The Criminal Justice System is plagued with social issues in this ever changing society. Youth violence has become a growing problem due to the economic breakdown in the inner cities and the availability of illegal guns. Criminal Justice professionals are responsible for the control of illegal guns and the gun markets. Youth in today’s society have turned to dealing drugs and gangs because they see no other way out of their economic and social pressures. Criminal Justice professionals need more training or education in dealing with disenfranchised youth. There needs to be great consideration in funding more youth programs that can provide a safe place for our youth. Inner city youth began carrying guns as means of protection from harassing drug dealers and gang members and they did this because there just aren’t enough law enforcement officers out there for individual protection.
Another social issue that the Criminal Justice professional faces is the incredible amount of drugs in our communities. Drug markets were once ran by organized crime groups, but now they are ran by individuals seeking to make fast cash. This subculture of people lives by values and lifestyles that devalue the legitimate means of earning a living and they embrace the use of violence to solve disputes. The Criminal Justice professionals are plagued with the role of arresting and prosecuting both dealers and addicts thus creating overcrowding in our prisons and jails. There needs to be alternatives to drug sentences such as more community based sentencing like mandatory in house treatment facilities for arrestees. These facilities should be clinic or hospital based with confinement and security. Arrestees should also be tested for drugs upon booking and if tested positive, they should be placed in mandatory treatment while detained on their crimes.
Violence against women is another social issue that plagues the Criminal Justice professional. Rape and battery of women is not an old issue, but it is a cultural issue. Women have been seen for years as the weaker species and therefore need to be controlled. Before women’s rights were gained, men had control over their wives in such a way that it was okay to beat their wives for disobedience or to force their wives to have sex against their will because that is her duty as a wife. This mentality continues in a lot of men today and rape victims still find themselves blamed for the rape in a court of law. The role of the Criminal Justice professional is to protect the victim, arrest and prosecution of offenders, and provide victim outreach programs. There needs to be more anonymity for the victims of rape and battery because so many victims are too scared to come forward, afraid of retaliation from the offender or their life being put on trial in court. Minorities are greatly underserved when it comes to victim outreach programs so there needs to be more support for these individuals such as multilingual services and minority staff offered to this group of individuals.
Youth violence, drugs, and violence against women plague our justice system and our communities. There must be some great consideration in our federal, state, and local government in funding for these social issues. Laws need to be reformed for our youth, women and our prisons and jails.
Courtney from Study Moose