Criminal Justice System
The word justice is frequently used by people, whether used in right contexts or not. In most cases, it is used to mean that there should be equity, fairness or appropriateness in everyday activities (Bryett, Caswell & Shaw, 1993). The world would be another place if there were no justice or any policies and strategies put in place to ensure that justice is accomplished. As many people interpret other things according to their understanding, so do various people interpret justice depending on the particular circumstance in question. This is the reason majority of the people have established common grounds when it comes to bringing justice associated with legal matters. These are what we refer to as justice systems. Criminal justice systems deal with matters of criminal nature (Sarre & Tomaino, 1999). The nature of man and his activities demands that criminal justice systems be put in place. The discussion here is that criminal justice systems make the world to be livable.
One commits a crime when he/she breaches laws and rules put in place by a particular governing body (Robinson & Williams, 2009). Imagine a world where there were no punishments given to people who did these crimes. The world would be a different world. The world peace would not be a vocabulary known by anyone. Sometimes it is even unimaginable how the world would be. There are acts that we consider as crime even if there were no laws put in place to tell us that they are crimes. Such acts as murder, rape, stealing/robbing, amongst others, are some of those. The criminal justice systems are put in place in order to make sure that such acts are forbidden and those who do them are punished according to the punishments described by the law
The criminal justice system instills some fear in people in order to prevent them from doing wrong. A large number of people are not in the illegal drug business because it is illegal. What is there to feel guilty about if one sells to the people who consume the substance but does not consume it? It is like selling alcohol to the people who consume it even though the seller is a teetotaler. The fear of going to jail because one was found guilty of committing a crime makes one keep off. Unlike in some western countries where some jails/prisons are better of than some homes in the developing countries, jails in the developing countries are a nightmare. The state in which they are kept and what people go through when in these places, are nothing to sleep and dream about, even by mistake. A world without the criminal justice systems would mean that people commit the crimes without being answerable to anyone. The drug dealer would sell the drugs to the kid across the block and the police officer would do nothing about it. There would be no need of a police officer anyway (Smith & Natalier, 2005).
Each crime is remedied by a particular punishment. However, many debates and discussions have been gotten into in order to discuss the appropriateness of certain punishments in relation to the crimes. For example, the appropriateness of capital punishment in relation to crimes of sexual nature, murder, robbery with violence, illegal drugs possession, amongst others, has raised debates across the countries. The sentence given to some crimes in relation to others is another thing that has raised concern. However, even with all these in consideration, the criminal justice systems cannot be done away with. When a woman sees the one who killed her child get a life sentence, she does not get her child back, but most say that justice as been done to her dead child. When a man sees the one who robbed him his things at his home get some twenty or more years in jail and recovers his things, then he feels that justice has been done. This is the same feeling that is in a girl who is the one who raped her get a fifteen-year sentence in prison (Zalman, 2006).
Criminal justice systems may not bring back what the victims lost, but it gives some form of hope to the victims and a second chance to the criminals. The mother’s child may not come back from the dead, what was experienced when the robbery too place may be unforgettable and the girl will never get her virginity back not to mention the psychological suffering, but they will feel that something was done to the criminals. Although it might be hard to look at it this way, it is important to note that most criminals are not only punished for their wrong doings, but also get a second chance in life (EHR, 2010).
The prisons are there to reform and rehabilitate the criminals. Apart from those under capital punishments and life sentences, most prisoners try to get out and be better people. This is the reason why most prisons incorporate a school system, vocational courses, religion and spiritual books and programs, in order to make these people better. If people just committed crimes and stayed with the rest of the society, then there would be not much change experienced, if any. Being denied the freedom of movement is a big enough punishment in itself. One does not know the sweetness of freedom until you are on the other side. When the prisoners are secluded in these areas, it enables them get a time to reflect over their actions and their life. although the same systems have not put good enough strategies on how to get these people back into the society once they are reformed, having them separated in the first place is at least one step to reforming them (Robinson & Williams, 2009).
It is better to have a broken bicycle than no bicycle at all. The one with the broken bicycle can find ways of fixing it and move from one point to another. On the other hand, the one with no bicycler will have to find other ways of moving from the same point to the other, which may be harder or impossible depending on the situation. In the same case, it is better to have a criminal justice system that is not as competent as it should be, rather than having no system at all. Citizens respect and acknowledge the criminal justice system even if it is incompetent. The sentence given to a robber may not be “fair” in accordance with the crime committed, but he/she will be caught and be punished. The Chinese capital punishment given to people found dealing with drugs may be too harsh, but it will prevent many from engaging in the same activities.
It is acceptable to have debates concerning the competence of the criminal justice systems in place. However, it is logic to say that the world would be much better of without them. In fact, people would not be able to live in a world where there are no punishments given to the criminals or justice done to the victims of the crime. Crime has been there since the existence of human beings. For this reason, justice systems will forever be there to act parallel to the crimes being committed. This will bring meaning to life and protect the future generations of humanity.
Bryett, K., Craswell, E., Harrison, A. & Shaw, J., (1993). An Introduction to Policing: Vol. 1: Criminal Justice in Australia. Sydney: Butterworths.
Equality and Human Rights Commission, (2010). Criminal Justice System. Retrieved from http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/advice-and-guidance/guidance-for-service-users-pre-october-2010/criminal-justice-system/
Robinson, M. & Williams, M., (2009). The myth of a Fair Criminal Justice System. Justice Policy Journal. Vol 1(1). Retrieved from http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:v4p7aj1L7YIJ:www.convictcriminology.org/pdf/robinson_williams.pdf+criminal+justice+systems+are+fair+articles&hl=en&gl=ke&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESjw3RcQuPTIXjh2fTcOUs81MtM-sLSFlHzsQxITArs0dPCOxS9UgkbxV9Hpm5aEzudgZMFL5fG9r66nrMH6CgBs1Ia3kNR9YvkSJiKT-hbztThok5hVj6sDZPdKBctxyZrPauQy&sig=AHIEtbTLT-e2IHTSEyIFhCPwfAQLI4XA4w
Sarre, R. & Tomaino J. A., (1999). Exploring Criminal Justice: Contemporary Australian Themes. Adelaide: South Australian Institute of Justice Systems.
Smith, P. D. & Natalier, K., (2005). Understanding Criminal Justice: sociological perspectives. London, UK: SAGE Publications.
Zalman, M. (2006). Criminal Justice System Reform and Wrongful Conviction. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 17(4): 468-492.