In today’s criminal justice system, with the increasing numbers of offenders, the system is going to have to find away to reduce the prison population. Modern day policing has implemented new policies that have changed the way the system handles offenders. These policy changes have led to a mixture of how policing should be conducted. Past trends of Corrections In the beginning of the criminal justice system, the relationship between the police and the citizens was simple. Individuals who committed crimes In society got punished, offenders where locked way in prison and they were forgotten.
According to Blakely and Bumps, “It was during the reform era beginning in the sass), under the direct tutelage of the Federal Bureau of Investigation that professionalism and technology began to become paramount” (1999, p. 1). A commission of America’s leaders in the criminal justice system from prosecuting attorneys, defense attorneys, state and federal judges, social workers, probation officers, prison administrators, and others occupied in the criminal justice was formed in 1929. The commission was appointed by President Herbert Hoover to address to discuss important issues facing the criminal justice system.
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The “National Commission on Law Observation and Enforcement”, or more widely named Wickers Commission, for the commission’s first chairperson George W. Wickers. With the enactment of the Eighteenth Amendment (Prohibition) in 1929, America had seen its first real increase in crime all over the country. This was the first challenge for the Wickers commission to address. The first thing that the Wickers commission did was to publish findings from every aspect of the criminal justice system.
This finding dealt with the causes of crime, the policing practices, the prosecutorial actions, and the significance the probation and parole system. When the Wickers reports were published, it was to no surprise to the public that the report had found many issues in the criminal justice system. The reports led to many police misconducts indictments all over the country. The indictments found that police actions to include willful infection of pain and suffering to suspects, brutality to suspects and corruption acts in many police departments throughout the country.
This report led to police reform throughout the system all over America. The report also led to better treatment of criminal suspects and the plea actions of suspects. The Wickers Commission reports found that there had been an increase in plea bargains from suspects all over the country, which led to less trial cases in those counties. This led the Wickers Commission to question the ethics of the conduct of the police and prosecuting attorneys while obtaining these pleas. The Wickers Commission was formed to fight the increased rates of crime due to prohibition and ended up reforming the criminal justice system across America.
Present trends of Corrections The current trend in the criminal justice system has placed great strain on the legislations of the criminal justice system and the citizens of this country. With policing policies and procedures such as “three strike laws” the overcrowding of the prisons in this country are at an all time high. According to Beck, Gerbera, and Harrison an increase from 1464 to 1668 (14%) between 1995 and 2000 with the Federal prison system operating 34% above capacity in 2000, up from 25% in 1995 (2002, p. 1).
With the growing amount of offenders being placed behind prison walls, need to build more prisons has become a significant topic among our criminal justice system leaders. The policing practices of the criminal justice system have changed from the active policing practices of the g’s, and g’s to the reactive habits of today. With the growing drug problem that America is facing today, our criminal justice system needs to find a more realistic way of dealing with the issues. If the current policies are kept in place, the overcrowding of our prisons in America is only going to become a larger problem.
Society and lawmakers are going to have to come up with an agreement for better alternatives for offenders rather than just sending them to prison. Another issue that is facing Americas criminal justice system is the treatment of our mentally ill offenders throughout the country. “This dramatic increase in the crystallization of the mentally ill occurred during the large-scale De-institutionalizing of the mentally ill without appropriate development of community-based services in the sass” (Prim, Josher, Gomez, 2005, p. 560).
With the closing of mental health facilities across our country, our mental health offenders are being placed in prisons for minor offenses. Our prison system is not equipped to handle the care for these types Of inmates. The mental health services are just not there to meet the offenders needs. They are placed in prisons to do their time right next to hard-core criminals. This often leads to the decline of the mental health of the offender. A shift in Americas policing practices since 9/1 1 has made policing difficult when it comes to the relationship with society.
Often individuals are not willing to sacrifice their own rights and liberties to allow the police to keep the citizens safe. With new laws that have been enacted such as the Patriot Act that have helped the police fight the war n terrorism, a burden has also been placed on our citizens. Recent policies of policing practices such as “stop and frisk laws and” profiling’ are placing a great strain on the relationship between citizens making it hard to find a good happy medium when it comes to citizen’s safety and violation the right of Americans citizens.
Future trends of Corrections Significant changes in our criminal justice system have been made over the last decade. The past practice of our criminal justice system being used to punish the incarcerated has changed. The reform of the offenders has taken front seat to punishment in our criminal justice system. The criminal justice system has placed more attention to the deterrence of future crimes and control of the violent offenders that have been placed in the system. In most jurisdictions, the way the courts handle how juveniles can be tried has been changed.
The changes made from the report allowed the courts to have more options for the treatment of juvenile offenders. Juveniles who have been known to have gang affiliations are being tracked and handled by police officers who are trained to deal with these types of juveniles. Offenders that eave been convicted of a sexual offense have new rules to follow, known as “Mean’s Laws” if they want to live in a society. Offender must register in the communities for which they want to live in. They also have to give DNA samples in order to be released from prison on parole.
Most prisons in our criminal justice system are implementing more programs to help reform offenders. Prisoners go through an intake process that evaluates the offenders to what areas if at all that they need to work on so that they can be a productive citizen. ‘ ‘Traditionally devoted to the punishment of past crime, it as begun to focus as well on the prevention of future crime by incarceration and control of dangerous offenders” (Robinson, 2001, p. 1). The offenders that comply with the prescriptive program they have been assigned to will have the best chance at making parole.
This has not been an easy task to accomplish. It is difficult for the leaders in the criminal justice field to ask for more funding for programs in prison, when most people think offenders should be locked away. Budgetary and Managerial Impact The leaders in the corrections field are on a constant battle for funding for their programs. With most states already in a budgetary crunch, finding money for prisons is at the bottom of most of our leaders list. When in fact, prisons are getting more and more populated, and demand to build more prisons is at an all time high.
Most States are looking at the pros and cons Of propagating their prison systems. Most think that running a prison strictly on a budgetary sense is a good idea. While other realize the risk involved in running a prison this way. Prison managers need to have their prisons policies evaluated to figure out what programs are working and what programs are not. Our criminal justice leaders need to evaluate the relationship of the system and society, and how society views the criminal justice system.
Conclusion The success of the criminal justice system is going depend on the system to learn to be more flexible. Learning how to sentence the non-violent offenders to programs and sentence society’s most violent offenders to prison, is going to be key to the balance of our criminal justice system and society. If our criminal justice system continues to have a reactive approach to the treatment of our criminals, the system will just continue to chase the problem ether than solve it.