Thursday, September 26, 2019

Criminal justice Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1500 words

Criminal justice - Essay Example These topics have been chosen as a function of their interconnected nature as well as the fact that it is this authors belief that each of these situations works to exponentially complicate and compound the primary issue that the US criminal justice system faces; namely overcrowding in its penitentiary system. The first issue that this analysis will consider relates to the issue that has evolved from what this author will deem â€Å"incarceration for profit†. Although few individuals in the United States are aware of this practice, the fact of the matter is that it has grown from an isolated incidence to a multi-million dollar a year industry. The central issue can be explained as a system whereby overburdened municipalities cannot immediately afford the massive expense that is called for in order to build a new penitentiary system. As a way to bridge this gap while making a substantial profit, private firms enter into the equation and offer the municipality a joint venture wh ich is oftentimes hard to resist. These firms offer to front the necessary capital to build the facility as well as staff it with private contracting security firms. The catch then comes as the municipality agrees to an extended lease of the facility. Although at face value this may seem an ingenious way for a private firm to work to alleviate the strains that a municipality may have with relation to prison overcrowding, it is however slightly more sinister than one would at first presume. Due to the fact that a private firm now has stake in the criminal justice system, a system that arguably the state and the state alone should have prevue over, the interests of rehabilitation and reform are placed as secondary to overall profit. Such a situation is counter to the very foundations of what the criminal justice system is supposed to provide to society. In this way, incarceration has become the primary focus of policy makers and local leaders whereas the needs of those incarcerated as well as the secondary objectives of rehabilitation and reform are all but forgotten in a drive to provide more â€Å"bed space† for existing and incoming offenders. This issue has been compounded by a host of policy decisions; some of these are beyond the scope of this individual analysis. However, two of the complicating factors will be discussed at greater length within this analysis. Likewise, the second challenge which faces the current criminal justice system is the result of the failed War on Drugs. The â€Å"war on drugs† began in 1971 as a mandate from President Richard M. Nixon. Rather than engage in a thesis length discussion as to the nature of drug usage and whether it is a victimless crime in society, this paper will focus on the obscenely high costs that are associated with the unsuccessful prosecution of this war on drugs. In 2010 alone, the United States federal government expended in excess of 15 billion USD to combat the drug problem in the United St ates.1 This figure expands when one considers the fact that taken on aggregate, state and local governments expended a further 25 billion dollars during the very same period. The expenditure alone however is only a portion of the problem. Drug related arrests account for in excess of 13% of all arrests that are made; more than any other crime with respect to

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