The courses I have taken that focus on the Individualized Studies degree I want to achieve emphasize the American Justice System in relation to prevailing social forces and crime prevention. The current thinking in criminal justice is that an individual's involvement in criminal enterprise bears a direct relationship to poverty, unemployment, education and culture. As John Hagan wrote in 1993:
Sociological criminology is undergoing a theoretical transformation that is energized in part by the new ethnographies of poverty and crime. This transformation involved a new appreciation of connections between cultural and structural sources of crimeÓ.It frees criminology from a restrictive dependence on an aging group of classical theories and ties the study of crime more closely to broader currents in contemporary society (327).
My personal observations gained working with youthful offenders over the years is that too many of them have substituted an investment in delinquency, drugs and gangs for the required structural and cultural investment necessary for success in the greater society. It is clear to me that criminology and