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Criminal Justice

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Over the past forty years, criminal justice has gone from a vocational oriented discipline to one that is rich, diverse, and truly academic. Now, in the United States alone, there are over one thousand departments offering baccalaureate degrees in criminal justice. The nineteen sixties and seventies played a large role in the evolution of criminal justice education. In the following paper I will explore what caused these huge changes and how they contributed to what we now call the educational discipline of criminal justice.

Some of the major contributing factors for this change occurred during the nineteen sixties and seventies. During this time, the Vietnam War was very controversial to society. This caused many people to rise up and protest the war with little to no regard for law enforcement. Assassinations of President Kennedy and Civil Rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. only added to their lack of respect for the law. In fact, this created even more tension between racial groups, only adding to the growing violence that was now plaguing the United States. Also, in the nineteen sixties the use of marijuana and LSD was believed to have reached epidemic proportion, and the use of cocaine and heroin began infiltrating society. By the nineteen seventies, drug trafficking become more widespread throughout the country. President Nixon himself said "it seems the United States is turning into chaos", and in reality it was. Law enforcement was being tested everyday with anti-war rallies and racially motivated riots, which often ended in multiple deaths. As a result law enforcement in some cases was forced to use tear gas, nightsticks and bullwhips while on horseback. Needless to say officers were ill equipped in both equipment, and in academic knowledge of the law enforcement profession.

With the United States in turmoil and its citizen's continued lack of respect for law enforcement, President Johnson brought forth several proposals one of which resulted in the passage of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Street Act of 1968. This piece of legislation spawned major controversy with its Title III provision. Many seen this as a political move which, allowed local law enforcement agencies to tap telephones and engage in other eavesdropping techniques without a court order. This only added to the citizen's lack of respect for law enforcement agencies. However, there was one provision of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act known as Title I that created the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration or the LEAA. The LEAA assisted in providing funds at the state and local levels of law enforcement. Funds went toward educational programs, research, state planning agencies, and local crime initiatives. In its first year alone it funded more than three hundred million dollars for police equipment purchases. Later funding was used to train local bomb squads, to start up new



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