The entry point into the criminal justice system is the jail. If you are arrested, this is the place you go to get booked and/ or possibly held until your court appearance. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor, you end up in this place no more than a year. However, on the other hand, if you end up in prison then, you normally stay there for more than one year. Now, people tend to think that jail is for dangerous criminals, but there may be a couple of people there that fit this dangerous criminal profile. So, if only a few people fit this category then the rest or majority of the people arrested don’t. However, these people have their own social category. Some people call them “social refuse”, “social junk”, “lumpen proletariat”, “street people”, “riffraff”, “social trash”, and even referred to as “dirtballs”. Jails are being occupied mostly by a class of inmates who have committed mostly petty crimes or no crimes at all. The people are referred to as the “rabble”. The rabble class are those who are disreputable people who are detached and do not fit into society and considered offensive.
In a sense, it can be argued that jail and arresting procedures are solely used to “manage” the rabble instead of enforcing the law. On the other hand, with the more serious crimes like robbery and assault, the police have their attention drawn because of the social status of the offenders and it being damaged. It is said that police do overlook a lot of criminal conduct by these people. Basically, its all about who commits the crime and what kind of crime it is. It seems like for years we tend to isolate the rabble for crimes than any other classes. It’s not about the seriousness of the crime, it’s about social status.