Introduction to Criminal Justice
January 06, 2013
Social justice is a concept of a society in which every human being is treated justly, without discrimination based on financial status, race, gender, and ethnicity. The Declaration of Independence states “all men are created equal.” Nowadays we call that equality “social justice”. All in all, social justice means equal justice, concerning all facets of society. Basically meaning, all people have equal rights and opportunities; everyone. With that being said, all people also have a different opinion of equality, therefore social justice is almost an empty term because of its varying spectrum of definitions. The correctional system has three main goals: punish, protect the population and rehabilitate the offender. However, it is unclear how well the modern U.S. correctional system achieves these goals and whether the money invested in the correctional system might be better spent. (http://www.ehow.com/about_5087269_role-correctional-system.html). Thesis: How can the corrections system use the social justice principles of equality, solidarity, and human rights to build a more just society? The correctional system has a very big role it plays in the court system. Most people believe that its role is to house inmates until the inmates release date; if there is one. What is the goal of the correctional system: It is to punish those who are incarcerated, so they never commit another crime and have to come back: to control crime, prevent crime and to provide and maintain justice. Also, inmate’s human rights still have to be respected by correctional professions. It is supposed to teach them a lesson in the most effective way. The correctional system is also supposed to rehabilitate inmates. Rehabilitation, if done well, will make the criminal functional in normal society after release. This may include vocational training, counseling and drug rehabilitation treatment. Rehabilitation is intended to shift the criminal from being a cost to society to being a contributing member of society. (http://www.ehow.com/about_5087269_role-correctional-system.html). Some may think that people who commit crimes have no rights are that all their rights have been striped. Clean prison conditions are a part of inmate’s human rights as well as their treatment. Correctional system prison conditions and the treatment of inmates are regulated at several levels. The highest level is the U.S. Constitution. The Eighth Amendment reads: "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted." Legal precedent is used to determine what constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, since the amendment's wording is vague. International law also regulates prisoner treatment through the treaties known as the Geneva Conventions. Normally before any prisoner is released from incarceration they normally go through a psychological evaluation of some sort to make sure they are fit to go out in the real world, especially if they have been in prison for a while. But when they get out all they know is life behind bars, some choose not to leave, others just go right back in. I always hear people say that if you go to jail once, you will go back again; some believe it is true others don’t. Correctional professional has an oath that they must abide by at all times. The question is how do corrections professionals ensure that they uphold the Constitution when many think their role is to be strict and firm. The true concept of justice is a concept involving moral, fair, and impartial treatment of all individuals. Justice is a concept that has many different translations and a concept that can be changed on a case-by-case basis. Justice, as it pertains to law enforcement, is an example of the many faces of justice and how it can be subjective. Conceptually, justice is synonymous with law...
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