Film, Law and Disorder in Philadelphia
This assignment is based on information from the film, Law and Disorder in Philadelphia. We will watch the video in class on Wednesday, February 26th but you may watch it again online: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VElPxhM0BpI. Treat the video material like lecture material.
This assignment focuses on the contemporary issue of police-community relationships (as depicted in Law and Disorder in Philadelphia) but will require you to apply knowledge from Weeks 6-8 readings and lectures.
I will be evaluating your ability to apply your knowledge of the topics covered in class to the topics presented in the film. In other words, you will need to be able to identify how specific examples from the film relate to (are similar to or different from) concepts from lecture, the textbook and class discussions. Successfully doing this will require that you demonstrate mastery and understanding of the course materials. In other words, you will need to explain in your own words any concepts that would not be understood by any educated reader who is not familiar with the topics at hand e.g., a friend who has not taken this class). The most successful assignments will accomplish the following:
• Thoroughly explain the relevant concepts from course materials – in your own words – DO NOT use direct quotations from the text.
• Make sure you address all parts of each question.
• For each question, make sure to talk about (at least briefly) at least ONE specific example from the film that illustrates the concept(s) at hand. Make clear the connections between the course content and the film. In other words, explain exactly how and why each example is an appropriate illustration of the concept(s).
• Make sure there are no places where relevant passages from the readings, lecture materials, and examples from the film could be referenced but are not.
• Use ONLY the course materials to answer the questions. DO NOT use any outside sources (e.g., Internet sites such as Wikipedia, Google).
• FULL DISCLOSURE: TRAE 1 will be screened by anti-plagiarism software capable of detecting plagiarized materials from Internet websites, academic books and articles, as well as current and past student work submitted to this institution and others. If you are seriously considering copying something off the Internet or from another student, please talk to me and we will discuss whether your situation warrants an extension. Please do not put me in the position of having to enforce the penalties for academic misconduct!
Please answer each of the following questions in 1-2 pages each or 5-6 pages, total (typed, double-spaced, 11 or 12 point font). You may use your book and/or reading notes but should not use outside sources (other than the supplemental links included on this sheet) or work with other students. Please do not use direct quotations from the book or supplemental links but rather paraphrase ideas in your own words.
1. What are the challenges or problems facing the areas depicted in the film with regards to crime and policing? In other words, what factors contribute to high crime rates in Philadelphia, as depicted in the film? Provide at least two specific examples from the film.
2. Describe the perspective the police have toward the community. In other words, what do most police officers believe about residents, as depicted in the film? How does this affect the ways that officers interact with community members? Provide at least two specific examples from the film.
3. Describe the perspective that community members have toward the police. In other words, why don’t many community members trust police? Why do many neighborhood residents refuse to talk to police (e.g., about crimes they may have witnessed)? Provide at least two specific examples from the film.
4. What are the goals of the police, as depicted in the film? Are these goals helped or hindered by their (the police) relationship with the community? The textbook discusses a community oriented approach to policing (see pages 227-231). Explain this perspective (in your own words) and take a position about whether a community-oriented policing style would be more effective (than the current methods depicted in the film) at solving and reducing crime in this community. Provide at least two specific examples from the film to support your position.
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