Recommendations to Improve Our Criminal Justice System

Topics: Crime, Criminal justice, Criminal law Pages: 9 (2001 words) Published: October 11, 2014


Recommendations to Improve Our Criminal Justice System
Sami-Marcia Donovan
EN234 – Computers in Law Enforcement
July 6, 2013
Ivy Bridge College/Tiffin University
Abstract
The American Criminal Justice System is a multifaceted legal system that provides resources for policing American society and disciplining individuals who may present a threat to its citizens. The Criminal Justice System is commissioned with ensuring that criminals are penalized appropriately for their crimes and rehabilitated so that they can become productive citizens after serving a prison sentence. As the Criminal Justice System has aspects which are controversial, the pros and cons of the process are often based on individual views.

After being incarcerated over a decade, learning from inmates who go through the “swinging door,” it is this writer’s opinion that the methods in which the American justice system deals with criminals has not made society any safer. Matter-of-fact, it seems to be making issues with the criminal worse. When one looks at the local politicians and the media who think the process of correcting the system is “get tougher on crime,” can see that this is not the way, it only makes matters worse. It is the purpose of this article to give this writer’s views and opinions and recommendations of how the criminal justice system could be changed and improved.

Recommendations to Improve Our Criminal Justice System

According to a report from Washington D.C. there are almost 2.4 million people incarcerated in the United States. It is the concept of the Justice Policy Institute (JPI) “U.S. policy makers should look outside the U.S. borders for examples of criminal justice policies that can save money while improving the well-being of both individuals and communities.” This writer must agree with the JPI. The incarceration rate in America is ridiculous. Incarcerating a first-time offender for a non-violent crime and giving the maximum sentence allowed, is a waste of money and is detrimental to the system. The United States seems to depend on detention for lawbreakers, however, it is this writer’s opinion that the bureaucrats need to be looking at how other countries have been successful in controlling non-violent offenders. There needs to be more community-based treatment programs for the addicted drug/alcohol offender, domestic violence, and petty theft crimes. The Legislator’s need to realize that instead of thinking “incarceration first, they need to be thinking ‘rehabilitation’ first. More attention needs to be placed on the rehabilitation of the offender, rather than the imprisonment of him or her. By placing the offender on probation, making attendance to treatment programs required, paying of fees or fines, and community service will significantly influence rehabilitation, than incarceration. Other countries recognize these before incarceration and have been successful. The United States is more likely to incarcerate an offender, even though it is more costly and does not offer lower victimization rates. Another issue is the length of time an offender is given (Hughes, 2013). According to Will McMahon, policy director of the Centre of Crime and Justice Studies in London, “Instead of ensuring that people do not become justice-involved in the first place, the U.S. has instead invested in mass incarceration and needlessly lengthy terms of imprisonment without a significant benefit to public safety. The criminal justice policies of the United States should be avoided by other nations and serve as a harrowing example of the problem of an excessively punitive system” (Hughes, 2013) According to the JPI report, they suggest ending commercial bail, require more treatment programs, shorten sentence lengths, especially for drug offenses, improve reentry services, raise the age for criminal responsibility, end transferring to criminal courts, and invest in effective institutions (Hughes, 2013). The above is the...

References: Hughes, Z. (2013, April 20). Finding direction:u.s. should consider other nations ' justice policies. Retrieved from http://www.justicepolicy.org/news/2321
Koenig, D. (2006). Major reform is needed in the criminal justice system in the united states. Retrieved from http://www.thepropheticyears.com/comments/Major reform is needed in the criminal justice system in the United States.htm
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