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The formal criminal justice system plays only a very minor role in achieving social control and regulation. Examine this statement in relation to the methods and strategies employed to control and regulate both those who may be considered a threat o

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Introduction

'The formal criminal justice system plays only a very minor role in achieving social control and regulation'. Examine this statement in relation to the methods and strategies employed to control and regulate both those who may be considered a threat of offending and ordinary members of society. The formal criminal justice system has a range of different methods which are employed to help prevent certain members of society from engaging in deviant activity. One area that has been focused on recently is terrorism. The terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001 and of July 7th 2005, as well as the emergence of new threats such as cyber-terrorism, have lead to a number of new acts and policies being introduced that aim to prevent terrorism (Newburn, 2007, pp. 873-874). Acts, such as the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005, provide the state with new powers that can be used to control terrorism suspects. This essay will look at the different ways that the criminal justice system attempts to control offenders, with particular attention being paid to suspects of terrorism. It will look at how effective these methods of social control are as well as how they affect members of the general public. ...read more.

Middle

They support this action as they believe real terrorists pose a threat when control orders are used as they can abscond (Liberty, 2011). The review of control orders found that out of the 48 people issued with control orders, 7 absconded (HM Government, 2011), therefore undermining their effectiveness. Another method of social control that can be exercised by the state is the ability to detain anyone suspected of terrorism without charge for a limited amount of time. The Criminal Justice Act 2003 stated that terror suspects could be detained for 14 days without charge but it was proposed in the Terrorism Act 2006 that this be increased to 90 days, with a letter from Andy Hayman of the Metropolitan Police being sent to the Home Office supporting this (Hayman, 2005). The bill was rejected by the House of Commons because of the proposal of detaining suspects for up to 90 days. The bill was therefore amended to allow suspects to be detained for up to 28 days instead, which passed through the Commons (Crossman, 2008, p. 16). The Labour government was seen to have very little evidence that an extension of this power was necessary (Crossman, 2008, p. ...read more.

Conclusion

and that there is little evidence that CCTV cameras result in a reduction in crime (Coleman & McCahill, 2011, p. 170). When assessing the roles of the criminal justice system in achieving social control, it can be argued that's its role is minor. The executive seems to be able to exert more control through the use of powers such as asset-freezing and the use of control orders. The CJS still maintains some methods of social control such as the police's power of stop and search and police CCTV schemes; however debate surrounds the way that these powers are used as well as the effectiveness of them. The involvement of private corporations within the field of surveillance can be viewed with scepticism due to the profit driven nature of corporations and issues surrounding data privacy. Overall, all these methods of control infringe on the rights and civil liberties of members of the public; however the duty of the state and CJS to protect the public must also be taken into account. The formal CJS also seems to play less of a role in social regulation than the executive however it does still have influential powers such as the ability to detain suspects of terror for 14 days without charge. ...read more.

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