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Tearing the tag off the mattress :Why over-criminalization is an escalating epidemic

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  1. Abstract.
  2. Introduction.
  3. History of over criminalization.
  4. Scale of over criminalization.
  5. Possible solutions for over criminalization.
  6. Recommended policy action.
  7. Conclusion.

Many law scholars and experts in the area of law and society can argue and disagree on many different issues. However, many can also agree on one thing and that is that the justice system suffers because of over criminalization. With outdated offenses, too many laws, and new crimes appearing, criminal law is expanding rapidly and is more than our justice system can handle. The worst thing is that criminal law keeps expanding rather than contracting and as a result American citizens receive harsh punishments for crimes that are not traditionally criminal and often fall in the category of ?victimless crimes.? Sometimes criminal intent is not required for committing these crimes which clearly goes against the legal code of our society. As a result, our jails are full, costing taxpayers billions. Also, millions of Americans are becoming white collar criminals.

[...] Conclusion Reasonably, the level of public compliance through reinforcement is needed in order to govern a nation with a high number of citizens. The reality is that it is very costly to attempt to investigate and prosecute all criminal offenses no matter how minor or how serious. That is why any compliance with the law is reliant on public conformity. In order to achieve public compliance with the law, the criminal process must be sensible, certain, and efficient. If the laws themselves are confusing and complex then citizens logically are not going to comply because of their frustrations with the poor design of the legal system. [...]

[...] She was handcuffed and hauled off to the Lee County Jail in the back of a police car. She was charged with a felony for weapons possessions and after nine hours in jail her parents had to bail her out. A week later the District Attorney dropped the case pointing out that law required proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Lindsay knew the knife was in the (?Criminalizing?, Paragraph 2003). This element of criminal intent saved Lindsay's college career, as she otherwise would have faced a possible five year prison sentence. [...]

[...] In 2004 there were 1,745,000 people were arrested for drug offenses in the United States out of 5 people are in jail or prison for nonviolent offenses were arrested solely for possession, and about 410,000 drug offenders are in jails and prisons in the U.S., a number that is way more than the entire population for prisons in 1980. To put our current numbers in retrospect in 1986 about 18 or every 100,000 American citizens were imprisoned for a drug offense. [...]

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