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A Promise is Worth Keeping Katherine Denig

As a Criminal Justice major I see promises being made, they are made in the Constitution, by police officers, and by lawyers.

The promises that are made are: to protect and serve, to uphold the law, and to keep the community safe. In Laudato Si the promise is enacted onto everyone who reads it. That promise is to:

Protect the environment and preserve our culture.

As criminal justice majors we study the American Court system, American style policing and Criminology.

In Laudato Si, Pope Francis stated:

…land is not a commodity but rather a gift from God and from their ancestors who rest there, a sacred space with which they need to interact if they are to maintain their identity and values.

Now this quote reminds me of Miranda v. Arizona, in this case Ernesto Miranda was denied the right to counsel while in custody.

For more information about this case please see the blue button below.

So why does a quote about God's gift remind me of violated rights?

Simple, a criminal is given rights that are bestowed onto them by the Constitution and are delivered via Miranda Rights.

When rights are violated that were bestowed by the Constitution innocent and guilty people are being wrongfully accused and shuttled through the system.

This is only because an officer decided to do what they did. They used their discretion (even if it had a terrible outcome).

"I do or do I find another way?"

Discretion: where an officer has a means to act in such a way that fits the situation that (s)he is faced with.

Police officers are practicing their discretion everyday as they do their job, when they are out and about in the community. This is because police officers are more community-based.

This impact has a positive effect on the community, but there are times that is tested.

There is a quote in Laudato Si that deals with solidarity:

"Every violation of solidarity and civic friendship harms the environment."
The Blue Wall of Silence

This quote in Laudato Si reminds me of the Blue Wall of Silence. A wall that is figuratively placed by the police when officers protect one another from the outside and refuse to help other law enforcement.

Police officers rely on each other for support and friendship, but the community relies on the police for protection. So when this metaphorical wall goes up the community suffers from a dilemma that can result in friendships being broken or the loss of respect from the community.

…drug use in affluent societies creates a continual and growing demand for products imported from poorer regions, where behavior is corrupted, lives are destroyed, and the environment continues to deteriorate.

Above is quote from Laudato Si that talks about how poor communities are "making a living" by selling drugs to the richer communities. In Criminology we criminal justice students learn why crime is more prevalent in poorer communities. This quote can be associated with Robert Merton's Strain Theory (an American sociologist).

Strain Theory: A social structure holds the same goals to all its members, but when there is no way for everyone to equally achieve those goals crime begins.

When the goals of society cannot be reached the members then start to take things into their own hands to achieve them. This idea can relate to another of Merton's theories: Modes of Adaptation, where the response depends on the attitudes towards the culture goals and how to obtain them.

The 5 Modes of Adaptation:

  1. Conformity: where the individual will conform to the goals and achieve them.
  2. Innovation: where the individual accepts the cultural goals, but will choose their own way of achieving those goals.
  3. Ritualism: when the individual accepts that they cannot reach the cultural goals and will resign to the lifestyle that they have.
  4. Retreatism: when the individual gives up on the cultural goals and their internal goals.
  5. Rebellion: when the individual substitutes their own goals and means and rejects the cultural goals.

In the quote above, poor communities are deteriorating and the people who live that are not able to survive. In our Criminology and Environmental Criminology classes criminal justice majors learn about environmental criminology, this side of criminology deals with examining locations on where crime occurs and tries to explain crime patterns.

Broken Windows can invite crime.

Analysts are able to pin point where a crime is being committed and with that knowledge they can try and figure out ways to deter crime. One theory that is taught in our four years at the University of Scranton is Broken Windows Theory, when one window is broken in a poor neighborhood and no one fixes it, it becomes an invitation for: prostitute dens, drug dens, homeless shelters, etc. This theory is to have a mind set of: if someone cared about the surroundings of the community then the crime would go down.

We don't need to change the environment to make it fit what we want. We need to care for the environment that we help change the environment to fit its needs. And maybe while we are at it, we can change ourselves.
Created By
Katherine Denig
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Credits:

Created with images by jp26jp - "protest man outside scruffy hands up sign" • Anthony DELANOIX - "untitled image" • TheDigitalArtist - "handcuffs restrained justice" • Meditations - "ad announce announcement arrow auto automobile blue" • geralt - "justitia horizontal hands" • Spenser - "Laughing" • oscarwcastillo - "women mono holiday sunglasses silent pit silence" • xandtor - "Blue touch" • Wokandapix - "plan objective strategy" • vmedyk - "window building gloominess" • Imagine_Images - "walls urban reflection"

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