Week 09, Introduction to Criminology

Assignments for Week 9:

1.  Read Chapter 8, “Critical Criminology and Restorative Justice,” in your textbook. We will have Quiz #8 on this chapter this week. 

2.  Lecture: “Interpersonal Violence"

3.  Critical Thinking Questions for Group Discussion:

a. How would a conservative reply to a call for more restorative justice? How would a restorative justice advocate respond to a conservative call for more prisons?

b. Considering recent changes in American culture, how would power-control theorists explain recent drops in the U.S. crime rate? Can it be linked to changes in the structure of the American family?

c. Is conflict inevitable in all cultures? If not, what can be done to reduce the level of conflict in our own society?

d. If Marx were alive today, what would he think about the prosperity enjoyed by the working class in industrial societies? Might he alter his vision of the capitalist system?

e. Has religious conflict replaced class conflict as the most important issue facing modern society? Can anything be done to heal the rifts between people of different faiths?

f. An Ethical Dilemma––Consider the following fictional case: A student wants to discuss a personal matter. It seems that a few weeks ago she was at a party when she was sexually assaulted by a fellow student. The attack was quite traumatic, and she suffered both physical and emotional injury. The police were called and the boy charged with rape. Now that a few weeks have passed, she has been contacted by a local program that bills itself as a restorative treatment program. It seems that her attacker is now a client and wants to engage in some form of reconciliation. At an arranged meeting, he professes his regret for the attack and wishes to make amends. He and the program director have worked out a schedule in which the victim will be compensated for her pain and suffering in the amount of $5,000 in exchange for her agreeing to a recommendation to the prosecutor that the case be treated informally rather than going to trial. She doesn’t know what to do: she needs the money, having missed work after the attack, but at the same time is concerned that people will think she has accepted a bribe to withdraw the charges. What advice would you give to the student in this situation? How would you suggest that she respond to the program director? Do you consider the payment a bribe or restitution for an evil deed? Can restorative justice be used in a crime such as rape?


© Karen Donahue 2017