Need for Change in the Criminal Justice System
Reform is a necessary part of criminal justice system due to the fact that certain problems still exist in the courts. For instance, in the month of January 2006, a US judge sentenced a defendant based on racial inclinations. According to this judge, it was necessary to teach the defendant a lesson because he was embarrassing Martin Luther King. While this was more of an extreme case, there are still numerous scenarios within the criminal justice system that demonstrate a need for reform. Many juries, judges, police administrators are not blind to race and this severely obstructs the administration of justice.
One of the issues that has received severe criticism from experts with regard to the criminal justice system is racial profiling. After the September eleven attacks, the world realized that there was a need to revamp the fight against terrorism. While these fears were well founded, they resulted in some negative repercussions in the field of criminal justice administration. Countries that had placed racial profiling on the sideline began considering this method as a viable option for identifying potential offenders, consequently, more law enforcers, lawyers and judges began using it again.
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The major problem with racial profiling is that it promotes prejudice in criminal justice administration. Individuals are not judged on their deeds or character but on their race. The issue of jury selection is also critical within the criminal justice system and has also brought a lot of controversy. Many people believe that this does indeed necessitate change in this area of criminal justice because there is the belief that the process does not create or ensure fairness. Additionally, it does not ensure that the right persons are chosen for the job.
This means that most people may be judged in the wrong manner merely because the jury selection process is extremely flawed. Certain policy issues demand the need for change in the criminal justice system. One of them is the death penalty. Scholars have looked into the justification for this in the criminal justice system with more and more of them claiming that there is a need for reform in this area. Some books have suggested that the death penalty represents the dark days of our criminal justice system. Most of them believe that criminal justice has evolved over the years.
The country began with the “an eye for an eye” system. Later, the country established policies for listening to criminal’s defense before punishing them. These days, defendants are not presumed guilty unless proven. These scholars argue that the death penalty is permanent and does not leave any room for correcting future misjudgments. In other words, they believe that the death penalty is outdated and represents a step backwards in the criminal justice system. Given this scenario, then there is a need to look into the various elements of the criminal justice system to create some reforms.
The criminal justice system also requires radical changes simply due to the fact that some crimes require other methods of treatment other than imprisonment. There is considerable evidence to show that many scholars believe that drug sentencing is a poor method of handling the drug problem. They believe that there should be an examination of the underlying problems for causing crime. In order to reflect the changes in our society, criminal justice administration should not just be about punishing individuals; instead, it should be about turning citizens into productive members of society.