mental factors that lead individuals to commit criminal acts. Their actions are studied over a wide range of traits including their personal characters, intelligence and how they learn. This theory is subdivided into sub theories which include the psychodynamic theory that was put forward y Sigmund Freud and studies the functions of the mind (the conscious, preconscious and unconscious) and how they interrelate towards the performance of actions (Walklate, 2003). The behavioral theory studies the human actions that are caused as a result of learning experiences in their daily lives. This is usually influenced by the media, environment and family. The final theory is the cognitive theory which focuses on the mental perception of individuals towards the world that surrounds them. This is seen in how they perceive the obeying of power through the avoidance of punishment. Individuals then become responsible for their actions and they extend their actions to others. The most important trait under this trait is the respect for human kind and is seen in the ways in which individuals apply their principles to justice, equality in society and respect to the lives of human beings.

Since the crimes are caused due to mental factors, distinguishing the variations of criminal responsibilities through the study of the factors that leads individuals to behave in a particular way will help in understanding the underlying psychological disorders. Their personality disorders should be addressed to reduce criminal activities.

Insider Trading and Transnational Crime

This paper discusses the extent of crime in insider trading and its implications in the era of globalisation. The important aspects that point the crime in insider trading are the company s intention while listing in the stock exchanges and the information being the asset of all investors instead of being the asset of a corporation only. Based on this, the paper argues about the necessity of legislations and definitions of insiders and information that are necessary to be revealed to all investors. The paper concludes that the definition of insider and information is important while framing the legislations, and making it mandatory to reveal information periodically can make monitoring that avoid insider trading easy.

As the paper is to analyse the extent of wrong and crime in insider trading, it is important to mention the way stock markets work in a brief manner before discussing the pros and cons of insider trading. Normally, the stock market has the shares that are issued and traded through exchanges. The shares traded over the counter also come under the ambit of the share market. Hence, it provides the companies listed in various exchanges with access to capital as well as investors. It offers the investors a slice of ownership of the company as the shares purchased by them are the part of the ownership. In this context, the market can be split into two important sections according to the understanding of the investors. The first one is primary market and the second one is secondary market. The primary market contains new issues from the companies which are first to offer and the subsequent trading of them will be done in the secondary market. Hence, in primary market, the shares are allotted to the investors depending on the order of applying as well as the volume of the invested amount. In secondary market, the shares are traded according to the dividends offered by companies and the security the share can offer for the investment of the investors. Hence, in the context of the above aspect, the value of the shares may rise and fall according to the demand for them in the secondary market. When the value of share of a particular company rises above expectations and even above its real value, the investors can gain by selling them. However, the important aspect in this context is to provide all the information about the shares to all investors to enable them to decide accordingly. However, in the above context, there exists the danger of insider trading, which can be done by concealing information to all the investors or by the owners or issuers acting swiftly to buy or sell them before the information reaches the common investors.

Role of Insider Information
In the context of insider information, it is relevant to discuss the disclosure of information by banks, where the asymmetries are present even after the disclosure. For example, a depositor who wants to deposit an amount in the bank should know about the security status of the bank. In the above context, the details that are related to the borrowings of the banks to borrower and the rate of interest charged are necessary for the investor. In the absence of that information, there is a chance of depositor being exploited. Similarly stock market investors as well as security analysts have much more information than depositors. This is because the investors collect information from the borrowers and are able to know about the current financial condition of the bank, hence, more chance to calculate about the bank failures. In this context, the article  Is the information produced in the stock market useful for depositors  explains the regional banks and Shinkin banks in Japan, which issue publicly traded stocks and nonprofit cooperatives. In this context, there exist asymmetries in Shinkin banks when compared to regional banks and the stock prices of regional banks will be useful to depositors to decide on Shinkin banks.

In this context, the benefits of insider trading arise and the investors of not having access to that come to the fore. In the first step, it is important to consider the contribution of insider trading to share prices. However, the crowding out of information to outside investors and thus limiting the gains available to them is against the equality and transparency principles underlined in the law, hence, deterring others from obtaining information benefits of the few persons who have the information and not disclosing it to others though they are actually supposed to do so. This is an information asymmetry. In addition, that the lack of information about a particular share may result in adverse selection problems for common investors, which is a result of inefficient corporate behaviour that is implemented intentionally. In this context,  Insider Trading Laws and Stock Price Informativeness  gives examples of stock prices being more informative after the enforcement of insider trading laws. In the above context, the authors explain that different types of informed market participants are capable of making different contributions.

Impact of Insider Trading
In the above context, it is important to discuss the impact of insider trading to decide its authenticity and reliability for a transparent trade and how it can be considered as fraud or crime. In the era of globalisation, if insider trading is a crime, it can be considered as transnational crime, which is the concept of this paper regarding insider trading. In the above context and

aspect, the article  An Economist s Perspective on the Insider Trading Debate and its Impact 
states that insider trading is the most recognisable and publicly known form of securities fraud. Though there are enough regulations to prohibit it, the absence of consensus is capable of weakening the case. The important point is that there is no rationale in law makers and administrations to prohibit the insider trading and that fact is just regulating the insider trading instead of prohibiting it openly. In the above context, Alexandre Padilla quotes popularity for prohibiting insider trading as United States Attorney in Manhattan Rudolph W. Giuliani got elected Mayor of New York later in career because he punished the white collar criminals mainly the people like Milken and Levine who resorted to insider trading.

In addition to the popularity for the attempts or actions to punish the people who resort to insider trading, the moral principle that all the investors should have equal opportunity regarding access to knowledge that decides the buying and selling of securities is important. Allowing insider trading is curbing the chances of lots of investors for the sake of few people who have access to information that is concealed intentionally instead of making it public, though it has to be done so. In addition to that, the article  Why to Commit The Crime From a Legal and Psychological Perspective  explains that insider trading is a crime that results in the wealthy getting wealthier and others not getting that chance and yet at times may face loss also due to insider trading activities. This amounts to cheating and greed that are difficult to deter, though they harm the profit of investors who do not give information regarding decisions on buying shares. Regarding the above aspect, we can find further explanation in insider trading with criminal causation theories. In this context, according to the opinion of the author of above mentioned article, insider trading is a crime limited to a particular kind of criminal but is not open to all the others. The criminal in the above perception is the one who has achieved financial and social success and comes under the ambit of rational choice causation model. Hence, in this context, the rational choice theory states that the criminal is violating social norms and is having psychological advantage than the investors who do not have access to the information.

Wrong in Insider Trading
Hence, in the context of insider trading, equal choice and transparency are important to avoid violating the rational choice offer for all the investors. In this context, we can find an answer in  What s wrong with insider dealing  about the insider trading that endangers the development of fair and orderly trade in the security markets. It is capable of weakening the confidence of investors thus having a long-term negative effect on the market as well as on the industry. Moreover, the after affects of insider trading that reduce the allocation capacity of financial markets and decrease its liquidity will be a cause for increasing the cost of capital. The last effect of increasing the capital hampers the growth of security market as well as all the industries that are sources for the security and stock market. Hence, insider trading is the one that does not gives sustainable effects for the market as well as the industry, which affects the benefits of investors  base that is not acceptable for any business.

Necessity of Prohibition
In addition to the above perceptions regarding insider trading, the legal arguments are there that converge to the view that insider trading should be banned by considering the insider information as the property of a corporation. In this context, we can resort to findings of article  Should Insider Trading be Prohibited when Share Repurchases are Allowed . It states that insider traders misappropriate the corporate property without having sole rights on them. Hence, the criminal nature in the insider trading can be understood when the information is termed as a corporate asset that is used by the firm. We can find another reason also to ban insider trading. The adverse selection of losses caused to investors in stock market due to firm s interim choice will exceed improvements on firm due to insider trading and that results in future lack of demand for the shares of the company. In addition to that, the lack of ban on insider trading will benefit only long-term share holders who have access to insider information, and new investors or the investors who invest on a short-term basis may face losses due to lack of information. Hence, if the insider trading has to be restricted, it is important to have laws and regulations that make compulsory divulging of information in a particular form and within a stipulated time. The form in which information is released should be accessible to all the investors and the time it is released should be decided in such a manner that it is not possible to resort to insider trading.

In addition to that, it is important to consider the victims and violators of laws that ban insider trading as stock trading is buying or selling publicly traded shares based on information. Hence, considering the above context, the insider trading can be considered as a crime. In this context, the question of victim in the acting of stock market insider trading comes to the fore as the opponents of laws banning the insider trading argue that there are no victims for insider trading and thus needs no ban. There is enough information about this in  Stock Market Insider Trading Victims, Violators and Remedies-Including an Analogy to Fraud in the Sale of a Used Car with a Generic Defect . The information in this article states that it is important to reveal or disclose the victims. In the context of insider trading, the specific victims can be shown as the persons who can perform better in the absence of insider trading. According to above discussion, we can understand that when we focus on the outstanding shares after insider purchase of stock, it is clear that the insider has more of that issue at public disclosure. As a result, someone outside is worse off due to the insider trade and can be considered as victim. Moreover, the worse is more when the transactions of the victims are induced by insider trade.

Legal Arguments
In the context mentioned above, the legal arguments for a ban on insider trading congregate to the point that inside information can be considered as a property of corporation. As a result, the insider trading is a theft as it uses the information supposed for all the share holders or stake holders with some people resorting to insider trading. In addition to that, the view regarding inside information as a corporate asset is important, but it cannot be supported as the corporate companies have a number of shareholders and stakeholders when they are listed in stock exchanges and the information can be only considered as the asset of all the investors to whom the market is open and not an asset of a corporation who wants to do insider trading without disclosing that information. Here, one can bring forth the point of listing the companies in stock exchange for trading its shares. After listing the shares in the stock exchange, the company is inviting the investments of all the investors depending on the demand of their share. When the company is making open its shares to all the investors to attract investments, it is its moral responsibility to share the companys specific information that is generated by the market conditions with all the investors.

When listing the company and sharing information comes to the fore,  Insider Trading and Stock Market Thirty Years Later  finds Henry Manne s argument that the enhancement of price by insider trading compensates the insiders as well as the issuer s stock price. However, the above argument can be nullified by the fact that when the insiders who trade without sharing the information and taking credit for the enhancement of the price, the question about their responsibility regarding the assurance for the price of share that it will not fall will arise. Without assurance that can avoid the fall of share, the question of taking the credit for enhancing the share price cannot be considered as reasonable and that it cannot support the aspect of insider trading. Regarding the above aspect, it is important to consider that the property rights are protected by default rules rather than by immutable rules. In addition to that, we have to consider price sensitive investors who bear the cost of allowing insiders to trade with an informational advantage. However, as this argument cannot prove that all the investors are capable of bearing the cost, it does not show enough logic or legal support to allow insider trading.

Disclosure of Information
After a substantial discussion over the pros and cons of insider trading, it is important to consider the importance of disclosure of information and then argue on insider trading. In this context, the article  Voluntary and compulsory information disclosed online  finds resort in signalling theory that considers the disclosure of information as a signal to capital markets. It has the capacity of decreasing the asymmetry of information available, or lack of disclosure of information results in asymmetry of information as investors will be in a state of confusion as to why some shares behave differently in circumstances. Hence, according to signal theory or the effect of disclosure of information on capital markets, insider trading is capable of confusing investors and may lead them to buying a lottery by buying shares instead of doing business. In other words, one can state that the lack of disclosure of information that is the essence of insider trading makes the investments of all the other ignorant investors equal to buying a lottery as they do not have information to decide on which share they can invest.

As part of the disclosure of information, it is important to examine the association of abnormal accruals in the wealth of executives of a company which changes with the stock price. In this context, we can find enough information about equity compensation that is designed to align executive and shareholder incentives in  Sensitivity or Executive Wealth to Stock Price, Corporate Governance and Earnings Management . By giving the executives partnership in the firm in the form of shares, it can be termed as insider trading if that information is not revealed to all the investors or if they are not able to access that information on public platforms. The above aspect finds ground in the argument that the allotment of shares to executives may result in increase of demand for the shares and thus the price may enhance. Hence, the revealing of information may help the investors to decide accordingly and thus in many cases, the revealing of information regarding shares helps investors to decide on buying and selling shares in different firms. Hence, it is important to assess the extent of the criminal nature of insider trading by linking its effects with stock-based compensation. As a result, it is important to reveal the extent of shares held by CEOs and other executives of the company as the investors can think about the activities of earnings management of CEOs while buying the shares of that particular company.

The next stage about the disclosure of information is about public announcements and investigating whether the information that prompts the insiders to insider trading should be publicly announced. Earlier in the discussion, the opinion that considers the information as the asset of all the investors but not only of the corporation has been expressed and supported with argument. According to that argument, the contribution of public announcements is enough to have an effect on stock exchanges in the form of market impact. In this context, the article  Public Announcement Induced Market Reactions on Baltic Stock Exchanges  explains the understanding of market reactions to different news. The opinion of Laidroo is that the information is important for investors to value the market and lack of its announcement may result in wrongly valuing it. In the above context, the duty of market regulators to regulate insider activities arises and the regulation are possible. By making a public announcement of all the information that helps the investors to value the market is important. Laidroo found that the empirical tests of capital market efficiency are accurate with the market-based accounting research. As it is clear that the lack of disclosure of information by corporate entities for the sake of insider trading may affect the accounting research of market, the announcement of information is necessary to avoid insider trading as well as to enable the market-based accounting research in stock market.

Consequences After Revealing Insider Information
After a detailed discussion, it is important to consider the abnormal consequences of insider trading. They are explained in article  Abnormal Performances after the Release of Insiders  Relevant Transactions . According to the argument in the article, the insider people trade for myriad reasons as they possess private information and it is important to understand that it is an exploitation of information as a difference exists between the administration of the company and the outside investors. The information asymmetry comes to the fore in the context of listed companies as they benefit and increase their share value according to the demand in the market, but cannot enhance the value with the insider information. The essence of the above argument is that if all listed companies do not reveal information, then it is not possible to trade shares in open market and the essence of the stock market will not exist. Hence, the authors consider the five principal areas for research on insider trading consequences. The first one is about legal matters and the second and third area is about influence of insider trading on stock price and vice versa. The fourth area is related to insider trading regulation and the fifth area is about the role of trading volumes that are correlated with stock price. Hence, in all the above five areas, insider trading is illegal as it is violating the open market rule and can enhance a specific stock price abnormally without the knowledge of the stakeholders of stock market. In the last stage, the correlation between the volume of the shares traded in the market and the price does not match as there is abnormal growth of value of stock price of a specific share. Hence, a regulation or a ban is necessary on insider trading.

Legislation for Regulation
As per the above discussion and analysis, it is important to support the fact of legislation to ban or avoid insider trading. The results of research mentioned in  Insider Trading Legislation and Corporate Governance  find that the results of implementation of legislation have some implications on insider trading. However, it is important to quote at this junction that instead of bringing a law to avoid insider trading if it is a crime, it is necessary to narrow the definition of insider information so that very little information can be used by insiders and a lot of information should be announced to all investors. The above aspect helps the administrations in checking the information revealed by firms in a timely manner and in that manner they can avoid the contexts that lead to insider trading, which is a much better enforcement of legislation.

As per the discussion and analysis in the paper, it can be understood that insider trading is a transnational crime in the era of globalisation as the investors in various stock exchanges come from different countries. In addition to that, insider trading favours only some insiders who have information that is necessary to reveal but they hide it for enhancing their share value after purchasing it for a lower value. As a result, the investors who are not informed will be at the receiving end and thus lose at the gain of insiders. The important fact that supports the argument that insider trading is a crime is that when the company is listed in a stock exchange, the company s shares use the market conditions to enhance their value. Hence, it is the responsibility of the company to reveal all the information so that the investors can decide about buying or selling the shares of the company. Hence, it is important to tackle the menace of insider trading. The tackling starts by defining the insider. In order to define the insider, we can take support from the article  Insider Dealing-Identifying and Tackling it . In this article, we can find the statement of the US Court of Appeals in SEC v Texas Gulf Sulphur Co. According to that, the insider is a person who has direct or indirect access to the information that is intended for personal purposes and not available to people who invest in stock market. Hence, when it is proved that a person bought or sold the securities with the information that is not available to all the investors but which needs to be revealed, then heshe can be considered as the one who resorted to insider trading. Hence, the above mentioned insider trading is contrary to public interest and legislations are necessary to take action against the people just mentioned above. The governments have to prohibit certain activities that are considered as insider trading and if any proof is available, action can be taken according to the prescribed law.

Police Discretion

Throughout the different countries in the world, there has been a renaissance interest in the work of police officers. In United States for example, allegations of police brutality and extreme use of power have captured public awareness and have become important topics of national concern. On the other hand, there is another portion of police occupation that, while not getting general public attention, has even bigger importance for society the implementation of police discretion in enforcing criminal laws. To be sure, many law enforcement judgments engage only limited choices for the police. For example, if a main crime such as murder or kidnapping is committed, the police act instantaneously to inspect, and if possible, to resolve the crime and make an arrest. However, for less significant, low visibility crime such as public intoxication and disorderly conduct, police response will vary (Kleinig, 1996, p. 173). Thus, even if the law may be violated and the violators are identified, an arrest may or may not be done if an officer may simply not take action or may summon an alternative preparation that is not officially authorized.

Organizational influences
It is widely recognized and acknowledged that police officers have great level of discretion and sovereignty from supervisory and organizational influences. Police officers are likely to work in seclusion, not essentially by preference but by the environment of the work itself, where there is no immediate supervision from their high ranking officer. Although police organizations give serious set of rules and guidelines to tag on, it is the duty of the officer to formulate on-the-spot judgments to resolve situations. Laws, orders and regulations are often unclear and inappropriate and do not offer much regulation for assessment making in the street. For example, the handling of juvenile problems always adds uncertainty to police work especially for minors (Groeneveld, 2005, p 67). In this case, police needs to manage the application of laws detailed to juveniles where they are at times taken care of as adults and other times not. In this situation, officers cause them to become shy away from managing juvenile problems and sometimes do not follow the direct orders from their high ranking officials.

Situational Characteristic
Understanding how situational factors explain or influence police discretion is complicated because of its interaction with environment and organization. For example, a police may conduct an arrest in a domestic disagreement. Thus, the question lies because of the situational characteristic arising from the occasion of the arrest. Moreover, as the perceived threat in the encounter increases, situational characteristics have a tendency to play a more outstanding and significant role. For example, an officer responding with a man with a gun call will be most subjective by the situational characteristic of the meeting. Is there an armed suspect Although, formal organizational rules and environmental factors may still play a part in decision making, but the relative influence of those factors will be mediated by situational characteristics. Thus, there are no hard and fast rules in interpreting the importance of a specific factor since police are always come up with a solution according to the situations.

Officer Characteristic
The characteristics of a police officer are also significant predictors of unrestricted decision making. It is likely that officer education, knowledge and understanding are important and plays a vital role in their discretion in arresting the criminals. However, in most cases, their actions are based on their personal characteristic. For example, one of the important characteristics of a police officer is base on their gender researchers from various countries found out that female officers are less likely to use force than male officers in making an arrest (Kleinig, 1996, p 34). Thus, they have greater capability in making the arrest in non-violent forms with citizens and to escalate potentially violent arrest situations. In this case, they are typically the target of a fewer citizens complaints instead of dealing with male officers (Brown, 1988, p. 45). Moreover, in some studies conducted, there are some evidenced that police officers who desired promotion tended to make the most arrests, especially if he or she knows that he should be promoted in a higher position. In this case, police characteristic is one of the most often debated issues in criminal justice.

Neighborhood or Community Influences
The last mode of police discretion is based on community or neighborhood influences. This is an approach that is influenced and governed by police officers that are dedicated to keep social order and organization. This type of influenced is common to an organization that is based on caste characteristics of a specific community. For instance, if the neighborhood or the community is in the higher class, the pace of arrests will lower than in a blue-collar community or society. This kind of policing may persuade an officers judgment because he or she is trying to stand by detailed rules and regulations. Another aspect that influences the police discretion is population variation. Thus, it is well recognized in the criminology literature that population strength typically results in greater familiarity among members of culture. Moreover, the company of particular minority groups shows to power police practices.

This argument, while designed to prevent attention from the real concern of governmental responsibility of police decision making, has enough worth to deserve closer examination. Consequently, the goal of this paper is to verify whether police as political personality, whose powers, duties and functions are bounded by state and federal constitutions, can implement sufficient power within the structure of those constitutions to extend specific rules and guidelines to manage arrest decisions. In addition to analyzing the pertinent state and federal constitutional provisions, it is vital to in the statutory basis of modern police agencies. Thus, the police officers of the law are obviously the most significant institution in choosing which laws will be enforced. But even assuming it is apparent that they have political and constitutional power to assume rule making, there is no assurance they will do so because of the influences they may encounter along their course of action such as organizational, situational, characteristic and neighborhood or community.  Their lack of action to control the exercise of arrest discretion is clear, and one must be overly optimistic about ant abrupt change. Thus, it is significant to scrutinize if there are other means to bring police discretion making in control.

Hot Spot Policing

The police department uses different strategies to solve problems that affect the society. This paper shall discuss the application of a police strategy to a neighbourhood problem. To achieve this, one neighbourhood problem shall be chosen and then an appropriate police strategy shall be used to solve the problem. To identify the police strategy that is most appropriate, the available literature concerning the problem shall be reviewed. Specifically the research that links the crime with the police strategies shall be considered. Then the best strategy shall be used in solving the problem. 

This paper shall discuss about selling of drugs in a street corner at Elizabeth Street in the Brisbane city. It is a major street in the city and is characterised by many retail outlets. There are also major shopping arcades, offices and hotels. The pedestrian access is easy due to the presence of many pathways like the one which is near the general post office. In this particular place, various drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and other illegal drugs are sold mostly in retail. Although most of the activities of the drug selling take place at night, there is still much that goes on during the day. The fact that the street is in the Central business district favours the drug dealers and the drug users due to increased accessibility. There are a lot of clubs and bars along the street and therefore a lot of customers are usually attracted to such places.

Hot spot policing strategy which has been used in solving most of the drug selling problems uses computer technology to illustrate the statistical trends of the criminal data.  The strategy assumes that crime is unevenly distributed and that is why it seeks to identify the areas where crime is concentrated and focus more in such areas. Once such an area is identified, police patrols can be increased to reduce a particular problem. According to the United States Department of Justice, a hot spot is an area that has greater than average number of criminal activities (Battin n.d).  To identify a hot spot, crime mapping technique that employs two methods namely statistical spatial analysis and spatial modelling is applied.  Identification and interpretation of a hot spot is very important because it prevents misallocation of police services. (U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2008).

Many researchers have tried to study the effectiveness of hot spot policing and have come up with different conclusions.  Studies of Braga (2007) revealed that although most of the scholars argue that hot spot policing leads to displacement of crime, the strategy does not have any effect on the same.  In this case, displacement of crime basically means repositioning of crime from one area to another due to enforcement practices. The same studies suggested that there is no evidence to confirm that hot spot policing leads to crime relocation.  Further studies of Braga (2007) affirm that use of hot spot policing contributes to the reduction of crime.  This can be illustrated by the fact that seven out of the nine experiments conducted were able to record a reduction of the crimes.  However, some scholars still believe that some literature was used incorrectly to understand the effectiveness of hot policing.

In yet another study by Bowers et al, the effectiveness of hot spot policing was investigated immediately after the onset of local theft incidences.  In the same place where the burglary had occurred, it was found out that the residents became more susceptible to burglaries two months latter. The study was able to conclude that use of crime mapping effectively at such instances can be very helpful since the residents can know when to alert the police in order to increase the patrol. Compared to the traditional police strategies, the technique of hot spot policing was found to have more effect (2004).

Gorr et al (2003) conducted a research to study the effectiveness of hot spot policing and crime mapping technology used by police departments.  The aim was to test whether crime mapping technology was effective in short term crime forecasting and whether the hot spot policing can effectively reduce crime. The results of the study indicated that the accuracy in predicting crime depends on the crime and the number of calls that are made for service.  The study found out that crime prediction was most effective when crime and calls for disorder were reported in advance. The study was able to conclude that hot spot policing and crime mapping were far much more effective that the initial traditional police strategies.

Hot spot policing can be used effectively in managing the issue of selling drugs in the Elizabeth Street if only the right procedure was used. Since this is a street, identifying the drug spot is not difficult since the place can be identified by the members of the public and the police fraternity. However, it would be important to use crime mapping technique to identify whether there are other spots along the same street or there is only one single spot. The data to be used in identifying and analysing the drug hot spot can be derived from arrests made and crime reports, emergency calls for service, community meetings among other sources (Battin n.d).
Following successful identification and analysis of the drug selling hot spot areas, the next step would be to use the police crackdown measure to alleviate and eliminate the problem. This measure is supposed to prevent the drug transactions. Increasing the arrests eventually makes the drug sellers and buyers uncomfortable. Enforcement strategies can be very effective at this stage only if they are timed properly. To increase the arrest, test purchase operations can still be carried out so as to arrest unsuspecting sellers and buyers.

At the later stages, increasing the police patrols in that particular street can be of much help.  This may not only help to increase the arrests but it is also supposed to make those who are involved in drug selling and buying aware that the area is being patrolled hence minimise their operations due to the fear of being arrested. Police can use their power to thoroughly search for the drugs in that particular street by conducting a police crackdown. As a result of a police crackdown in the street, drug selling and buying activities are supposed to drop rapidly and immediately.  The studies of Jacobson reveals that people involved in drug selling in London are usually very sensitive of police activities. Jacobson notes that people involved in drugs consider the presence of police as a risk factor and hence avoid locations under police patrols (1999).

Hot spot policing police strategy can be very effective in such a case but still some problems can emanate from the same and affect the effectiveness of the method. For instance, community may oppose the police enforcement acts if they feel that the police are targeting some ethnic groups or are biased towards a particular group of people. The police department also feel that enforcement strategies like frequent police crackdowns are very expensive and cannot be maintained for long. Moreover, if stopped, the same way they respond quickly to the police crackdown is the same way they can respond to reduced crackdowns and hence increase the drug operations (Jacobson 1999).

To prevent recurrent cases of drug in the street, place management technique should be used. Since police alone cannot help completely in wining the drug selling battle, other agencies that are usually referred to as the place managers can be used to help the police in their operations.  In this case, local businesses and the members of the public and local authorities can be used.  In order to put environmental measures in place, the police and the place managers need to identify the characteristics that make the place to be favourable for drug selling as well as other measures that can make the place to be unfavourable.

Since the analysis of Elizabeth Street illustrates that lack of surveillance, presence of potential customers and the availability facilitators are the main cause of drug selling, appropriate measures can be put in place to monitor and control these factors. Surveillance can be increased by increasing the number of police patrols and ensuring that members of the public and the local authority take part in the surveillance. The drug facilitators can also be removed. For instance, telephone booths can be placed in places where place managers can monitor the conversation. Clubs, bars and other places that attract potential customers should be reduced or greatly monitored. Prostitution should be controlled since various studies show that prostitution and drug selling are related (Edmunds et al 1996).

The paper has identified hot spot policing as the best police strategy that can be applied in solving the problem of selling illegal drugs at the Elizabeth Street. Various literatures regarding the same problem were reviewed. More specifically, the literature that was able to link the problem with the police strategies was used.  Since hot spot policing is the main strategy that has been used, crime mapping was used to identify the particular spot as well as the social and physical characteristics of the same.  Other enforcement strategies like the increased police patrols and police crackdowns were used.  The third party policing strategy has been used as a supporting strategy.  Although the issue of drug selling at Elizabeth Street may seem complicated, the effective application of the discussed police strategy has helped in solving the problem.

Learning Portfolio

During the semester, I have had to develop a unique study structure that was going to maximize the efficiency with which I utilized my study time. Before starting the course, I read the study handbook so that I could get a rough idea of what the course entailed and the nature of information I would be required to familiarize myself with. This enabled me to identify other relevant sources of information besides the books suggested in the recommended reading list. In the process of reading these materials, I took brief notes of the ideas and points that appeared noteworthy.

Being in a non-English speaking country, obtaining relevant books and other resource materials was somehow challenging. I learned to utilize the internet to get books and journal articles from electronic libraries and databases. I also had to subscribe to various journals so that I could get updated news about the course since I realized that criminology is a dynamic topic and it requires one to get case studies and briefs.

After the onset of the course, I had to develop effective study habits so that I could organize my time while staying on top of my work. I realized that in order to succeed, I had to make the right decisions about managing my time and resources. I had to give my studies the priority they deserve and I did not let friends or family dictate to me on what aspects of my life were more important than others. My concentration and grasping ability is at its peak during the morning hours, at quiet and cool surroundings which do not offer any distraction. I engaged in discussions and debates surrounding the course material since I know getting the perspective of my fellow students and their contributions on the points I might have missed is very important.

Concerning my assignments, I always make sure I have completed them on time and I review them before every class. I also co-relate assignment content and what is in my notes to ensure that I have completed them satisfactorily. I rely on my notes for this because they are very comprehensive since I review and update them after every class usually including paraphrasing content in my own words and including examples.

These study strategies I adopted during the semester are very effective, and after cross-checking with my fellow students and a collection of study guides available in the internet, I found out that they are still very relevant. Of course, I know there will always be ways of improving them as challenges mount. For example, I found out that I had actually misunderstood some concepts and ideas I had assumed I fully understood, so I need to liaise with my professor and study group more.

When I started this course, I did not have a clear understanding of what was really expected of me. I did not know if what I was doing was right or wrong, so I had to get the help of my fellow students, friends who had already graduated from the course and my professor to help me learn how to express my points and ideas. I always want to feel that I am living up to expectation, so I always seek feedback to help me identify areas I can improve on. I have formed a consistent effort to request my colleagues and supervisors so that I can refine my perspective regarding key concepts and ideas. In my attempt to be an all-rounder, I specify the kind of feedback I need from my colleagues, professors and supervisors at work. I do not just ask for a critique of the quality and quantity of effort I put in my studies or my work, but I also seek to find out other peoples perception of how effective or ineffective my interaction with other people and the system is. I also gave some of my essays to friends and colleagues to read and used their criticism and opinions to improve on my essay writing skills.

I feel that I can use the feedback I obtain regarding my study and work strategies and quality to improve by developing plans of action based on it on a regular basis. Feedback is effective only if it is involved in the review of strengths and weaknesses so that the actions taken can be specifically tailored to build on my strengths and work on my weaknesses. It is however important to note that feedback can only be genuine if the seeker also reciprocates by giving feedback to the people he or she seeks opinion from. Even though some people may not like getting feedback on their performance especially if it is negative, I try as much as possible to reciprocate by giving genuine feedback to those willing to acknowledge it so that I can receive an equal measure in return.

I would be honest if I say that this course has been an eye opener for me. Through planning my time to fulfill course requirements like attending to classes and completing my assignments in time, I have learnt to be more organized not only in class but in other spheres of my life. The need for efficiency made me engage in research in an attempt to identify better, faster and more effective reading styles, and I perfected these on this course. I have attained a better reading speed and I have become better in both written and spoken English.

Through research and preparation for writing my essays, I have improved on my writing skills a great deal. I have learnt several referencing styles and I could even take a chance at professional writing as of now. Criminology requires articulate presentation of ideas, facts and arguments and this course has increased my analytical skills and the depth of my thinking. In the past, I have sort of been what social scientists would call a right brain thinker. To me, an occurrence or a phenomenon was true or false, black or white. But the course has taught me to think from different perspectives. This has been a big change for me bearing in mind that I have been quite opinioned about criminology issues but I have learned to pay attention and get many sides to any event.

Starting university has had an enormous impact on my academic, personal and work life as well. Being a student and working at the same time is a challenge for many people. I work and study and since I realize that both are important to my life, I dont let one take the time of the other. I do not take time off to study or skip classes to work or because I worked late but I do take some hours off to catch up on my assignments and to engage in extracurricular activities to refresh my faculties and also to write my essay. As far as my private life is concerned, my academic engagements have made it necessary to study on most nights and weekends but the experience has been good since I have gained the ability to see things from an academic and professional angle and reason likewise.

This course has definitely induced a lot of changes in me. For starters, I have learned to be flexible to divergent thoughts and ideas, and since I have learned so much in the process, I have found out that some of the opinions I hold regarding other people and occurrences are not necessarily justified. With an increase in knowledge comes a change in heart, and the new ideas, concepts and facts I have learned have changed my opinion and attitude a great deal.

Since the beginning of this course, I have continually learned that there is so much information out there for me to absorb and apply in my essays, arguments and in my professional life. Information for real has the capacity to change someones beliefs. The more I am challenged, the more I have become aware of the need and the virtue of being able to tolerate the values, beliefs and attitudes of other people.

By virtue of the amount of literature I have had to cover, my attitude towards work has changed. Work, be it academic or professional, is no longer an obligation to me, but an opportunity to improve my vistas of knowledge and my capacity to interact with people, information and real life circumstances. In other words, the course has given me an opportunity to grow in character as a person.

Through the study of moral values as they apply in criminology and psychology, I have learned that morality is a very personal issue and that not a single person can rationally claim to have more superior values as compared to others. In as such, my attitude to people has changed a lot, and I am no longer quick to judge the actions of others without first establishing the motives behind their actions.
Creative and research and essay writing has taught me the importance of respecting intellectual property. I have come across so much written material in this course materials which have increased my knowledge base in ways I could not have imagined. It is a matter of fact that people somewhere took their time to do research, derive facts and write them down plus their relationship to and application in real life situations. It is not only responsible but also ethical therefore to respect their rights to their work by responsibly using these works. Responsible use of literary material is achieved by avoiding plagiarism. This entails proper use of resources and the application of correct referencing techniques to cite the contribution of existing literature in any produced essays or research papers. I had never done any referencing before, but the resources providing guidelines for referencing available at the university website helped me a lot in learning how to responsibly utilize literary materials without abusing intellectual property.

As I pointed out earlier, I did not know what was expected of me before actually joining this course. As the course progressed, I came to realize that it is actually a very interesting course. Even though it is quite challenging in terms of difficulty in comprehending some of the concepts taught, I do not regret taking it. The course has made me understand people better and have valuable insight on the motivations people have while committing some of the activities they commit. As I said earlier, I had to work as I undertook this course. The responsibilities could have been overwhelming for most people and their families, but the experience brought me closer to my wife who supported me throughout the duration of the course and has still continued to support me.

In terms of my professional experience, the course has opened up my mind and conscience. I have met a lot of interesting people and the experience has made me a better communicator, improving the relationship between me and my work colleagues. I am a very ambitious person and I want to continue growing professionally, that is why I decided to further my education in the first place. My ambition sometimes brings me at odds with my colleagues, but I have known how to effectively handle their aggressions. I hope that these skills are going to push me up the professional ladder, even though this is going to take some time considering the system of my place of work.

Crime Analysis and Investigation Discussion Board

Crime Analysis and Investigation Discussion Board
Geographic profiling is a method used by investigators to relate the pattern of crime incidents in geographic area. This serves as a way for police force to forecast and analyze the probability of serial crimes. It involves study on how people interact with each other in a daily basis relative to the time and place of interaction.

Crimes happened for reason and are mostly associated with deficiencies related to sociological and psychological factors. In Routine Activity Theory and contextual theory, with the consideration on variables like offender, target, and the absence of implementation of law, variables like time and place are those which must be analyzed to anticipate the recurrence of it in the future. When it comes to rational choice, the trend in decision making is accountable in drawing a pattern among peoples behavior. Another theory regarding Crime Pattern suggests that choice in spatial structure remains a determinant in criminal act regardless whether the offender is conscious about it or not(Rossmo, K.D. 2000. 111-116).

With the use of these theories and variables being considered, geographic profiling can deal to crack the pattern of similarities among criminal acts in a given area, community involved and its frequency. Based from ideas in environmental criminology, this methodology could preempt the seizure of crime opportunities that is highly dependent on regular actions and behavior of people.