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Week 1: Journal

Week 1: Journal


Criminal justice professionals seek to serve citizens. This focus on service requires a more nuanced approach to understanding citizen problems. If in the past, the criminal justice system seemed to view crime as a simple either-or choice, contemporary society has highlighted the complexity behind the choices that citizens make. Understanding those choices requires empathy, which in turn requires understanding the viewpoints and biases all professionals bring to their fields—including your own. In this first Journal entry, you respond to a prompt that begins a process of reflection on your own positions.


In 1–2 paragraphs, respond to the following:

How much consideration should be given to a person’s background or life circumstances when decisions are made at critical points in the criminal justice system (e.g., decision to arrest, specific charges, decision to prosecute, sentencing, re-entry plan)?

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