University of Phoenix
Survey of Justice and Security
February 16, 2015
Introduction It is essential to scrutinize the history of the United States and society as it developed in relationship to the ever-expanding population, to understand how crime, punishment, and policing in the United States has progressed and changed globally over time. Recognizing that a country is not an island that changes without cause and effect, is basic to explaining the ambiguity of the problem. It is important to explore the accounts of our neighbors across the pond; the roots of our origin will provide explanations. I will show the relationship of London and the United States in the early 1700’s until present and compare crime, punishment, and policing. The early events that forced England to dispatch criminals to the United States, and the resulting criminal environment that was developed. The examination of the English influence and of Sir Robert Peel and the London Metropolitan Police will provide a foundation for policing, and community policing, as we know today. I have organized the following in a chronological manner, bringing together the commonalities and differences.
Background Transportation as we know it today had a very different meaning attached to it back in 1619, and was a substitute for execution during Charles II’s reign. Officially recognized in 1717 under George III’s rule, known as the ‘Transportation Act’. The crimes that were punishable by hanging in 1788 included stealing sheep, clothes and anything worth more than 2 lbs. The accused may receive a death sentence and the judge could advise mercy, if the King agreed the sentence would be commuted to the ‘Transportation Act’. Accused were assigned to the ships master, which was sailing from Britain to the American colonies, where inevitably they were sold into slavery, and were used to work the plantations in Virginia and Maryland. In 1775 when the American Revolution broke out, the British ships were turned away from the ports ("Convicts To Australia", 2002) For the immigrants from both the convict voyages and those seeking religious asylum the cruelest city to be destined to settle in was Boston, Massachusetts. The greater part of the population topped the chart of 115,000 Anglo-Saxon’s. The city was experiencing a “social revolution” with 37,000 Irish Catholics, and nearly 100 convicts per month arriving from sea and land. Those that were able to find employment would work as stable boys, and ship workers, loading and unloading ships. The unfortunate men and boys unable to find work or education were found collectively housed in tiny rooms, and eventually found themselves begging on the streets and generally making a nuisance to the city of Boston accounting for an escalating 400 percent of crimes fueled by boredom and alcohol ("Gone To America", 2000). . New York was also a breeding ground for lawlessness between 1814 and 1834 crime quadrupled compared to the doubling of population. Theft, public drunkenness, prostitution and organized crime struck fear early into the community where the poverty was so widespread that children were seen outside businesses selling matches The annoyance over immigration soon became insignificant as issues of slavery added insult to injury when the Civil War broke out. With relations between the Irish immigrants and African Americans, clashing and competing against the freed slaves for jobs and housing the added frustration came to a boiling point. ("Gone To America", 2000). Americans sought to answer this question through religion, education, and social reform ("Digital History", 2014). During this conflict, Sir Robert Peel (Home Secretary of England) introduced the Bill for Improving the Police in 1829. His goal to create a police force to manage the social conflict. Sir Robert Peel is often referred to as the father of modern