Policy Process CJA 580: Public Policy Issues University of Phoenix Dr. Matthew Geyer, Faculty May 15, 2010 Policy Process Society relies on the criminal justice system to maintain order within communities and to maintain a safe environment for community members. Society expects the criminal justice system to provide justice by separating the guilty from the innocent, to incapacitate dangerous individuals, to promote deterrence to law-breaking individuals, and to rehabilitate offenders.
An important expectation of the criminal justice system is to provide fair and just consequences to criminal offenders and assist the offenders with reintegrating into society. Some of the expectations of the criminal justice system are not met therefore; the purpose of this analysis is to describe methods for improving the criminal justice system to meet the expectations of society. This analysis will also provide the necessary procedures the criminal justice system could take to make these suggestions an actual policy.
The current criminal justice policies are inclined to punish offenders as a method of crime control and crime prevention (American Bar Association Criminal Justice System Improvements. , n. d. ). Although punishment is necessary for many criminal offenses and criminal offenders, a punishment is not a necessity for all crimes. In many cases in which narcotic transfers are involved, the punishment of incarceration for an extended length of time is cruel and unusual.
Narcotic transfers are typically considered non-violent crimes and subsequent to incarceration, the offender is continually punished because their ability to reintegrate back into society and become law-abiding, contributing members of society is hindered (American Bar Association Criminal Justice System Improvements. , n. d. ). Incarceration is not an efficient method to deter offenders from reoffending since, following incarceration, they are unable to gain successful employment because of their criminal history. Gaining successful employment s not unrealistic however; employers tend not to disregard the offender’s history therefore influencing the offender’s decision to reoffend. Many narcotic offenders do not desire to break laws; their main concern is monetary gain. Alternatives policies in regard to narcotic offenders should be implemented to assist them with reintegration, rehabilitation, and to actually deter them from reoffending. A possible policy to implement to avoid incarcerating non-violent offenders is implementing a program that assists offenders with education and seeking employment.
A program of this magnitude will give offenders the opportunity to remain connected with society and will give them the opportunity to become successful members of society. The program may provide job training skills, education courses, and employers who are willing to employ individuals with a criminal history. Not only will this program benefit ex-offenders, it will also benefit the companies that hire them. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit is a federal tax credit given to companies to reduce the federal tax liability of employers to be used as an incentive for employing ex-offenders (Tax Credits, n. . ). The main objective of the policy is to provide crime control and crime prevention oppose to punishing offenders only for them to reoffend. Implementing this policy may become a challenge because of the procedures necessary to implement the policy. The first step and most important step of starting this policy is compiling a list of employers willing to hire ex-offenders. For more than one reason, employers may believe hiring an ex-offender would be detrimental to their company.
However, one of the goals of this program is to provide the skills and abilities to satisfy the employers, preventing recidivism. The second step of starting this policy is proposing the policy to policy makers. The policy will need the support of the community and the overall criminal justice system to be a success. The program can be a success providing it has the necessary resources. Profiling is an issue within the criminal justice system. Profiling, as it refers to criminal justice, includes using gender, sex, and most commonly, race to identify an individual as a suspect or possible suspect of a crime.
Oftentimes, the individual is not a suspect or possible suspect and a crime may not have even been committed however, they are judged based on the above. The issue of profiling, mainly racial profiling, is because of the criminal justice system’s inability to address racial disparities. A fair criminal justice system is an expectation of society. The influence of bias and different treatment in the system should be protected against and evaluated for prosecution. Many instances occur in which an individual has been racially profiled and as a result the individual has been physically, mentally, or emotionally harmed by the incident. Disparities in processing have been seen most prominently in the area of law enforcement, with documentation of widespread racial profiling in recent years. Disparities in the criminal justice system are in part a function of the interrelationship between race and class, and reflect the disadvantages faced by low-income defendants (Mauer, n. d. ). ” Providing a mixed criminal justice system may provide society a sense of comfort if they believe the system consists of individuals similar to them. . A policy should be implemented to employ an equal number of races within the criminal justice system.
There is no absolute way to ensure employing an equal number of races will decrease racial disparities however, employing different races may decrease racial profiling in communities. The policy should also include the intent to prosecute individuals if it is proven that he or she profiled resulting in some form of harm from the incident. This policy will be a challenge to implement considering there may not be any proof of any wrongdoings however, if the incident is reviewed and evaluated, prosecutors may take the necessary steps to prosecute the individual.
The most important step to implement this policy would be to involve the community and policy makers. Policy makers would have to agree to approach legislation with the policy to implement a law that would decrease racial profiling. The community’s involvement is also important. Society members can assist in ensuring individuals are prosecuted for wrongdoings by reporting mistreatment to them or reporting mistreatment of others. The current criminal justice system has issues that can be addressed by implementing different policies. The two policies described above can assist in improving the operation of the criminal justice system.
Implementing a policy that will allow offenders to reintegrate back into society, rehabilitate, and to deter them from reoffending will decrease the amount of individuals incarcerated and as a result possibly decrease the amount of taxes paid by taxpayers. The policy will also provide crime control and crime prevention oppose to punishing offenders only for them to reoffend. Implementing a policy that punishes criminal justice employees for profiling is another method that can assist in improving the operation of the criminal justice system.
The goal of this policy is to decrease profiling by employing different races thus decreasing the possibility of profiling. References American Bar Association. (n. d. ). American Bar Association Criminal Justice System Improvements. Retrieved from American Bar Association http://www. abanet. org/poladv/transition/2008dec_crimjustice. pdf Mauer, M. (n. d). Racial Disparities and Criminal Justice. Fdch Congressional Testimony, Retrieved From Masterfile Premier Database. National H. I. R. E Network. (n. d. ). Tax Credits. Retrieved from National H. I. R. E Network http://www. hirenetwork. org/admin/clearinghouse. php? state_id=NC
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