Assessment of the Consensus vs. Conflict Debate in the Criminal Justice Systemt

Topics: Criminal justice, Crime, Police Pages: 3 (914 words) Published: February 24, 2010
The criminal justice system in the United States is hampered by the separate and uncoordinated mechanism of the police, "enforcing the laws, emphasize community protection;" courts, "weighing peoples' rights versus community needs;" and corrections systems conflicted between punishment and rehabilitation. They are so separated that they cause resistance and stifled communication. For example, although police are supposed to have probable cause, they are not accountable for the quality of an arrest but on the number of arrest; but a prosecutor may have to nolle prosse (dismiss) on poor quality arrests. And, prosecutors may be judged by the number of convictions instead of meeting the ends of justice. Although the police and courts are completely independent of each other they must rely on each other to fulfill their objective for corrections to punish criminals. (Peak, 2007, 7)The Consensus versus Conflict Debate's history goes back to the Constitution to hold the three separate entities together. The Declaration of Independence holds the "truths to be self-evident," but the conflict among the parties makes a mockery of justice giving the "Right of the People to alter or abolish it." The laws conflict with reason; holding to Locke's purpose to protect property when protecting people is by far more noble (Peak, 2007, 14)Agreeing with the conflict theorist, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who challenged Hobbes and Locke, debating that "Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains"( Peak, 2007, 15). This truism is even more pronounced in the Land of the Free, or used to be. Unequal distribution of resources may very well be the cause of the conflict as Rousseau described. It is obvious that the poor are locked away, like the rioters in Haiti, trying to survive, while the Fortune 500 may do their part, the chasm is too deep to make a difference. The name so apropos, Locke's theory would lock them up and/or use force to "guarantee compliance" (id.). That in itself causes...
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