Research & Policy Development
Research & Policy Development
Within the field of criminal justice there is a lot of research taken place. Many foundations built the criminal justice system and research is one of them because it is more than just a primary tool used to advance a handful of knowledge. The types of research used within the criminal justice system have a great benefit to the developments of policy making, areas in the law enforcement, the correction facilities and crime prevention. The importance of research as it relates to policy development will be further discussed and analyzed.
There are a whole lot of criminal justice policies to name. The many types of policies within the field of criminal justice that already exist have to do with drugs, sex offenders, crime prevention, domestic violence arrest laws, gun laws, sentencing and punishments, community policing and many more. The purposes of policies in the criminal justice system is to prevent and control crime and most importantly achieve justice for the victims that have faced unfortunate events.
In the criminal justice system research feeds policy development and policy development has a large influence on research. They both go hand in hand together and the relationship that exists between these two constantly evolves the criminal justice system. When criminal justice researchers do their job and conduct research on specific topics related to crime they will obtain a lot of information regarding the crime, why it occurs, what factors influence it, how it can be controlled and how it can be eventually prevented. With the information that criminal justice researchers obtain from their studies, they can figure out strategies. Not only will research prevent crime but also examine whether or not existing programs within the criminal justice system are working properly and effectively, what needs to be done and what challenges are still unaddressed. In order for policy-makers to inform their policy developments they need to have research-based evidence showing the reasons for the policy or practice they are proposing. An individual who is planning on proposing a new policy may not always know enough information on top of his or her head about that certain topic.
The availability of research can greatly assist policy-makers in informing their policy decisions. The research and information that a policy-maker discovers and decides to take under his or her wing will influence his or her beliefs and attitude from there on out, not only can he or she use the research that is directly discovered but if he or she is really intrigued by it they could possibly relate their own experiences to it, which will also help in creating the way they want to inform their policy decision. A really interesting hot topic that had existed in the criminal justice that had been long and tirelessly worked on is the lack of victim participation. Victims have felt a sense of being left out and without a voice for a very long time by the criminal justice system.(“A Victims Right To Speak”, n.d) Such factors like the lack of information provided for victims about their rights and roles have greatly contributed to this problem. Researchers have pointed out that if communication between agencies and the victims are more transparent about their rightsand if they are treated how they should be, there would be a rise in victims willing to participate. At the time, the research provided for policy-makers helped them develop and put in place procedures for victims. Eventually, many of our states have adopted victim’s rights movements. (Ruddy, (2014))
In the year of 2011, our nation’s drug problem was being highly recognized not only by the Obama administration but even an ordinary local police officer named Lt. Daniel Gannon. Mr. Gannon stated that not every drug offender deserves to be put in jail for a long time but rather in drug treatment centers. Police officer Daniel Gannon is an advocate for a local policing program, which is called Drug Market Intervention. The program operates to create evidenced-based drug policies. Since that year, the Obama administration was involved in a research effort to figure out ways in which our drug policies can be reformed and have a greater and more positive impact on the ongoing drug problem in the hands of our nation. A total of $10.4 billion has been put towards treatment programs so that the non-violent drug offenders do not have to be thrown into jail. The Obama Administration implemented the Second Chance Act which congress was very fond of because of its approach towards reducing crime. The fund has provided funding enough to improve programs that help reduce individuals from offending again. (Lemaitre, (2012))
As we can see research can do many wonders in criminal justice policy-making and reforms. Without conducting research policy-makers could not have enough evidence alone to support the policy that they want to be implemented.
A Victims Right to Speak. (n.d). Retrieved from https://www.ncjrs.gov/ovc_archives/reports/impact/impact.htm
Eisen, L. ((2015), February 28). Are More Criminal Justice Reforms on the Horizon in 2015?. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laurenbrooke-eisen/are-more-criminal-justice_b_6392102.html
Lemaitre, R. ((2012), February 1). Obama Drug Policy: Reforming the Criminal Justice System. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rafael-lemaitre/drug-policy-reform-_b_1126225.html
Ruddy, R. ((2014)). The VIctims Role in the Justice Process. Retrieved from http://www.internetjournalofcriminology.com/Ruddy_The_Victim’s_Role_in_the_Justice_Process_IJC_Jan_2014.pdf