Predicting Criminal Behavior

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There is no “cookie-cutter” format for predicting criminal behavior. Rehabilitation programs are used locally for probation resources as well as using them in the prison. Deterrence is the goal for preventing any future criminal behavior. The sanction of incarceration alone does not appear to affect any future criminal behavior. Andrews & Bonta (2010) have noted that incarceration using treatment along with incarceration have less recidivism rates. While an offender is on community supervision, there are often local resources utilized that are specific to everyone. Out-patient drug rehabilitation, group therapy, anger management, parenting classes, or any other type of local resources.

There are standard terms of probation for each offender and then there are terms tailored for each offender. Many of these terms are in place for specific deterrence. For example, offenders are not allowed to allowed to have associates on probation or prior incarceration. We know that many times offenders will re-offend while associating with other offenders. They share the same attitudes toward law enforcement, those attitudes are negative.

America has attempted the “get tough” and “nothing works” mantra since the rehabilitation era. As mentioned before, specific sanctions are placed on each offender. One specialized offender is the sex offender. Obviously, the goal is for the sex offender to not commit additional crime. Therefore, specialized treatment intervention has caused a less recidivism rate among sex offenders (Mancini & Budd, 2016).

Treatment for juveniles is also worth noting. Specifically, attempting to provide the appropriate treatment for the violent juvenile offender. The general juvenile offender is placed on juvenile probation. Local resources are required for each probationer. Treatment for the offender could be in the form of placement to receive specialized therapy. Juvenile offenders often have the same crimes as adults, but because of their maturity they must be treated differently. There is no jail-time initially. A formal risk and needs assessment is completed, and a supervision level and treatment setting are evaluated to decrease the risks of reoffending (Ryan, Hunter, & Murrie, 2012). There is difficulty for the parole officer, probation officer, and caseworker working for each individual offender and developing case plans and treatments explicitly for each offender.

Andrews, D., & Bonta, J. (2010). The psychology of criminal conduct (5th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

Mancini, C., & Budd, K. M. (2016). Is the public convinced that ‘nothing works?’: Predictors of treatment support for sex offenders among Americans. Crime & Delinquency, 62(6), 777-799. doi: 10.0044/0011128715597693

Ryan, E. P., Hunter, J. A., & Murrie, D. C. (2012). Juvenile sex offenders: A guide to evaluation and treatment for mental health professionals. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


What You Should Know about ‘Stop & Frisk’ and Your 4th Amendment Rights


‘Stop-and-frisk’ laws have made the news of late. Increasingly large numbers of people in New York and other cities (large and small) have been on the receiving end of this practice. What is stop and frisk? What is its relationship to the 4th Amendment? What does it mean when law enforcement jurisdictions utilize this technique? What are at some ramifications of this practice?

There are laws that have made media headlines as of late. The ‘stop-and-frisk’ is one of those laws. Large numbers of individuals encounter law enforcement daily across the country. Many of them have this law enforcement technique used toward them.

‘Stop-and-frisk’ laws are defined as having a three-step analysis (Samaha, 2014). First, it should be determined if the actions of the officer were a stop or a frisk. Second, it should be determined that if the officer’s actions were a reasonable stop or frisk. Third, if it is concluded that the officer’s actions were unreasonable, it should be resolved that any evidence obtained at that stop or frisk be excluded from any future legal proceedings against the defendant.

Understanding the three-step analysis will help in relevance of the 4th Amendment application. The 4th Amendment will not apply if the application was not a stop or frisk action. Furthermore, the 4th Amendment will not apply if the stop or frisk application is unreasonable. If it is determined that that the stop or frisk was reasonable any future legal proceedings against the defendant with evidence will be deemed excluded. Any evidence collected as a result, the stop-and-frisk must be held as a stop or frisk and reasonable.

Samaha (2014) also writes of two approaches when analyzing the 4th Amendment. First, the “reasonable clause” must be determined: citizens have the right to be secure in the persons, house, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. This shall not be violated. Second, the “warrant clause” issues that no warrants can be issued without sufficient probable cause supported by oath and describing the place to be searched and things to be seized outlined in such oath.

Searches and seizures may be considered reasonable and conducted by law enforcement. Two main challenges are ahead for a warrantless search and/or seizure. 1) It must be decided when a 4th Amendment warrant is required and 2) define the term “unreasonable.” In the case Terry v. Ohio (1968), reasonable suspicion was the standard law enforcement needed to meet to conduct a ‘stop-and-frisk’ action. The strategies utilized by law enforcement at that time allowed for the case to be revisited due to litigation accrued (Meares, 2014). The re-visitation of the Terry is debated by police that they are constrained by the legal restrictions to conduct their jobs efficiently, while other contentions view that the police have learned to utilize the 4th Amendment to a point of near violation (Gould & Matrofski, 2004). The utilization of ‘stop-and-frisk’ by law enforcement is essential for performance of duties.

There are also ramifications of utilizing the ‘stop-and-frisk’ practice. First, to limit law enforcement abuse of authority (Gould & Matrofski, 2004). There has been litigation against law enforcement agencies arguing such abuse of power. Second, reform has been called for because such abuse limits the goal achievement of community-oriented police practices.

In conclusion, consequences of practicing such techniques by law enforcement should be considered beforehand.


Gould, J. B., & Matrofski, S. D. (2004, July). Suspect searches: Assessing police behavior under the U.S. Constitution. Criminology & Public Policy, 3(3), 315-362.

Meares, T. L. (2014). The law and social science of stop and frisk. Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 10(1), 335-352.

Samaha, J. (2014). Criminal Procedure (9th ed.). Stamford, CT: Wadsworth.

Where is America?

I’m beginning to see liberal ideology and rhetoric as Liberal Democrats inciting inappropriate, damaging, and dangerous behavior among a youth that are self-absorbed, egotistical, self-entitled generation with no regard to the consequences to the rest of Americans or preserving the American culture. The motive is to obtain votes in order to be the leaders of this country to which nobody can interfere in the downfall of the Constitution. These individuals are brainwashing our youth into violence and intolerance while blaming a president they want out of office so they may continue their path of domination. I may not be alive to see the ending, but it will not be a good one. Nuclear attack, civil war, or attack from terrorist will be the finality. Liberal Democrats are making America the victim. All in the name of greed. #MAGA #liberals #democrats

The Backpack Crowd


The “Backpack Crowd” are attacking Trump supporters with threats and vulgar comments as if this is appropriate behavior. This youth that is being led by the radical liberal narrative are undermining the American culture. This ideology will crumble the United States, the Constitution, and erase the Declaration of Independence.

Travel Ban

This is a must to maintain national security. If border security isn’t a priority for Americans then this country will fall to enemies of the State. Stop fighting for your personal freedoms and not for America or you will eventually lose those freedoms altogether.

Operational Counterintelligence Strategy: Technology in Terrorism, Cyber Espionage, and the Role of the Social Media in Terrorism

There is a considerable threat against the United States. Van Cleave (2013) writes that the collection of targets is unknown. The United States are unaware of the indicators of terrorist activities that we should be watching. We must protect our secrets for cyber-attacks that are essential to the infrastructure; telecommunications, transportation, power generation, distribution, and banking. The threats are strategic; therefore, the counter must also be strategic. The threat must have an offensive response. Operations conducted by foreign intelligence are aggressive and technologically advanced. It is much more sophisticated and potentially more successful (Van Cleave, 2013).

While developing this strategy, it was important to address the use of technology in terrorism, cyber espionage used by China, and the role played by social media in terrorist events. The September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States by Al ’Qaeda forced government law enforcement and security agencies to realize the game of terrorism has changed significantly. The use of technology altered the way intelligence is used by terrorist. It also pressured the intelligence community (IC) to take notice the resources and reaches terrorism must inflict harm on Americans.

Cyber espionage, the theft of intellectual property, and theft of trade secrets; cyber espionage that is state-sponsored by China. There are four reasons for China to steal intellectual property from the United States according to James Lewis (Cyber espionage, 2013) in his testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. First, China is behind technologically with the United States and will steal the intellectual property in attempt to catch up and possible surpass the West. Second, China’s economic growth is essential for political control to remain. Third, there is no tradition of protecting intellectual property over the past 30 years. Finally, the loss of innovation is a concern for the Chinese and may only depend on stolen intellectual property. A strategy needs to be in place to prevent this from happening.

Social media plays a significant role today. When terror events occur, it is almost instantly on the internet. It has no boundaries initially and is posted for the masses. Social media is in the household and hands of anyone with a smart phone. The use of the social media during and after a terror event could hinder counterintelligence by showing the terror group responsible the reactions of civilians and tactics used by emergency personnel. Social media could allow terror organizations to change their planning and strategies.

Use of Technology in Terror Operations

The use of technology by terrorist organizations have advanced over the decades. Culminating with the attack on 9/11. That attack was the wakeup call for the intelligence community that there was a failure in the system. While soft-targets remain, the weapons used continues to be inferior and less sophisticated. A simple suicide bomber will suffice for operation success. The target on 9/11, the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, had years of strategies.

The resources used by Al ’Qaeda was a surprise in the fact they obtained the training for individuals to pilot a highly sophisticated plane and using it as the projectile. The abilities to acquire the proper paperwork to remain inside the United States, work, and find the appropriate pilot training without a red flag being raised. The strategies used by the terrorists to confiscate planes, in flight, and use the training to carry out their mission. The attack also showed first; the terrorists could attack on a massive scale of destruction. They selected their targets logistically and soundly. Second, they were able to use sophisticated technology. They were also able to use a passenger jet in a very effective way in accordance with the goals of their mission (Cornish, 2010). The tactically driven terrorists were guided by the dedication and commitment to the operation.

Terror groups must pay attention to defensive counterintelligence and the security matters in terms of entrance into the country. Doing so will keep the members from being apprehended. What makes the operations of keeping terrorists out of the country is the ability of the terror organizations to use offensive counterintelligence (Shultz & Beitler, 2004). Al ‘Qaeda has become well-rehearsed at using todays information technology such as email, fax, Internet, and cell phones. This allows the terrorist to communicate on a limitless level.

The offensive operational intelligence should take a greater initiative into vetting foreign students and immigrants. The intelligence gathered on many individuals that have terrorist ties should be placed on a list of dangerous people. This would disallow the entrance into the country. It will also place those individuals into a “watch” database that will continue to be monitored consistently. The ability for such people with intentions of creating chaos and death in the name of their religion should be stopped. Soon after inauguration, President Trump attempted to place a ban on incoming immigrants. This was met with great controversy and remains a topic of dissention to many. Using the powers of the Presidency has been an attempt to protect our country from immigrants that wish to do harm to our citizens. It remains a heated issue, yet it should be supported by the IC and law enforcement. Intelligence analysts must be able to decipher codes used in communications between Al ‘Qaeda and other terror organizations, including non-state actors. Decoding the encrypted communication will help with interpretation of imminent threats and irrelevant messages.


Cyberespionage is the theft of intellectual property. Financial institutions operate daily all over the world with the idea their information is secure. A proactive security stance helps with the security of knowing the information is safe. Covert operations also happen daily by entities all over the world. The individuals conducting these operations intend to embed themselves in the organizations and government institutions. They are conducting their own counterintelligence to exploit the vulnerabilities to gather intellectual secrets.

There are limitless boundaries for these types of operations. The often go without prosecution because there are few consequences. It is often difficult to gather the intelligence to know where the operation was initiated. Many countries know that it is taking place and support prosecution to the public. Inside the country they will continue to support the individuals conducting the espionage and utilizing any secrets gained by them.

If an organization continues to be a target they will fail to exist in the marketplace because of the inability to remain secure. The people engaged in such activity of stealing the intellectual property from organizations enter by using specialized malware, stolen email passwords, and stolen messages. This will allow them to enter any system they wish. There are no international standards to regulate the illegalities because many countries actively engage in the activities, and state supported.

There are four techniques used by those that wish to gain access to information of others:

The first thing that needs to be done is the selection of the target and research. Using internet search engines, social networks, and geographic locations it opens the target selection up worldwide. Second, they must exploit and infiltrate distributing malware and embedding field agents. Third, the must maintain access by converting network tunnels and wireless surveillance. Fourth, they must get out without being detected, or exfiltration. These techniques are well known to the hacker community and state-sponsored hackers.

The United States has often been the target for China. Not only do they attempt to steal financial secrets, but political and military secrets are also on their target list. The Federal Bureau of Investigations has opened an excess of China-related economic espionage cases since 9/11.  Prosecutors have declined all but two of those cases to trial for three reasons. Foryst (2010) lists those reasons to be 1) it is difficult to determine the value of stolen intellectual assets; 2) corporations are reluctant to publicize their losses; and 3) the media and does not treat espionage cases as newsworthy or career-enhancing.  China’s excursion into targeting the United States for economic espionage activities is greater than all other countries combined according to Lewis (Cyber espionage, 2013). China has chosen the United States as a target for its technology to increase its military capabilities; especially stealth technology.

The strategy used in this aspect should be defensive counterintelligence. We know the Chinese government is targeting systems throughout the United States. Strengthening the system to defend against targeting on specific technologies such as aerospace, materials, information technology, sensors, financial data and energy related information; Lewis (2013) continues by noting that semiconductors and solar energy have by principal targets. Wortzel (Cyber espionage, 2013) also raises viable option as utilizing the Deter Cyber Theft Act (S. 884). It is a bi-partisan bill that would allow the President to restrict the import of specific goods to protect intellectual property rights and DOD supply chains, and require further study of foreign industrial espionage. Cyber espionage cannot be allowed to continue and national security to remain at risk.

The Role of Social Media in Counter-Terrorism Operations

Social media plays a role in day-to-day lives of almost every individual on the planet. From grade school children to professional adults and amateurs alike. The Mumbai Terrorist Attack in 2008 is an example of the inaccuracies provided by social media. The tragedy that unfolded was broadcast live through India’s mainstream television media and live web streaming for almost 60 hours without any restraint (Oh, Agrawal, & Rao, 2013). The streaming created confusion and anxiety for citizens. A citizen also posted pictures on the photo sharing site, Flickr. A Twitter page was almost simultaneously created and linked to the Flickr site. It spread eyewitness accounts of the terrorist attacks with further texts, pictures, and links to other sources. It seemed to be producing accurate accounts of the events taking place. Many citizens believed in the accuracy of the social media. There were however many inaccuracies, confusion, and rumors that disseminated from the social media activity. This cause distrust with normally reliable new sources. Eventually, Twitter requested users only post direct observations.

The social media use during the Mumbai attack shows how easily in can be misinterpreted. An offensive approach to using social media against terrorism can be highly effective. Western democracies have made use of social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook in the ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) engagement (Aistrope, 2016). Narratives have been highly effective noting Muslim persecution abroad, religious duty, and the prospect of adventure. Online activity can be a viable option against radicalization. The Bush administration launched a War of the Ideas strategy. This strategy was aimed at winning the extensively long war with Al ‘Qaeda and removing the cultural drivers of terrorism, propaganda, and misinformation.

Associated with the War of Ideas are two other programs. To evaluate as offensive operations are the Counter Misinformation Team (CMT) and the Digital Outreach Team (DOT). The CMT is tasked with debunking propaganda and misinformation about the United States. The DOT was developed to engage directly with criticism of U.S. policy expressed on Islamic websites and social medial. The CMT was discontinued after the Bush administration, yet the DOT grew in prominence under the Obama administration.

The DOT is made up of ten civil servants that has its own Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and Twitter accounts. It mostly operates on social media discussion forums (Khatib, Dutton, & Thelwall, 2012). Providing facilities for joining the conversation, or Web 2.0 technology, and moving away from a simple broadcast format. Two-way communication is more effective using this operation. The sites are in Arabic, Persian, Farsi, and Urdu and discuss American foreign policy in the Middle East. Operators for the DOT all have three characteristics of distinction. First, they are all operators that are civil servants of Arabic, Persian, and South Asian decent who are native speakers of Arabic, Persian, and Urdu. Second, the operators are only allowed to use their real names, but they must identify themselves as employees of the State Department. Third, the employee team members post messages about American foreign policy on social media websites as opposed to government websites. Some respond to comments through individual messages (Khatib, Dutton, & Thelwall, 2012). The DOT is an attempt at public diplomacy by de-radicalization of those around the world that believe in the ideology of the United States being their enemy.

The use of the Internet is worldwide. Terror organizations have also grasped the idea of the amount of supporter’s social media can create. Terrorism is up-to-date on the modern technological advances of the Internet. They have created their own websites to promote their agenda and created a new generation of terrorists. The ease of access, limitless information, identity concealment, and the constant flow of information is unprecedented. The use of their social media is the same ideology that is in their attacks. The promote fear and want to use the fear tactic in swaying the beliefs of the citizens of America. To further their campaign, they use a type of psychological warfare against their enemies of the world (Weimann, 2004). The types of social media that terrorist use is not intended for the use of citizens around the world. Citizens that are pre-exposed to the terrorist’s lifestyle and agenda are targeted. Those that are sympathetic to the plight of the terrorist ideology are pursued.

Counterintelligence must remain focused and offensive in attempted to locate and shut down those websites. Although, that is not easily done because most of those websites originate in countries that support terrorism and goals. The United States IC must put forth the ingenuity and effort to track down the origins of the websites, operators of the websites, and those that frequent the websites. This in turn could lead to the identification of possible terrorists. It could also form a foundation to build cases against those that support terrorism and place them in the military sights for capture or elimination.

In conclusion, the use of technology in terrorism, cyber espionage, and social media’s role in terrorism are topics that need to be addressed by the United States. The offensive and defensive strategies that are attached to each in this paper are directions for the IC to focus on and continue the mission to secure our borders, protect our citizens, and not allow America to be vulnerable to those that wish to strike. The efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the presidency, and many others will continue to make the largest impact on the security of our nation.


Aistrope, T. (2016). Social media and counterterrorism strategy. Australian Journal of International Affairs, 70(2), 121-138.

Cornish, P. (2010). Technology, strategy and counterterrorism. International Affairs, 86(4), 875-888.

Cyber espionage and the theft of U.S. intellectual property and technology: Hearings before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, 113th Congress. (9 July 2013) (testimony by James A. Lewis).

Cyber espionage and the theft of U.S. intellectual property and technology: Hearings before the House of Representatives, Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, 113th Congress. (9 July 2013) (testimony of Larry M. Wortzel).

Foryst, C. A. (2010). Rethinking National Security Strategy Priorities. International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, 23(3), 399-425.

Khatib, L., Dutton, W., & Thelwall, M. (Summer 2012). Public diplomacy 2.0: A case study of the US Digital Outreach Team. The Middle East Journal, 66(3), 453-472.

Oh, O., Agrawal, M., & Rao, H. R. (June 2013). Community intelligence and social media services: A rumor theoretic analysis of tweets during social crisis. MIS Quarterly, 37(2), 407-426.

Shultz, Jr, R. H., & Beitler, R. M. (June 2004). Tactical Deception and Strategic Surprise in Al-Qai’da’s Operations. Middle East Review of International Affairs, 8(2), 56-79.

Van Cleave, M. (2013). WHAT IT TAKES: In defense of the NSA. World Affairs, 4, 57-64.

Weimann, G. (2004). [electronic resource] : how modern terrorism uses the

Internet / Gabriel Weimann. Washington, DC : U.S. Institute of Peace, [2004].

Reasons for Correctional Officer Turnover

The explanations for the correctional officer turnover rate has been attributed to many causes. Organizational commitment, supervision of inmates, and the investigations and monitoring of special populations and cause voluntary termination of employment. These causes are valid, yet it leaves correctional institutions short-staffed and under-trained on many occasions. This, in turn, puts staff and inmates in potentially dangerous situations given the offenders they are tasked to supervise and the environment. 

Corrections Officer Turnover 

There is a high rate of turnover for the correctional officer for many reasons. The correctional officer is a unique and dangerous occupation. It cannot be taken lightly by the employee due to the nature of the position. It involves a set of unique training and skills that only the correctional officer obtains through training, education, and experience. These individuals are hired because of these unique knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA). Even these things may not be enough on any given day of work. These are the front-line individuals and the most important asset for any correctional institution. A person may take apply for this job for several personal reasons, but they leave the job for only a few reasons.

The issue regarding voluntary turnover by employees has registered as high in some states as 77% in 2002 and 76% in 2003 (Ikwukananne, I., 2009). Certainly, the departure of employees causes a strain on the agencies monetarily and many other ways. Costs accrue for separation, learning, and other costs associated with separation. The KSA’s associated with persons varies: 45% of correctional officers who voluntarily left had a high school diploma, 34% had some college, 9% had some technical training, and 6% had a bachelor’s degree. The highest percentage of those who left voluntarily was 42% and they did so because of other job opportunities (Ikwukananne, 2009). Because better job opportunities with better salaries would be one issue why officers leave voluntarily, then correctional officer salaries must be to a standard to compete with other industries.

The correctional officer is tasked with supervising involuntary inmates in less-than-hospitable conditions. The primary responsibility is to confine these individuals against their will. These leads to physical injury and possible death for the correctional officer. The inmates are violent and sometimes mentally unstable. The correctional officer must be trained to deal with inmates that are in segregation, that are vulnerable to sexual assault, inmates that have mental and physical disabilities, and those with serious medical conditions (Deitch, 2009). Attempting to locate the individuals that are merit the costs of hiring with all the abilities to handle these types of inmates is difficult. There must be a prison administration comparable to goals of facility and agency. Administrators and advocates share these goals: 1) ensuring that prisons are safe for both inmates and staff; 2) treating prisoners respectfully and humanely; 3) preventing re-offending; and 4) meeting constitutional requirements (Deitch, p. 294). Using these goals and oversight, the special populations can be properly influenced.

 One specific job duty can include investigation and monitoring. These investigations are relevant in addressing these special populations. The investigation is an essential part of providing accountability for the inmate(s) involved. Monitoring is a preventative form of oversight, striving to prevent any future events. These inmates demand an amplified level of scrutiny. They are the ones most likely to be subjected to mistreatment or the ones whose needs are least likely to be met. This investigations and monitoring, along with general duties, could lead to a higher job stress level.

 To this point, these issues can lead to correctional officer turnover. They are job duties that are not necessarily listed on the job description. The main reason for correctional officer turnover is organizational commitment (Lambert, et al., 2007). A correctional officer must have this commitment to achieve high levels of success throughout their employment. Daly (2002) lists five groups of personnel that must be held accountable for organizational behavior: 1) the warden, assistant warden, security chief, and clinical supervisor for which responsibility for the enter prison facility exist. 2) majors, captains, lieutenants, counselors, supervisors, program supervisors carry out the orders which in turn help to maintain balance in the prison population. 3) security personnel carry out orders related to prisoner welfare. 4) technical personnel oversee and monitor certain aspects of facility operation. 5) the office staff and clerical assistants generally are applicable to any type of working organization.

 In conclusion, the reasons for correctional officer turnover vary from organizational commitment from administration to the correctional officer, as well as the difficult job duties assigned to the correctional officer. Finally, the correctional officer supervision, investigation, and monitoring of special populations within the prison cause significant strain on the officer.


Daly, W. C. (2002). Shades of gray in prison administration. Education, (3), 488.

Deitch, M. (2010). Special Populations and the Importance of Prison Oversight. American Journal of Criminal Law. 37(3). 291-315.

Ikwukananne, I. (2009). Correctional Officer Turnover: Of Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy And Herzberg’s Motivation Theory. Public Personnel Management. 38(2). 69-82.

Lambert, E., Hogan, N., Barton, S., Jiang, S., & Baker, D. (2008). The Impact of Punishment and Rehabilitation Views on Organizational Commitment Among Correctional Staff: A Preliminary Study. American Journal Of Criminal Justice, 33(1), 85-98. doi:10.1007/s12103-007-9026-7

Goals of Punishment

The United States correctional system has led itself to fall into five separate categories: incapacitation, retribution, deterrence, rehabilitation, and restitution. These categories do not completely measure up to an equal criminal justice system among all offenders. These are the purposes and the standard punishments. These objectives are taken as policy among our judicial system for the most part. There are agreements and disputes involved with each category. Some are standard practice and the correctional standard. The judicial system has an obligation to protect the rights of citizens, protect society freedoms, and human rights.

 There is a relationship between the goals of punishment and the correctional system. The relationship consists of ideas and theories that certain forms of punishment on an offender will turn the offender into a law-abiding citizen once release from prison. The judicial system seems to lean in the direction of incapacitation for the answer. Removing an individual from the community is worthwhile, but it does not protect the community for long periods of time in most cases. Legislation has taken some discretion from the courts with mandatory sentences. For the career criminal, there is no such thing as deterrence. That type of offender habitually continues to commit crimes throughout their lifetime.

 Our criminal justice system is not perfect by any means and there have been calls for criminal justice reform for decades. Attempting to impose these goals on offenders and follow the Constitution will always cause conflict. As a summary, these goals are the standard of punishment levied by our courts. I have taught this subjects for many years and I am always interested in hearing the opinions of the students.


 The most common goals of these punishments are incapacitation. Incapacitation prevents future crime by removing the defendant from society. Some examples include incarceration, house arrest, or execution pursuant to the death penalty. Incapacitation is a preventative measure by the criminal justice system and is the most popular form of punishment (Stefansovska & Jovanova, 2017). In some cases, some people are removed from society for a non-violent offense and this brings in debate about who should be incarcerated. The United States has severe overcrowding in the prisons. It is possible to concede that non-violent criminals remain on other forms of incapacitation to allow overcrowding to not be an issue. Prison should be reserved for the most dangerous criminals: violent, sex offender, capital offenders, and terrorists. Also, allowing violent criminals to be incarcerated will protect the public for a period. Once released, these offenders often fall to recidivism. Unfortunately, the recidivism is more violent and possible murderous.

 Mandatory sentencing has had a significant role in the populations within the prisons. The courts have no discretion when legislation has taken sentencing out of the hands of juries and judges. In crimes against persons the Victim Impact Statement allows the victims to express their feelings of grief and anger towards the offender. Allowing the victims to express their emotions openly in court is significant and possibly weighs on the incarceration time given by the court. I agree with allowing the victims to do this directly to the offender.


 Beginning with the first written laws of justice, the Code of Hammurabi, retribution has been a unique goal of punishment. Retribution brings the humanity and victim emotion to the surface. “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” allows victims and those associated with the victim to bring in a perspective of pure emotion. They are usually very angry at the situation and they want the offender to receive the most severe punishment allowed to exact revenge. Revenge is a dangerous emotion, but it is an emotion that is true to the victim and associates.

 Retribution is unique in that it offers offender atonement versus reduction of population outrage. The offender must receive the appropriate punishment they deserve. Sommers (2016) offers two components of culpability: (1) the severity of the wrong and (2) the blameworthiness of the offender. Citizens of infamous crimes in our society today often use the media to express the infuriation with the criminal justice system beginning with law enforcement. The observer perspective has no association with the victim as a family member or close friend, but as a member of the general population. They can be vocal towards their disgust in law enforcement. This vocal outspokenness often transforms into riots and more violent acts being committed. Thousands and possibly millions of dollars are lost expressing themselves for what they believe was miscarriage of justice.


 Deterrence is simply the omission of a criminal act because of the fear of sanctions or punishment. Brought forth by the theories presented by Cesare Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham, deterrence is an important brick in the foundation of criminal justice. The notion of specific deterrence (those that have committed previous crimes) and general deterrence (those that have not yet offended from committing crimes) is incorporated significantly in the basics of the criminal justice system. Community policing poses the attempt to use police visibility to promote would-be offenders to not commit. We know this to be true because if we are driving and we notice a police vehicle ahead of us, we instinctively let off the gas and possible tap on the break. In that aspect, deterrence works.

 Paternoster (2010) writes that community policing ideas have been brought forward with the use of police crackdowns and intensified surveillance in ‘hot spot’ areas. Jurisdictions have also attempted to increase deterrence through mandatory sentencing, sentencing enhancements, ‘three strikes’ laws, all in hopes of reducing the crime rate through deterrence. Based on my experience, training, and education I am of the belief that deterrence is weak. Its effect is very difficult to be measured, but with the recidivism rates as high as they are it shows no ground. Returning to Beccaria and Bentham, humans can make their own choices rationally.

 Incarceration comes with its own set of challenges: loss of freedom, the threat of violence from other inmates, limited contact from family, and other deprivations. Incarceration is a punishment. Crank and Brezina (n.d) offer that being in prison is not deterrence enough to decrease the recidivism rate. These authors use research data to conclude that previous inmates do not look as incarceration alone enough to keep them from going back to prison a second time. I have seen this attitude among both juveniles and adults when it comes to being incarcerated. A specific juvenile stated to me that going to prison is mandatory to maintain the love and support from his family. A specific adult offender noted to me that he would rather go to prison and do his time than to go to any other community resource such as a halfway house or electronic monitor.


 Rehabilitation has been around since the 1960s. Zebulon Brockway was dubbed ‘the father of rehabilitative ideal’ and a proponent of the indeterminate sentencing (Grasso, 2017). The idea of rehabilitation in prison is not a worthy outcast. When a person enters prison, they are submitted to world much different than normal society. They have become institutionalized and psychologically the inmate may be accustomed to the daily routine of the facility. This routine leads or accompanies a psychological side of the inmate. The routine can eventually make the inmate unable to subscribe to society norms, therefore placing them in the recidivism category.

 Reform of an offender does not seem to be the norm. This is based on the recidivism rate. Everyone admitted into the correctional system goes through a risk assessment. It does not matter if the inmate is juvenile, mentally disadvantaged, substance abuser, sex offender, or violent offender. This risk assessment allows the system to place an inmate in the proper facility along with the proper population.


 Restitution is the idea that the victim will be paid in full. Criminal restitution brings forth that as a victim the offender will ‘make whole’ from which the offender was damaged. Whether it be property or otherwise, the victim will receive reparation, or compensation, for their property, mental anguish, or physical anguish. At times, there is no regard towards the offender as to the Sixth Amendment or Eighth Amendment. Courts have asked questions: was there loss to the victim, what was the severity, and was there a weapon used. These questions are part of the risk assessment to ascertain the state of mind of the offender. The court wishes to make a victim whole economically, emotionally, and psychologically (Lollar, 2014). More often, the offender does not comply with this order of paying restitution monetarily. There are several times that an offender will be required to pay court fees and restitution. This also is usually not paid.

 In conclusion, the goals of punishment are not met in my opinion. There are always lags in the system that only play to the role of placing a convicted offender in a prison without regard to meeting the needs of the offender. Needs of the offender are not often met for benefit of keeping the community safe. The term ‘corrections’ is met to the maximum extent.


Crank, B., & Brezina, T. (n.d). “Prison Will Either Make Ya or Break Ya”: Punishment, Deterrence, and the Criminal Lifestyle. Deviant Behavior, 34(10), 782-802.

Grasso, A. (2017). Broken Beyond Repair: Rehabilitative Penology and American Political Development. Political Research Quarterly, 70(2), 394. doi:10.1177/1065912917695189

Lollar, C. E. (2014). What Is Criminal Restitution?. Iowa Law Review, 10093.

Paternoster, R. (2010). HOW MUCH DO WE REALLY KNOW ABOUT CRIMINAL DETERRENCE?. The Journal Of Criminal Law And Criminology (1973-), (3), 765.

Sommers, T. t. (2016). The Three Rs: Retribution, Revenge, and Reparation. Philosophia, 44(2), 327-342.

Stefanovska, V., & Jovanova, N. (2017). Deterrence and Incapacitation Effects of the Criminal

The Suicide Terrorist

Terrorism is nothing new to the world. American citizens have been the targets and victims of several acts of terrorism. I use the term suicide terrorist because the people involved in such an act do not use only bombs. Their weaponry selection is broad. Self-sacrifice is not a recent choice of weapon. Singh (2012) describes this as terrorcide. It is the end goal of a person to create as many victims as possible, to impose as much carnage as possible, and to kill themselves in the process. Victoroff (2005) states that two common elements are found in contemporary definitions: (1) that terrorism involves aggression against non-combatants and (2) that the terrorist action is not expected by its perpetrator to accomplish a political goal but instead to influence a target audience and change that audience’s behavior in a way that will serve the interests of the terrorist. There are several factors that can turn an individual that is willing and prepared to commit suicide for their cause. In America, it is difficult to understand anyone manipulating a child to the ways of jihad and willing to install the teachings to a child of radicalism. The most popular explanations of terrorism are psychological.

These individuals are in their religious beliefs that they are not only willing to die for it, but commit suicide for it in the conviction that martyrdom awaits them. Their misguided faith has lead them to the point of murder of innocent people to convey their agenda. Any individual would have to develop motives for their actions. If the actions by that individual are terroristic in nature, then research would have to develop theories as to why. There would need to be motivation for these behaviors. Borum (2007) states that there are four categories of motivations among terrorists: (1) the opportunity for action, (2) the need to belong, (3) the desire for social status, and (4) the acquisition of material reward. These categories fail to mention are the aspect of religion.

Insanity is not part of the individual and they are completely stable. The individual is not irrational and no mental illness can be attributed to their choices. Organizational elites seek to recruit those most capable of undertaking assigned tasks. Most tasks require an element of secrecy, calibrated violence, and technological know-how. Educated, psychologically healthy, and normal volunteers tend to be preferred for this reason (Corner & Gill, 2015). Recently the focus has been on Islam and the Muslim extremist individuals. Mostly young men that are isolated and they turn to extremism in search for identity, acceptance, and purpose. The radicalization process begins when they are teenagers looking for a cause and stronger Muslim identity and increasingly finding the answer in the ideology of radical Islam (Bizina & Gray, 2014, p. 74).

These are not mentally ill or drug addicted people to commit such acts. The profile of these individuals is early to mid-twenties and male. They have been taught and brainwashed in the religion since birth and follow their leaders to the end. The person is not induced or forced into such action, most are volunteers. Many have some form of training devoted to the suicide itself, such as the 9/11 pilots. A person of this nature may also be highly educated to perform actions in certain environments.

Terrorcide has become more destructive and violent. The predictability makes the suicide terrorist effective. Law enforcement and security have a much more difficult time being able to find a suicide terrorist. As mentioned previously, on 9/11 these terrorists used airplanes to kill thousands of Americans. In the process, they knew they would also die. The planning and goal setting for such an event took massive amounts of time and execution. Not only did one or a few terrorists commit this act, but 13 individuals had to obtain the proper paperwork, training, and internal logistics to execute such a massive terrorist event.

In recent years, the ‘lone wolf’ terrorist has become more prevalent. An event of this type requires less planning and execution. The targets are chosen more quickly and the logistics require less people. A ‘lone wolf’ terrorist choice of weaponry varies; an automobile, an airplane, guns (including military grade weapons), and the suicide bomb vest. Targets are chosen where there many victims so timing, location, and media coverage are important for the mission to be completed. The use of a vehicle of some type has become more frequent. Driving into crowds of people seems to be the choice of suicide terrorists recently.

At least one objective has been accomplished with terrorcide; societal fear. Members of society are mindful of terrorism and have become more cognizant of their surroundings. They take precautions against being a victim. Yet with people being alert and mindful, there is now way of knowing when a strike will be attempted. This element of surprise often keeps citizens from achieving the feeling of safety within their environments. They take personal protection and some believe that the government will protect them. From the standpoint of a single citizen, there is no real protections from a suicide terrorist. If they have the element of surprise, the objective of their mission is likely to succeed. Populations will need to show resilience in the aftermath of a terrorcide event. An event as such not only disrupts people, but countries. Their infrastructure may be damaged. Law enforcement and investigators are placed in even more danger and exposure to violence. Security at high-profile events and places where there are thousands of people, such as airports, are under extreme pressure to notice people and property that are out-of-place and possibly dangerous.


Bizina, M., & Gray, D. H. (2014). Radicalization of youth as a growing concern for counter-terrorism policy. Global Security Studies, 5(1), 72-79.

Borum, R. (2004). Psychology of terrorism. Tampa: University of South Florida.

Corner, E., & Gill, P. (2015). A false dichotomy? Mental illness and lone-actor terrorism. Law and Human Behavior, 39(1), 23-24.

Singh, R. N. (2012). Terrorism: Its global overview, explanations and prevention. New Delhi:


Victoroff, J. (2005). The mind of the terrorist: A review and critique of psychological approaches. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 49(1), 3-42.