Social Contract Theory and Criminal Justice Analytical Essay by JCowie024

Social Contract Theory and Criminal Justice
This paper looks and John Locke's social contract theory in relation to modern criminal justice.
# 114996 | 1,159 words | 5 sources | APA | 2009 | US

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In this article, the writer notes that philosopher John Locke is one of three individuals responsible for developing the social contract theory in 1690. The social contract theory was designed during the time of British rule in a time where Locke felt the government should protect its citizens and those thoughts and theories are believed to be apart of the formation of the United States government involved in the Declaration of Independence and parts of the United States Constitution. The writer discusses that interpretations of the social contract theory extend into modern day society as seen with examples of behavior between prison inmates as well as healthcare afforded under the Eighth Amendment. The writer concludes that although the social contract theory by Locke was developed in 1690, it has shown to be very relative in terms of the standards of today's society.

Defining Social Contract
Relationship to Criminal Justice
Prison Inmates and the Eighth Amendment
The Social Contract Theory and Urban Environments

From the Paper:

" The social contract theory has a relationship in the criminal justice field in many aspects. The social contract theory discusses that individuals give up certain freedoms in order to receive protection from the state. An example of the social contract theory can be seen within the prison inmate population and their interactions with each other. As a new inmate enters the prison system, if that inmate does not immediately stand up for themselves they become the prey of other inmates. The more senior inmates sense this and thus offer that inmate protection but at a significant cost. This inmate then gives up their individualism, forced to commit crimes behind bars, and privileges to the inmate offering their protection and becomes property of that inmate."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bowman, Scott. (2002). "Declaration of Independence." In Schultz, David, ed. Encyclopedia of American Law. New York: Facts on File, INC. 2002. American History Online. Facts On File, Inc. ItemID=WE52&iPin=EAL0103&Singlerecord=True. Retrieved on June 12, 2009.
  • Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97 (1976).
  • Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832, 114 S. Ct 1970, 128 L. Ed.2d 811, (1994).
  • Lawson, Bill. (unknown). Crime, Minorities, and the Social Contract. Retrieved from the University of Phoenix Eresource on June 12, 2009.
  • Pollack, Joycelyn. (unknown). Ethical Dilemmas and Decisions in Criminal Justice. Fifth Ed. University of Phoenix Eresource. Retrieved on June 14, 2009.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Social Contract Theory and Criminal Justice (2009, July 02) Retrieved October 22, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Social Contract Theory and Criminal Justice" 02 July 2009. Web. 22 October. 2020. <>