Matching Items (5)

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Government by Disposal: How Social Construction Theory and Inmate Mortality Demonstrate American Political and Moral Hypocrisy

Description

Ample research proves the American criminal justice system to be a mechanism for the unjust incarceration of hundreds of thousands of non-violent offenders. Less studied is the fact that thousands of these prisoners die agonizing and ugly deaths in custody

Ample research proves the American criminal justice system to be a mechanism for the unjust incarceration of hundreds of thousands of non-violent offenders. Less studied is the fact that thousands of these prisoners die agonizing and ugly deaths in custody each year at the discretion of government officials and public awareness is noticeably lacking. American government is complicit in the expedited premature death of thousands of federal and state inmates thanks to general prisoner anonymity, sociocultural constructs that invite condescension between individuals, and a morally repressive political system. The following analysis regarding the negligent mood underpinning inmate mortality issues attempts to draw connections between American sociological constructs along economic, political, and cultural lines. The priority of this thesis is to detail how such a stunning trend of maleficence has been able to go unchecked for decades, and what this says about American moral and political culture. Social construction theory will be used as a foundation to understanding how subscription to the ideals of American social hierarchies dictates political coercion and consent, and the manner in which this allowed for the emergence of mass incarceration. Further, political alignment and corresponding criminal justice positions will be scrutinized for moral authenticity and juxtaposed to traditional moral interpretations of the U.S. Constitution for ideological consistency. By doing so, I explore how moral and political hypocrisy has led to American moral atrophy, in turn facilitating the ongoing inmate health care crisis, through the sublimation of political values to financial priorities. I also discuss the resolutions for the inmate health crisis through a retroactive, legislative draw-down of incarcerated populations in order to free up budgets and reduce health care provider backlogs. In order to promote the utilitarian benefit of America's perception as a global beacon of freedom and personal liberty, the release of non-violent prisoners is advocated for under the pretense of mending the deep divides along class and racial lines that permeate American society. Finally, I will argue for the reinterpretation of penal philosophy to retreat from methods of incarceration and deterrence. I will attempt to persuade corrections officials to go further than simple rehabilitation and aim for complete redemption of inmates in the eyes of society, in part through the use of biblical overtones. The intended result will entail the eventual bowing of the arc of the moral universe back towards justice and even beyond towards redemption.

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2017-05

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111 Steps to the Steel Door: A Movement Exploration of the Journey from Death Row to the Death Chamber

Description

Today's prison industrial complex in the United States often dehumanizes inmates simply because they are criminals. Members of the free society are generally too far removed from the inside of prisons that most people do not see the harsh and

Today's prison industrial complex in the United States often dehumanizes inmates simply because they are criminals. Members of the free society are generally too far removed from the inside of prisons that most people do not see the harsh and cruel conditions for and treatment of prisoners. As a Dance and Justice Studies major at Arizona State University, I was curious about how to intertwine my interests in dance and justice. This paper chronicles my exploration of adding a human rights issue to my dance practice through choreographing a solo dance performance based on Cleve Foster's unusual experience on death row. Research on theories of prison and punishment in American society combined with physical research in the dance studio enabled me to create a solo performance that shed light on the inhumane conditions for and treatment of prison inmates in today's society. Through the process, I found that some elements of my dance practice stayed the same, while others changed. This informed me of what continuously remains important to me, while allowing me to expand my personal dance practice. I ultimately discovered a bridge between my two passions, dance and justice, and learned a meaningful way to convey a contemporary social justice issue to the general public.

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Date Created
2015-05

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Evolutionary Social Psychology, Social Dominance Theory, and Implicit Bias in the Criminal Justice System: An Interdisciplinary Insight into Mass Incarceration

Description

The United States has become home to the largest incarcerated population in the world, containing 25% of the world's prisoners (NAACP, 2013). Within this population, young men of color appear to be severely overrepresented. This phenomenon can be better understood

The United States has become home to the largest incarcerated population in the world, containing 25% of the world's prisoners (NAACP, 2013). Within this population, young men of color appear to be severely overrepresented. This phenomenon can be better understood with the aid of a multi-disciplinary approach within the social sciences. Evolutionary theory is combined with multiple psychological and sociological perspectives, in order to more deeply understand the multi-level intersection of prejudice and discrimination against society's disadvantaged or vulnerable populations. A synthesis of the multiple theoretical angles of social dominance theory, affordance management, and life history theory is used to suggest a threat-based, attributional framework for understanding punitive decision-making and policy support. This conceptualization also considers the importance of the legal system in effecting social change. Future research within the legal arena is recommended to enable a more refined understanding of punitive ideology and implicit bias within the criminal justice system.

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Date Created
2014-05

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Research is a pebble in my shoe: considerations for research from a Pueblo Indian standpoint

Description

The overarching purpose of my dissertation is to offer one Pueblo perspective about research and health education to contribute to critical dialogue among Pueblo people so that relevant research and health education approaches grounded in Pueblo thinking can emerge. Research

The overarching purpose of my dissertation is to offer one Pueblo perspective about research and health education to contribute to critical dialogue among Pueblo people so that relevant research and health education approaches grounded in Pueblo thinking can emerge. Research was a pebble in my shoe that caused me great discomfort as I walked within academia during the many years I worked as a health educator at a university, and continues to bother me. The purpose of my journal article is to discuss why much mainstream research is problematic from a Pueblo Indian standpoint and to explore considerations for research with Pueblo people. The purpose of my book chapter is to reflect on my experiences as a Pueblo Indian health educator to add to the discussion about the importance of grounding Pueblo health education in local Pueblo knowledge systems and to discuss the limitations of delivering health education primarily grounded in a western biomedical disease model. Finally, my policy brief is an urgent call to action for tribal leaders regarding a recent change to the New Mexico Department of Health's race and ethnicity presentation in health data standard. This change resulted in 39,636 American Indians and Alaska Natives in New Mexico being reclassified as Hispanic. It is my intention to connect my ideas about research and health education with the work of other Pueblo scholars to add to the growing body of Pueblo informed writing to contribute to current and future scholarship that will ultimately benefit Pueblo people.

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Date Created
2015

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An Examination of Aggravating Jury Instructions in Arizona

Description

This project consisted of a review of the jury instructions used in the aggravating phase of death penalty cases in Arizona. Originally the project was looking for deviations between the definitions used for the F(6) aggravator (especially cruel, heinous, or

This project consisted of a review of the jury instructions used in the aggravating phase of death penalty cases in Arizona. Originally the project was looking for deviations between the definitions used for the F(6) aggravator (especially cruel, heinous, or depraved), but when none were found the focus shifted towards competing points within the instructions. Which begs the question of which instructions are being valued more than others, and how can we ensure jurors have the competency to accurately understand all the instructions given to them.

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Date Created
2022-05