CJA 580: Public Policy Issues
University of Phoenix
Dr. Matthew Geyer, Faculty
May 15, 2010
Society relies on the criminal justice system to maintain order within communities and to maintain a safe environment for community members. Society expects the criminal justice system to provide justice by separating the guilty from the innocent, to incapacitate dangerous individuals, to promote deterrence to law-breaking individuals, and to rehabilitate offenders. An important expectation of the criminal justice system is to provide fair and just consequences to criminal offenders and assist the offenders with reintegrating into society. Some of the expectations of the criminal justice system are not met therefore; the purpose of this analysis is to describe methods for improving the criminal justice system to meet the expectations of society. This analysis will also provide the necessary procedures the criminal justice system could take to make these suggestions an actual policy.
The current criminal justice policies are inclined to punish offenders as a method of crime control and crime prevention (American Bar Association Criminal Justice System Improvements., n.d.). Although punishment is necessary for many criminal offenses and criminal offenders, a punishment is not a necessity for all crimes. In many cases in which narcotic transfers are involved, the punishment of incarceration for an extended length of time is cruel and unusual. Narcotic transfers are typically considered non-violent crimes and subsequent to incarceration, the offender is continually punished because their ability to reintegrate back into society and become law-abiding, contributing members of society is hindered (American Bar Association Criminal Justice System Improvements., n.d.). Incarceration is not an efficient method to deter offenders from reoffending since, following incarceration, they are unable to gain successful employment because of...