CJ100 Preparing for a Career in Criminal Justice
Unit 9 Assignment
How the Criminal Justice System Affects Different Populations
The Criminal Justice field is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Working is corrections, trust, honor, integrity, and determination has to be in play. The role of a criminal justice professional is to protect and serve the society in implementing the laws that rule the nation. In order to fight crime, it takes integrity, which is a strict devotion to a standard assessment or conduct, personal honesty, and independence. In the paper I will discuss the process and the roles of a correctional officer and the societal needs of the individuals. The process of becoming a correctional officer starts with testing and then training. These are the first steps to determine whether or not the individual is physically and mentally capable of working in the field. In Georgia, once the individual take the Compass test and pass, they submit applications and when called they are sent to Basic Correctional Officer Training (BCOT) In Forsyth Georgia. At this training, there is classroom and physical training. The classroom part of training educates the cadets on the policies and procedures of the Department of Corrections and how to deal with all types of offenders. It also teach the cadets defensive tactics and how to shoot weapons properly. The training also covers the code of ethics. This is very important when working with others and more so offenders. Once cadets graduate they are now officers and are sent to their assigned institution for duty. The first couple of days the officers will be assigned with an experienced officer for some on the job training (OJT). This is just to make sure they are ready to take on the daily task as an officer. Afterword’s, the officer will be on their own in a cell house or dormitory with the offenders. The most important roles of a correctional officer at this point is accountability, visibility, key control, tool control, sanitation, and security. Now, when talking about serving societal needs, the Department of Corrections play a huge role. For instance, there have been many different programs established to get the offender ready to enter back into society such as Relapse Prevention. By definition, Relapse prevention is a cognitive-behavioral method with the goal of recognizing and averting high-risk situations such as substance abuse, obsessive-compulsive behavior, sexual offending, obesity, and depression. Additionally, relapse prevention is an imperative component in the treatment process of alcoholism, or alcohol dependence. Another thing that the prisons have implemented is the education department. The offenders have the opportunity to get their GED while incarcerated. This allows them to get the education needed to get a job when they enter into society. There also vocational programs for those who have their high school diploma and wish to take up a trade. Some of them are HVAC, Basic Computer, and Construction. This gets the offenders educated and trained and can get them a job because they have been educated and trained. What are the key social issues contributing to the need to the Criminal Justice professional? There are three social issues that I would like to discuss in this paper, drug abuse, gang violence, and gun control. First, I would like to discuss drug abuse and the impact that it has had on society and in the prisons. On the streets, people are now on all types of opiates and drugs. When people are on these type of drugs, they would do anything to keep their high. Meaning rob, steal, and even kill. This puts stress on the community and the law enforcement officers. Even in the prison, unfortunately drugs and alcohol are present. It is more crucial when they are locked up because it causes the inmates to act out or harm one another or a staff member. Sometimes they really do not intend to hurt anyone, but when locked up and your body is not used to the high it makes them crazy. Another issue is gang violence. Gangs have been around for a long time and was once worst in the bigger city and states. Now, they are bigger inside the institution. Some individuals are forced to join a gang for protection and some or just born into this type of environment. The institutions try to separate the different types of gangs, but it is so powerful, that is it almost impossible. The issues with gangs and the correction staff is that they out number them and they are violent toward staff. I want to bring to your attention the new laws or may I say rights that the inmates have today. One is the Prison Rape Elimination Act. (PREA) This act protects the offenders from such things as I listed above. NO one has the right to touch or have sexual intercourse with another offender or staff. This need to be applied as soon as possible or there will be a huge price to pay. Another thing that I recommend for the institution, is there should be an investigation on the officers involved in this situation. They should be immediately removed and put on administrative leave until the investigation is over. Have you ever read this act and did some research to actually know the meaning of the act and why it was put into place? Take a look at our prison system and some of the sexual assaults and other incidents that have occurred in the facility and other facilities. Now, today, there are so many ways that technology has advanced in the crime scene investigations. I can recall a case where a man had served over 20 years for rape and was finally released a few years ago. Twenty years is too long for a person to serve for a crime that he\she did not commit. Why was this man accused of this horrific crime, I don’t know all the facts. What I do know is in the time this incident supposed to have taken place, a woman could have said that a man forced himself on her and that was all it took. With that being said not being bias, he was a black man. If a white woman said she was raped by a black man, he did it in the eyes of the law. Now, since forensics have become more reliable, there are rape kits, different blood labs, and etc. to prove whether or not there was force or was it consensual. How does a person convince anyone to believe they are innocent of such a crime? I can tell you how. First, the offender has to find someone that will listen to his side of the story. Then, he has to collect data to support his side and prepare a case so it would be heard. Then, he has to write the courts to get a hearing. From then on, there is the waiting process for a response from the courts. Once he or she goes to court with representation, he \she will be able to plea for his freedom. If there is no proof that he/she committed this crime as for forensic or whatever, he\she will be immediately released. I feel that sometimes we as people can be to judgmental and without hearing and seeing the facts, we have already accused. I feel that the judicial system has come a long way in sentencing people for the crimes that they indeed committed.
The last issue I will discuss is gun control. Gun control has been a hot topic for quite some time now. It has become more serious over the last 10 years. For example the shooting incident in Newton, Connecticut has raised and uproar in gun control. Some citizens believe in the 2ndAmendment which states that we have the right to bear arms. On the other hand, some citizens believe that the amendment needs to be removed because of the crime rate and murders increasing. Statics have shown that some advocates would like to see the government to enforce a stricter rule on the manufacturing and selling of guns. Having gun control will reduce crime a little because it would limit the availability of getting the guns. On the other hand, a lot of parents leave their guns unsecure and the kids steal them. Also, advocates feel that keeping weapons from criminals would help. Meaning, if they are caught with a concealed weapon or if they are convicted felons, they would return to prison with a more harsh punishment. In conclusion, corrections and the judicial system can stand for more improvement. Educating the staff and the offenders is a plus. The staff teaches the offender how to prepare for releasing into society and to overcome the obstacles that they will encounter. The Criminal Justice Department and the community have to work hand in hand to deal with the societal issues that are encountered when dealing with criminals.