By c j oakes
Issues related to criminal justice and the laws affecting that system today are not without abundance. From every turn a new abuse, a new problem, or a new study proves____(fill in the blank).
Is this because there are real problems with the system or is it just because we have become a nation of whiners, intent on having our way regardless of fact or reason?
In reality, the answer could be said to be a little bit of both.
More people today cry that their rights have been violated only to turn around and demand that the rights of others be violated in their personal quest for justice. More politicians turn away from facts in favor if fiction when drafting laws, likely for the sake of both job security and monetary gain. And more courts are hesitant to serve up justice lest the voters consider them “soft” on crime while still others serve up the harshest sentences out of the mistaken notion of “tough love.”
So to be sure, there are problems; there are issues in criminal justice and law today; always have been.
The reasons for the issues in the criminal justice system are both caused by law and the reason for law. The reasons for the problems are both a result of a society that winks at crime and a public that thirsts for retribution.
In other words, the problems associated with the modern criminal justice system are more a reflection of the dual-nature of our political system than anything else. For instance, one of the greatest problems we see in the criminal justice system today involves racial disparities. Numerous studies have been conducted of the system itself and to date, none have been able to conclusively determine that any degree of organized racism is at play. Yet, the figures speak otherwise. So what is the problem? Not to enter into detail at this point, but Occam’s Razor states that if one removes all competing possibilities, the one possibility remaining must be true. Since no evidence can be found within the actual criminal justice system, that is in the Courts, the Enforcement Agencies, and the Corrections Divisions, that only leaves us with one alternative: The problem rests in law.
This issue of law will be discussed in detail in a future article for I simply wanted to introduce the concept that the way to uncover the underlying causes of issues requires that we look beyond the system into other aspects of our government which also play a key role. Far too often, we forget the impact of law on the criminal justice system in studies and research, but this is folly, for the very foundation of criminal justice is law–hence, to find the problems associated with the criminal justice system, we must, by virtue, examine the laws upon which the entire system is built.Through these pages, the issues are going to be examined with a critical eye towards those underlying causes. For unless we examine the laws related to our field, we will never fully understand nor appreciate how to solve the problems.
In this set of pages you will find…
- Disparities and Discrimination in Criminal Justice and Law?
- Drug Policy
- Juvenile Justice?
- The Intent and Reality of the U. S. Criminal Justice System
Comng soon to this section of CriminalJusticeLaw.org…
Politics of Crime/Issues in Crime and Criminal Law
Crime does not occur in a vacuum. Society and politics create the laws which in turn define the crimes. Thus, politics and social attitudes play a key role in both criminal law and criminal defenses. In these pages we explore both the causes of the most divisive issues of the day and the likely outcome of trends resulting. The goal is to provide tools for defense attorney’s and their clients. Second to this is to provide students of criminal justice and law with sound arguments related to such issues.
The Drug War and how it is changing the social terrain worldwide
- Comprehensive Drug Schedule
Race Relations in America and the World and how these affect criminal justice and law
- Drug War Impact on People of Color
Politics and Justice – How various groups use crime and punishment as tools for personal political gain will be explored on these pages.