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The Public 's Knowledge Of Justice And Crime

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The public’s knowledge of justice and crime as a whole is largely derived from the media. Let us think about this. How often do you come in direct contact with the police? For most Americans we would probably say one or two times a year. Of course, you have your 18 year old teenager who drives his fire red coupe too fast and may encounter law enforcement 7 to 10 times a year. Whatever the case may be, I think that we can all agree that hardly a single one of our encounters with the police have been for the betterment of us. I mean how many times has a police officer pulled you over and given you a twenty dollar bill? Every time we are being stopped we are being forced to hand over money to the state or whatever the case may be. This leaves a sour taste in our mouths. However, is that truly why so many of us seem to have all of this distrust in our law enforcement agencies? The answer is typically no. In this paper I will discuss why so many have this image of police in their heads that leads them to doubt the integrity of our police and distrust them. Our society as a whole is largely fascinated with crime and justice. Our newspapers, films, books, television broadcasts, and even our everyday conversations engage in crime talk. This, is in large part, is due to the mass media that we are around on an everyday basis. The public’s perception of criminals, victims, deviants, and law enforcement officials as a whole is largely determined by their portrayal in the mass media.
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