Social Issues in the Criminal Justice Field
Social Issues in the Criminal Justice Field
All of society deals with social issues, either directly or indirectly. These can be problems or matters affecting all of society, usually in a negative manner. In the US, some predominant social issues include homelessness, domestic violence and gang violence. Criminal justice professionals face these types of issues daily. The criminal justice professional is always active and busy, dealing with countless amounts of criminal activity throughout the country. Every criminal justice professional has a job to do, to better their community and the society they work within.
Homelessness is an unfortunate problem that will continue to grow if our society does not make it a national priority to address this issue in a systemic way. In the US more than 3.5 million people experience homelessness each year, which 20% of these families have children. (National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, 2014.) The combination of the high cost of living, low-wage jobs, and high unemployment rates only worsen these problems and force countless Americans to choose between food, housing, and other expenses. Homelessness can end, by tackling its root causes and improving support services, such as TANF, housing vouchers and health care.
Another crucial issue for criminal justice professionals is domestic violence. Domestic violence is abuse that happens in a personal relationship. It affects men and woman of any ethnic group, race, or religion; gay or straight; rich or poor; teen, adult or elderly. But most of its victims are women. In fact, 1 out of 4 women will be a victim at some point in their life. (U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2014.) Criminal justice professionals serve as a way out to victims of domestic violence; they help with counseling and can also support the victim through shelter programs. They will also provide services to the perpetrators through voluntary and court mandated batterer intervention programs. As professionals committed to social justice, domestic violence is a social justice issue.
One of the most difficult social issues we face as a country is gang violence. A gang is a group of people who claim a territory and use it to make money through illegal activities. Gangs are one of the leading factors for growth of violent crimes; gang violence has become increasingly deadly in the last several decades as a result of the introductions of automatic weapons and drive- by shootings. (Gang Violence and Gun Control, 2013.) Many gangs resort to violence, even homicide, to enforce loyalty and prevent members from leaving. Some criminal justice professionals specialize in gang violence and are only specifically assigned to gang violence crimes. Such specialized units are created in order to focus departmental resources, energy, and skills on specific community problems.
The criminal justice system is a vital part of our society and we know that complete, effective, and fair operation of criminal justice system powers is crucial to ending violence, both for releasing individuals and for ending the worldwide epidemic of violence against one another in this human race. The public knows that the police cannot prevent every crime, nor arrest every criminal. However, they expect a criminal justice system, which is reliable, effective, and valued. It must deal with cases proficiently; fight crime in each state and each town in this country. Thus, the society needs criminal justice systems to protect, to discourage and to stop crime. Obviously, the idea of having a system is to ensure justice and equality throughout a social setting.
It is a must that criminal justice professionals always stay active and busy, in order to keep up with the progressing crime rates and social issues. Every society has social issues, as these problems evolve, so do the jobs in the criminal justice profession. To remain a viable resource to the community and individuals, whether they are victims or perpetrators, criminal justice professionals must be willing to better the lives of the people they touch. These social issues can end by tackling its root causes and improving support services. Criminal justice professionals are not the only ones that can help make a difference in these lives but also everyone in the society as a whole, when you come together, changes can happen.
Gang Violence and Gun Control, 2013
http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2013/01/gang_violence_and_gun_control.html U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2014 http://www.statisticbrain.com/domestic-violence-abuse-stats/ National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, 2014