Criminal Justice in USA

There are many aspects of law enforcement that are not clear. One of the few certainties in policing is that there is about 17,000 police departments in the U.S.A .

The exact numbers are not important to most researchers. There most likely isn’t a survey on how many of these departments use 911 operators or use handcuffs, because our findings would usually be accurate. Other factors , may be more difficult to measure, one of these factors is community policing. If I where to ask how many departments practice community policing, how accurate would my results be? My research shows that around fifty to seventy percent of U.S. police departments are practicing community policing. I would say that these studies are saying that community policing is thriving. Community policing is defined by Trojanowicz as “a philosophy of full service personalized policing where the same officer patrols and works in the same area on a permanent basis, from a decentralized place, working in a proactive partnership with citizens to identify and solve problems. Besides the great efforts of our criminal justice system, American citizens remain concerned about crime . Others fear that the criminal justice system may fail under the large amount of violent crime. The growing community policing movement gives me a chance to explain why we need social control. In this paper first I will tell you some statistics why we need community policing, where it starts, why our society needs to trust our law enforcement, characteristics that need to change, and where the funds will come from to support community policing.

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How can I create a concept for social control. First we must recognize that our traditional criminal justice system can be made more effective. By creating social control we must have social regulation. The police must act as gatekeepers of the justice process. As gatekeepers, police tactics, and techniques play an a important role in the effectiveness of the criminal justice system. American society is full of crime. For people living in the inner city dealing with crime is a way of life. Unfortunately even high crime rates represent only a portion of the problem. The fear is focused in the inner city and effects every social class. The people themselves in different social classes have different views towards the criminal justice system. There is to much social distance between the police and society. A big part of the population doesn’t feel comfortable discussing their problems with the police. They believe that the police are not interested in there problems. Citizens that look down upon our criminal justice system have some points to there criticism. The more the criminal justice deals with an offender, the more likely there will be future encounters. The probability of subsequent arrest after a persons first arrest is 53% after a 2nd arrest 62% and after three arrest 71%. These cost are hefty, and I think community policing is the key to put a pause on the criminal justice budget. Our budget for inmates in corrections a year alone is 50 billion a year. We have the highest incarceration rate among the developed western nation. “An estimated 1 in every230 men and 1 in every 2,321 women are siting in a united states jail on June of 1991. Police need to address a new tactic like community policing, and a main factor to start with would be simple complaints by citizens.

The police could better utilize there time and resources by placing more efforts on problem solving citizen complaints. A Minneapolis research has confirmed that 10% of addresses calling the police generated over 60% of the total calls for service during a given year.

“A study in Kansas city on domestic homicides showed that 8 out of 10 cases the police had been called to the incident at once least once before, and in half of the cases they had been called five or more times”. Social control can start the process by a citizen complaint, because this would be a good opportunity to practice community policing. Police ignoring complaints could be contributing to the circle of growing violence in our society. My present concept of the criminal justice system is ineffective for solving problems, if individual agencies remain uncommitted , unprepared, neither having skill nor resources to address small citizen complaints. We must start community policing by understanding what the problem is, and gain a better understanding of social control. Understanding social control is one factor but realizing that our society has changed is another factor. One of the changes is trust in our law enforcement. To get the community involved we must take the fear from our citizens.

The level of crime and seriousness of crime in our country has changed. Police strategies that worked in the past won’t be as effective in the future. In the United States society doesn’t feel the sense of safety , and well being that should be there. I think it has to do with family life also, family in the United States have changed a lot. There are single working parents not spending enough time with their children , or getting children into enough activities, like church, school ect. Communities need to make a commitment to stopping crime by getting involved. Not only neighborhoods but businesses , and everyone in the community. Community policing will take time to evolve to it’s full successes, but first we need to slowly get the community adjusted to not be feared of there own society. Fear illuminates activity, keeps residents in there homes, and contributes to the empty streets. This climate of decline can result in even greater numbers of crimes. Isolation of the community creates unreported crimes. So police are not aware of existing problems, therefore the police have no access to important information from citizens that could help solve and deter crime . This is why community policing will get police out there talking to the community gaining some trust. One problem with this is their is to much social distancing between our police and society.

In class we learned about Sir Robert Peel, who established the London metropolitan police. He once said “the police are the public and the public are the police ’’. Sir Robert Peel had a idea of community policing when he made that quote. Robert, had watchmen walking beats in the community. Today we have a social distancing between the police and the community. One reason is automobiles replacing good old traditional foot patrol. Another reason is 911 dispatchers. 911 was created in the 70’s so police could respond to crime scenes more quickly. But the outcome a was overwhelming amount of calls which resulted in a lot of non emergency calls that police had to respond to regardless of the situation. Routes have changed also for police. Random patrolling also creates social distancing between the community and the police. I think police should have the same consistent routes in the neighborhoods in the community. Why?, so they can build some sense of a partnership in that certain route in society. A Kansas city police study showed that the rapid response by police didn’t solve crime. The study revealed that a large portion of serious crimes are not deterred by rapid response. The crime sample showed that 2/3 of these crimes were not reported quickly enough for rapid response to be effective. Researchers say this study revealed a need for formal call screening to separate the emergency calls from the non-emergency calls. This could give officers more time to respond to the community. In San Diego they found in a study that police officers interact better with the community when they patrol the same beat day in and day out. It also showed a improvement in officers attitudes towards the community they were patrolling, and officers were coming up with there own creative solution to problems in there little part of there assigned community. Community policing reduces crime and fear why restoring a sense of order. But also can rebuild the bond between citizens, and law enforcement. One way to address community policing for police is by rapid response teams, but in a better approach.

Police officers that interact on a daily basis with citizens ,have a opportunity to demonstrate officer involvement in the community. They also realize that their effectiveness are linked directly to the support they receive from citizens. When fully addressed, community policing is justice at it’s fullest potential. Chicago in 1993 decided that community policing is effective for them considering they are the 3rd largest city in the country. Chicago came up with (CAPS) Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy. (CAPS) reorganized police around small community’s where “beat teams” worked with community members to solve surrounding problems . They also came up with a rapid response team, which I talked about earlier in the Kansas city study. This gives officers time to do this (CAPS) program. The (CAPS) program was successful by finding that all five small community areas reported less crime and that 3/5 areas reported less burglaries. Since this program was successful Chicago police expanded the program to 279 small community police routes in the city. The first big successful (CAPS) story where the community got involved, was about a bus route. Local Chicago school students were harassed by gangs on the bus routes . This led to a death by a shooting of a school student. The school, parents, and the police got involved and changed the bus route to avoid gang related areas. This was one prime example of community policing.

Community policing works so good that in 1994 the gov’t came up with the violent crime control and law enforcement Act, authorizing funds for a 100,000 community policing officers to our streets. The department of justice created (COPS) to finish this mission, community oriented policing. Also in December of 1998 the department of justice awarded grants for hiring 92,000 police officers. Our presidents goal was a 100,000 by the year 2000.Vicepresident Al Gore, and the department of justice announced recently that they were awarding 108 million to 632 law enforcement agencies to upgrade community policing in the United States . Gore quoted “our police need 21rst century tools to fight 21rst century crime” “these funds will help community’s across America fight the war against crime ,by getting officers out of the station house and onto the streets”. This will help our deployment of patrol in the United States.

The deployment of police officers is usually a constant hassle with police administrators. In the United States there are about 0-44 officers per 1,000 residents. Trojanowicz said, “there is no single factor or ratio which can be used to determine the “ideal” police strength for a given area ” .I think law enforcement in the U.S needs to find out , so they can deploy more officers into special programs such as community policing. If law enforcement could figure the deployment rates there would be less wasted patrol time . The bureau of justice statistics said , less then 10% of patrol officers on duty time is spent on crime related activities. This includes crime calls, conducting investigations, writing reports, booking arrests, and testifying in court. The rest of the remaining time is spent answering service calls. The point I’m making is today patrol teams are inefficient and unorganized. These are things that need to be look at to have a future in community policing.

Community policing is the future of law enforcement. I have talked about why the United States needs community policing. I have explained the characteristics of a successful community policing program and what we need to address to make it successful. I think community policing speaks for itself, all we need is organization, trust from the community, more funding from the president, and community policing will be on it’s way up in controlling crime in the United States of America.

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Criminal Justice in USA. (2018, Aug 17). Retrieved from