Timeline of Events
King John signs the Magna Carta in England, recognizing certain fundamental liberties and rights of landowners.
English and other European colonists begin settling the East Coast of North America, adapting the English common-law criminal justice system to the New World. One such adaptation is establishing the position of sheriff.
The colony of Virginia issues "Lawes Divine, Morall and Martiall" to maintain a strict control over the settlement's residents during its infancy.
A series of witchcraft trials occurs in Massachusetts, leading to the conviction and execution of several supposed witches.
Slave patrols are established in the southern colonies to monitor slave activities. Such patrols are considered a forerunner of policing.
The American Revolution (1775–83) erupts, driven partly by the colonists' desire to increase fairness and obtain legal...
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Words to Know
The process of resolving an issue through a court decision.
- Aggravated assault:
An attack by one person upon another with intent to inflict severe bodily injury, usually by using a weapon.
- AMBER Alert:
(America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response) A national communications network for alerting the public immediately after the abduction of a youth under eighteen years of age has been reported and when the child is considered in danger. The alerts bring in the assistance of the local public in spotting the missing child or his or her abductor.
Courts that do not hear original cases but review lower trial court decisions to determine if proper legal procedures were followed. Appeals are heard in front of a panel of judges without a jury.
A part of the criminal justice process during which the formal charges are read to the defendant. The defendant is advised of his...
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Research and Activity Ideas
The following research and activity ideas are intended to offer suggestions for complementing crime and punishment studies, to trigger additional ideas for enhancing learning, and to provide cross-disciplinary projects for Internet, library, and classroom use.
Crime Statistics: The following annual publications can be found either online or in the reference section of local libraries: the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR) yearly report (http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/ucr.htm) or the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), an ongoing study by the U.S. Bureau of the Census and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, an agency in the U.S. Department of Justice (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/cvict.htm). Divide the class into two groups and assign one statistic publication to each. Members of the groups should explore and analyze the statistics and report to the class on what they've found.
Three-Strikes Laws: As a class, research the three-strikes law in your state or a nearby state. Have a debate on the pros and cons of having such a law. Each student make a pro-con chart listing arguments for each side.
Neighborhood Watch Programs: Research neighborhood watch programs in your community. Students who live in a...
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Where to Learn More
Abadinsky, Howard. Drug Abuse: An Introduction. Chicago, IL: Nelson-Hall Publishers, 1997.
Acker, James R., Robert M. Bohm, and Charles S. Lanier, eds. America's Experiment with Capital Punishment: Reflections on the Past, Present, and Future of the Ultimate Penal Sanction. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 1998.
Anderson, Elijah. Streetwise: Race, Class and Change in an Urban Community. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1990.
Arrigo, Bruce A., ed. Social Justice, Criminal Justice. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1999.
Austern, David. The Crime Victims Handbook: Your Rights and Role in the Criminal Justice System. New York: Viking, 1987.
Bachman-Prehn, Ronet D. Death and Violence on the Reservation: Homicide, Violence, and Suicide in American Indian Populations. New York: Auburn House, 1992.
Baum, Lawrence. American Courts. 5th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001.
Belknap, Joanne. The Invisible Woman: Gender, Crime, and Justice. Toronto: Wadsworth Thomson Learning, 2001.
Benjamin, William P. African Americans in the Criminal Justice System. New York: Vantage Press, 1996.
Besharov, Douglas J....
(The entire section is 1255 words.)