Criminal justice can be said to be the system of governmental institutions and practices aimed at holding up social control, crime mitigation and deterring, for example giving penalties to criminals and also rehabilitating them. The career mostly falls in between legal and law enforcement. Law enforcement is the ones dealing with the criminal behavior causes and societal response to crime, for example criminology and forensic psychology. Policing also fall in this category. The current issue in the criminal justice field is The Punishment and Criminalization of young people and children (Martin & Philbin, 1980).
Many children aged 13 and 14 years in the United States who have undergone the prosecution for adults have continued being sentenced to life imprisonment with no signs of parole. However the juveniles continue to being imprisoned despite the fact that their sentence is unconstitutional hence leading to their death with no review and scrutiny or follow up. According to (EJI) Equal Justice Initiative undertaken in the year 2008, about seventy three cases showing that juveniles have died in prison through condemnation followed by minimal review have been documented. The courts did not consider that the children were young making the sentences imposed on them mandatory. Most of the children were combined with the crimes which had been committed by adults and old teenagers leading to involvement of two thirds of children of a younger age (Goodman & Grimming, 2007).
The difference between older teens and young children should then be observed. Below are then some problems which make this situation to keep on growing. Influence from dysfunctional backgrounds. This is because of exposure to violence, like mostly most of them have been subjected to sexual abuse; they have been abandoned or have even been neglected. Secondly, their parents are drug and dealers, addicts, sex workers and alcoholics. This then makes it clear that these children have been brought up in poor places with lethal violence, where their parents were not able to afford safety, health and luxuries that every child would require.
It was therefore brought into conclusion by Oklahoma that when a person is a youth, they are vulnerable to psychological damage and influence and this has been taken to be more than a chronological fact. Moreover, the children who have gone through this have some things in common which disturbs them. Protection and treatment from health care providers, police failure, foster systems, family courts and protection agencies of young children. Most of the crimes committed by these children are mostly because of their trial to self-protection (Cassese, Acquaviva & Akande, 2009).
A good number of adolescents have a condition of alcohol dependence which started before they were born from their parent’s womb. Some of them go further to suffer from emotional and physical abuse which can lead them to commit suicide at their young age. Young children who are exposed to neglect trauma and abuse suffer from minimal maturity, cognitive undergrowth, a reduced ability of impulse restrain and a great vulnerability of influence from outside compared to the one for normal youth. It is not expected of teenagers to apply their personal biological or psychological will in order to operate with the capacity of impulse control, judgment, maturity, risk taking of an adult. Children of such exposure are assumed not to function at their adolescent standard levels. They are not given the resources they need like treatment or safety. The court therefore assumes these circumstances when imposing the harsh sentences in them.
In turn, the general act of imposing young children life sentences breaks the international law of the United States. The EJI terms the action as unusual and cruel and they should all be re-sentenced with immediate effect to parole sentences. A life imprisonment is cruel and harsh when exercised on a young child. In addition, many nations apart from the United States of America have come together in unison to ensure that they eliminate life imprisonment of children without parole-eligibility for all individuals under the age of eighteen years. The system of the criminal justice then has five major challenges facing it as they try to develop solutions to terrorism and crime. They are then as follows:
The crime cycle and drug use
- The crime cycle and drug use
- The youth who are in the criminal justice system
- Violence against women
- The high incarceration rate
- The ‘three strikes’ legislation
According to statistics, a good percentage of men when arrested and tested for drugs, their results are positive, hence a vicious cycle of drug usage and criminal activity. The hard task that remains currently is evaluation the effects that this would have.
The youth who are in the criminal justice system
This actually refers to the way in which the criminal justice views the juveniles. The fundamental thing that should be done is to ensure that justice is employed in the community and that there is safety.
Violence against women
Millions of women have been realized to go through physical assault by their intimate partners annually. Stalking has also become a rampant than it was thought.
The high incarceration rate
A couple millions of people have been incarcerated for criminology and about seventy million put under supervision in the United States. It is then an issue that affects the community individuals where the crimes were undertaken. The cost of about fifty billion dollars annually in efforts to correct clearly shows the role played by economics.
The’ three strikes’ legislation
This policy means that when a person is arrested and convicted for three times they are said to be ‘out’. Recidivism is known to decrease as the age of the person increases. When sentencing they don’t consider the fact that the individual may fall into offence again. However paradigms and prevention need to be taken into consideration. The main problems that the criminal justice faces are trends like human trafficking, streets violence, cybercrime, guns, gangs, terrorist and activities. Thinking strategically and communicating to locals is what the leaders in charge should employ to come up with solutions.
In conclusion, the criminal justice field has been important in every nationality who have dully taken the initiative of it.it has created job opportunities for the people like health workers, foster homes and many others. It has helped to observe the rights of citizens from different countries making it an approved law. It should then be observed for the proper running of a nation and progress in the daily life.
Cassese, A., Acquaviva, G., & Akande, D. (2009). The Oxford Companion to International Criminal Justice. Oxford: OUP Oxford.
Goodman, D. J., & Grimming, R. (2007). Work in criminal justice: An A-Z guide to careers. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Martin, C. A., & Philbin, A. (1980). Women as probation, parole, and correctional officers in the criminal justice field: A selected bibliography. Monticello, IL: Vance Bibliographies.