Does Legal Cynicism Truly Have An Impact On Crime Rates? Essay

1568 WordsDec 8, 20167 Pages
This research paper aims to answer the question: Does legal cynicism truly have an impact on crime rates? While legal cynicism is not a term that is often discussed in the media or the news, it is a concept that is quite relevant to the lives of many Americans. This is quite relevant in society today, as there is a great deal of conflict between police officers and the public in many communities across the country. This is essentially what legal cynicism is about. It is defined as the “widespread view that law enforcement is unresponsive, illegitimate, and ill equipped to ensure public safety” (King 2016). Unfortunately, there are many, many stories about conflicts between police officers and the general public seen on the news daily. While this is not a new concept to the people in the United States, legal cynicism is an important concept to be understood. Legal cynicism is an important facet of community violence. Because cynicism greatly affects an individual’s views towards law enforcement and authority, it is likely that legal cynicism will contribute to deviant and possibly unlawful behavior in communities throughout the country. Kirk and Papachristos argue that legal cynicism causes individual to view the legal system as illegitimate and in turn they are unable to rely on the justice system to feel safe in their communities (2011). Because individuals in these communities don’t trust law enforcement, if a conflict comes about and they feel as if the police are unable

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