Respond to this discussion

Discussion 1: The major criminal justice policy change I will examine is the Obergefell v Hodges ruling of 2015. Within it were considerations of due process and equal protection under the law provided in the Fourteenth Amendment. (Obergefell v Hodges syllabus, 2015) Horwitz (2014) details the Justice Departments changes in policy recognizing legal same-sex marriages, “The Justice Department will instruct all of its employees across the country, for the first time, to give lawful same-sex marriages sweeping equal protection under the law in every program it administers, from courthouse proceedings to prison visits to the compensation of surviving spouses of public safety officers.” According to Perone, Many benefits became legally available to same sex couples conferred by the state after the ruling. Benefits such as insurance coverage, inheritance rights, medical decision-making authority, tax exemptions, adoption rights, and infertility treatments to name a few. (Perone 2015) One effect on criminal justice operations was that the states could no longer refuse to recognize marriages legally performed in another state based on laws banning such marriages in their own state. Another effect on criminal justice operations was that same-sex couples could not be compelled to testify against their spouse in court of law. Also, a same-sex couple one of whom is incarcerated could now be furloughed to deal with a crisis in their married partner’s life. (Horwitz 2014) Formerly held marriage policies were based on that same sex marriages would somehow demean heterosexual marriages, or would not serve the basis of procreation, or could cause religious organizations to lose their tax-exempt status if they opposed the ruling. (Gwlr.org 2015) Has the public policy changed over time? Yes, absolutely it has. It was once the law of the land to only allow marriage by a religious definition of one man and one woman. Civil unions were acceptable in many states but could not be called marriage and did not confer the same rights and privileges as marriage. Most states had already legalized same sex marriages in their respective state before the Supreme Court decision in 2015. Well into the 20th century, many States condemned same-sex intimacy as immoral, and homosexuality was treated as an illness. This is an example of one criminal justice policy that changed over the years. I do believe the arguments were indeed addressed when the Obergefell v Hodges ruling became public policy. One legitimate objection was religious liberties to decline participation in a same sex marriage. This was addressed in the language of the majority opinion of the SCOTUS. (Obergefell v Hodges 2015)Discussion 2: The major criminal justice policy that I chose to examine is the U.S. Patriot Act of 2001. This policy was rapidly established as the result of the terroristic attacks of September 11 to protect our nations security by allowing federal agencies to investigate any possible terroristic threats toward the Unites States. “Congress was trying to pass laws that would ensure that America was safe from future attacks…” (Marion & Oliver, 2012)The U.S. Patriot Act has been seen by many groups as a “threat to civil liberties.” (Simone, 2009 p. 1) It is argued that the policy violates out right to privacy, free speech and human dignity. Despite the various campaigns against this policy the Departments of Justice has maintained that the Act is necessary to obtain intelligence and capture terrorist. Citizens have come to accept that state surveillance is necessary for this war on terror. “Some legal perspectives view the Patriot Act as a minor extension or clarification of existing surveillance law.” (Simone, 2009 p. 3)This policy has not seen many changes since it was established. “Several lawmakers now believe that the act failed to maintain a proper balance between protecting the American people from terrorism and preserving their freedom.” As a result, the Patriot Act is not under review and certain provisions in this act are open for questioning. “With enough awareness and support at the grass roots level, the legislators would be forced to do the right thing for the nation by repelling the controversial articles of the Patriot Act.” (Sunya, 2009. p.4)This U. S. Patriot Act “was the result of some very rapid hearings, proposals, and bills being put forth on homeland security.” (Marion & Oliver, 2012) The goal of the federal government was to protect our nations by any means necessary before any other attempt of terrorism was attempted. If congress would have carefully evaluated the Patriot Act I do not think that there would be any consideration of review or questioning if this policy. I believe they would consider the civil liberties of the citizens of this nation and fix any controversial articles with in the Patriot Act.Guided Response: Review your peers’ posts, and substantively respond in a meaningful way to at least two of your peers. Respond to at least one Instructor Response in the discussion. Your posts must analyze the policy using a different model as discussed by Marion and Oliver (2012). Using a different model, do you come to different conclusions? Do you come to different priorities? Do the goals of the policy change?
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GARBAGE CAN MODEL
In the early 1970s, several researchers attempted to present what they saw as being the model for h
ow policy is made and they provided what isperhaps one of the most imagefilled names for a policy model—
the “garbage can model.” What Cohen, March, and Olsen were trying to explain withthis imagery is t
hat like a garbage can, a lot of stuff goes into the policy process and what comes out is often just as
messy, if not messier, than whatgoes into the garbage can.12 In addition, they wanted to relay the fa
ct that nearly anything and everything goes into a garbage can and that the analogyworks well with t
he development of policy. Many of the policy participants put in requests based on their beliefs and t
heir ideologies. What getspassed by the legislatures is often difficult to understand, and this is why b
ureaucracies must act to define what the legislatures meant by the bills theypassed.
There was, however, some method to their silliness, namely, that they tried to explain that policymak
ing is really a process of “organized anarchies.”This comes as a result of three different factors: prob
lematic preferences, unclear technology, and fluid participation. The first, problematicpreferences, is
derived from the fact that people often fail to be very clear in their desires, and this translates into mu
ddled policy. The second issuethey addressed was unclear technology, meaning that those who ma
ke the policy often don’t understand how things really work and thus make policythat is not as worka
ble as it should be. Finally, fluid participation meant that the various participants described previously
come and go from theprocess without much consistency.
The garbage can model is perhaps best exemplified by the passage of the USA PATRIOT Act of 200
1, passed in the aftermath of the attacks on NewYork City and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001
. The USA PATRIOT Act, which actually stands for “Uniting and Strengthening America byProviding
Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism,” was the result of some very rapid h
earings, proposals, and bills being putforth on homeland security. After the September 11 attacks, C
ongress was trying to pass laws that would ensure that America was safe from futureattacks, but it w
as an organized anarchy because despite the urgency of the situation, Congress still went through th
e machinations to pass a bill. Yetthe outcome of the bill shows that there were many different though
ts about how best to protect America (problematic preferences), the makers of thepolicy did not cons
ider exactly how these policies would be implemented (unclear technologies), and while many of the
participants remained activethroughout the bill’s creation, many came and went from the process (flu
id participation). The result was a very large bill that targeted many diversesecurity issues, ranging fr
om money laundering by terrorists to increasing the investigatory powers of the government in terrori
smrelated crimes.What complicated the bill’s passage was the fact that a variety of agencies could utiliz
e the laws, but the one agency that would take the lead, theDepartment of Homeland Security, didn’t
even exist yet. It would seem that the garbage can model is a good policy model description for how
muchof our crime policy is created.
IRON TRIANGLES
One of the complaints with the garbage can model is the fact that it is not very specific as to how poli
cy is really created. It assumes that we simplyget a whole bunch of people together, and they’ll creat
e something. This also makes the assumption that all these people carry equal weight, but weknow t
hat is not true. That is why the concept of “iron triangles” might make more sense as a description of
the policy process. Iron triangles haveoften been called by a variety of names, including policy whirlp
ools, cozy little triangles, triple alliances, and power triads. Regardless of the name,the basics of this
policy model are the same, that there are three key players in the policy process who wield the most
weight and that this neverchanges. This is where the “iron” comes in, to denote never changing or n
ever bending.
The three key players in the iron triangles are executive bureaus, congressional committees, and int
erest groups.13 These do not appear to be the mostobvious policy participants, as public opinion as
a whole, the media, and the president tend to be excluded. Generally, when we think of the mostvisi
ble participants, it is these three we think of, not the bureaucracies, congressional committees, or int
erest groups. But what the iron triangles modelargues is that the reality behind policymaking is that t
hese three wield the most influence and that they are the policy participants who create mostpolicy.
The executive bureaucracies are the agencies that deal with the issue on a daily basis; hence, they
are in the best position to create new policy that hasa chance of actually working. In the case of crim
e, it is argued, the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation making crime polic
ymakes more sense than going with the public will or what several news reporters might advocate. T
he congressional committees are those thatactually control what bills are considered by the entire C
ongress, and they are the committees that actually draft the legislation. Despite the widevariety of in
put they may receive, their negotiations between the bureaucracies and the interest groups are reall
y what shape the policies they create.Finally, the interest groups have influence because of time, mo
ney, and power. Since the average American does not have the time or the money toinfluence mem
bers of Congress, they do not have a lot of power. But when they band together under an interest gr
oup that can work full time to lobbycongressional committee members to propose, draft, and push a
specific policy in their committees, these interest groups come to wield a lot of power.As a result, cri
me policy is derived from the machinations of these three entities.
One criminal justice example of the iron triangles in action in the creation of crime policy comes in a
Virginia law of 1995 that was aimed at making iteasier to obtain a concealedhandgun permit in that state.14 In early 1995, a confluence of the Virginia Department of Criminal Ju
stice Services, underthe direction of then Governor George Allen, began to look at changing state la
w related to the carrying of concealed weapons. At the time, judgeshad an enormous amount of disc
retion to determine who should be allowed to carry concealed, and the Allen administration wanted t
o make it lessarbitrary and more systematic. The National Rifle Association and the Law Enforceme
nt Alliance of America agreed with the proposed changes andworked with the legislative committees
to draft a new policy. The law was passed on April 6, 1995; signed into law by Governor Allen on Ma
y 5,1995; and went into effect on July 1, 1995. The iron triangle that formed around Virginia’s concea
ledhandgun policy changed the law that minimizedthe judges’ role in issuing permits, making it more op
en while at the same time disqualifying felons and those convicted of such crimes as drivingunder th
e influence or assault and battery as well as illegal immigrants and anyone under age twenty-one.
ISSUE NETWORKS
While the iron triangles might be more specific than the garbage can policy model, many have argue
d that it conveys too much of a backdoor andunderhanded method of creating policy and ignores the
other policy participants in the process. At a minimum, the critics argue, there is a greatamount of in
fluence placed on these “three sides of the triangle” that cannot be ignored. From a larger perspectiv
e, however, these other actors do playa significant role that is just as important as the three sides of
the triangle. This is why Hugh Heclo argued that the iron triangle concept is incompleteand that a mo
re accurate model should be the “issue networks model”.15
Issue networks simply makes the argument that when policy is being formulated, networks begin to f
orm around the policy issue. A network isessentially a systems approach to something that consists
of a number of interrelated parts. In the example of the USA PATRIOT Act cited previously,it is clear
that the public was mobilized because of September 11 and demanded something be done to fight t
errorism. The media were mobilized andcontinually reported on the issue. Congress gathered as ma
ny ideas from interest groups and the bureaucracies as possible to create the very extensiveact, and
there is no doubt that President Bush was energized to sign into law something that would demonstr
ate that the U.S. government was takingaction. According to Heclo, however, these networks form ar
ound a particular issue, meaning that the networks will not be the same from issue toissue. Crime po
licy will tend to consist of the same congressional committees, the same interest groups, and so on,
whereas another policy, such asenvironmental policy, will have a different network of policy actors p
articipating in that policy network.
ISSUE-ATTENTION CYCLES
During approximately the same time frame that the policy model issue networks was being advocate
d by Hugh Heclo, another key scholar in the fieldof public policy, Anthony Downs, was advocating th
at an “issueattention cycle” exists, explaining how issues become part of the public policyprocess.16 He argued
there were five stages that an issue tended to progress through. The first was the “preproblem stage
.” Here an issue exists, andsome interest groups, experts, or both may be very alarmed by the probl
em, but it has not gained widespread attention among the American people. Agood example is terror
ism in the 1990s. Americans were not overly concerned about terrorism, but they knew of the conce
pt. However, scholars and experts in the criminal justice and security fields were alarmed about the
prospect of increased terrorism. Therefore, while the scholars and expertswere concerned, the Amer
ican people were not.
The second stage is then “alarmed discovery and euphoric enthusiasm.” In this stage, a dramatic ev
ent or series of events brings the attention to theforefront of all the people, and they demand that so
mething be done. In the case of terrorism, September 11 was clearly a dramatic event thatgalvanize
d the American people to demand that something be done to fight terrorism and prevent future attac
ks. Downs does note that while peopledemand that the problem be solved, they also demand that it
be solved “without a fundamental reordering of society itself.”17 In other words, peopledo not want to
change their lifestyles, nor do they want to give up any rights, but they do want terrorism stopped.
The third stage is “realizing the cost of significant progress.” This stage is the point at which the euph
oria over the issue is gone. It is also the point atwhich people realize that the various policy solutions
proposed or implemented are going to cost an enormous amount of money, time, and resourcesand
that the costs of these measures may not be realistic. In the case of the post–
September 11 era, America is gradually coming to terms with thecosts of fighting terrorism, and the c
ost in taxpayer dollars, American lives, and resources may be more than most Americans are willing
to bear.
The fourth stage is the “gradual decline of intense public interest.” It is here that, in absence of any a
dditional dramatic events, people becomecomplacent and no longer demand change. People becom
e bored with the issue and lose interest, and therefore it is no longer at the forefront of theirconcerns.
In addition, it is most likely that another issue has diverted their attention and that the people have e
ntered the second stage with respect tothat other problem. Although it may be too soon to argue that
America has lost interest in the “war on terrorism,” many have voiced this concern,stating that most
Americans have become complacent as a result of no new attacks on American soil.
Finally, the fifth stage, according to Downs, is “the postproblem stage.” Here the problem is reduced
to something that no longer is on the public mindand is not actively being addressed. In some cases,
the problem is considered no longer a problem, or there is a belief that it has been solved. In otherc
ases, it no longer bears any relevance to most American people and therefore is no longer a proble
m. If it is considered a problem by the experts orinterest groups, then it could be said to exist in the fi
rst stage, where it would cycle back to the preproblem stage, and if given another dramatic event,the
policy would once again move through the issueattention cycle. One thing to note, however, is that Downs did not specify a time frame on eachstage
. As a result, some issues may move through the issueattention cycle very rapidly, say, over a summer, while others may move through the cycleover a gen
eration or two.
ADVOCACY COALITIONS
Although the policy model of issueattention cycles tells how things become issues and the policy model of issue networks takes all the
various policyparticipants into consideration in its model, they are not without their drawbacks. The is
sueattention cycles tell us not how issues get addressed butonly how they become issues. The issue ne
tworks convey the belief that the issue networks remain fixed within an issue area. In other words, th
eplayers may change from issue to issue, but the players within a specific issue remain fairly consta
nt. Sabatier attempted to address both these issues(and more) by expanding on the issue network c
oncept and detailing that not all issues are composed of the same participants.18 For example, allcri
me policy does not always include the National Rifle Association or the Judiciary Committee. Rather,
a policy on lowering the blood alcohol levelat which point someone is legally intoxicated from .10 to .
08 may actually consist of the interest group Mother’s Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) andthe Transp
ortation Committee, which can use its power to regulate transportation in the United States and its hi
ghway funding to achieve this policyas was actually done in 2001. Therefore, the policy model that S
abatier advocates is known as the “advocacy coalition.” The idea here is that eachtime a policy issue
arises, likeminded policy actors (or policy entrepreneurs as they are often called) will come together to form a c
oalition toadvocate change.
As Sabatier and JenkinsSmith explain, the concept of advocacy coalitions takes a broader stance by synthesizing much of th
e past literature asrepresented in the previous models.19 They articulate three key factors to consid
er when discussing advocacy coalitions: (1) there are competingadvocacy coalitions, and these actor
s come from both public and private institutions as well as all levels of government and share a basic
belief abouthow the world should be ordered; (2) there are changes that occur over time that lie outs
ide the policy issue, specifically, social, political, andeconomic factors, that can redefine the issues; a
nd (3) that there are some facets of the policy process that remain constant, specifically, the process
bywhich issues are addressed, otherwise known as the public policy process (described later in this
chapter).
A criminal justice example that may serve well is in the policy area of domestic violence. Police resp
onse to domestic violence prior to the 1970s wasgenerally very limited, and any abuse within a marri
age was often treated as a “family matter” and not a “police matter.” A mixture of the civil rightsand w
omen’s movements of the 1960s and 1970s brought this issue to the forefront of American social iss
ues and moved it into the political realm,where a variety of advocates began demanding policy chan
ge. The changes in this particular area were outside the policy process, but it wasultimately the polic
y process that would began creating new laws in the area of domestic violence. By the early 1980s,
most states had domesticviolence laws on the books, and by the mid1990s, all states had passed the proarrest policy where police officers may arrest when there are visi
blesigns of abuse and file charges on behalf of the state. This alleviated the necessity of having the
abused victim file the charges, which usually ended upbeing dropped at a later date.
POLICY STREAMS
If the biggest criticism of the advocacy coalition model was that it was too difficult to apply to the real
world, the biggest criticism of the next policymodel is that it was too simplistic. Yet in a way, this is al
so its appeal. John Kingdon, in his awardwinning book Agendas, Alternatives, and PublicPolicies, laid out his policy model, which consists of
policy streams and policy windows.20 Kingdon uses the imagery of streams flowing through theland,
setting their own course, and traveling at their own pace. Eventually, streams converge and travel to
gether for a while before eventually splittingoff on their own again. According to Kingdon, it is when t
he three streams come together that a window of opportunity opens for policy change, andthis is ho
w policies move through the public policy process.
The three streams that Kingdon refers to are the problem stream, the political stream, and the policy
stream. Kingdon argues that there are oftenproblems that exist, but unless various political actors ca
n mobilize the general public to get behind the problem or unless there is a major galvanizingevent, t
he problem will remain an issue for only a select few and not become a public policy issue. In the se
cond stream, the political stream, Kingdonexplains that there are a number of political actors that are
constantly addressing a variety of issues both inside and outside government. Inside thegovernment
, he argues that the key player is the president, along with his staff and political appointees. In additi
on, there are the bureaucrats who aretasked with addressing specific policy areas. Moreover, there i
s Congress, specifically Congress members, their staffs, and the committees. Outsidegovernment, h
e argues that there are the interest groups, academics, researchers, consultants, the media, political
parties, and public opinion, all withvarious stakes in particular issues. Finally, the policy stream cons
ists of the ideas that can actually become bona fide policy solutions and that, giventhe opportunity, c
an be passed by Congress and signed into law by the president.
The success of a specific issue becoming bona fide policy is the window of opportunity. Kingdon arg
ues that when these three streams converge (theproblem, political, and policy streams), there is a wi
ndow of opportunity in which policy can be passed and made law. If one of these streams ismissing,
there is no window of opportunity. If the policy stream has a solution to terrorism and the political stre
am is behind it but there is noSeptember 11, there is little chance the policy will become legislation. I
f, however, there is a September 11 (the problem stream), the various politicalactors are galvanized f
or action (the political stream), and there exists some solutions to the problem (the policy stream), th
e window of opportunityhas opened up, and legislation can be passed, as we witnessed with the US
A PATRIOT Act, which passed within a month of the attacks on Americansoil.
PUNCTUATED EQUILIBRIUM
One last public policy model is that of punctuated equilibrium as articulated by Baumgartner and Jon
es in their book Agendas and Instability inAmerican Politics.21 Their concept isn’t so much a new pu
blic policy model as a clarification of other models that details how items move into thepublic policy p
rocess. Nearly all the policy models …
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