The criminal justice system entails a set of practices and government institutions that are aimed at promoting and upholding social control, preventing and alleviating crime in society, and rehabilitating any individuals who violate the laws established to govern society. This implies that the criminal justice system is always working toward protecting all members of society and ensuring that any criminals are brought to book with consideration of their constitutional rights. It is crucial to note that the interface between the criminal justice system and the criminal justice connections with the surrounding society are always changing at a rapid rate at the dawn of each day. The continued evolution of the criminal justice system is justified with the need to stay up to date with the changing systems, hence, protecting the entire society in the most required manner.
This article explicates the past, current, and the future trends of the criminal law system. More so, the paper highlights the value of the criminal justice system in the changing society.
The past trends of the criminal justice system can be effectively seen in terms of the focus on the community. It is vital to note that in the past, the criminal justice system had immense focus on the community in which it operated. This was catapulted by the fact that the communities were more united and upheld a high level of moral values that guided every action that was put in place by authorities. Pattavina affirms that the system was community-centered in its entire operations, as the officers believed that the community was the only best place to acquire information relating any form of happenings. Therefore, all the patrols were community-oriented, as this would help present the required information to the officers. Law officers reiterated the need to develop an in-depth understanding of the surrounding community and build cordial relationships to enhance the level of trust. Thus, all the investigations were conducted on the basis of confidential information that was presented by members of the community and which had built effective trust in the criminal justice system for its protective measures.
Additionally, it is important to understand that in the past, the criminal justice system dealt with crimes such as the organized criminal groups, murders, robberies, fights among individuals, and drugs through the information that was derived from the surrounding society. This was explained by the fact that the system did not have the forensic investigation tools but had to rely on the trust that had been built among the members of the society, hence, speeding up arrests of the suspected criminals. Again, the society did not have any shred of fear for the criminal justice officers, hence, making arrests simpler. Arrested individuals could then be prosecuted in accordance with the set penalties for the specific offense. For instance, there were community prisons to lock up those who violated the laws of the society.
The current trends in criminal justice can be viewed in terms of technology, gender consideration, and the sentencing policies. Technologically, the criminal justice officers have better communication gadgets, which enable them identify and apply their competence to any form of criminal activities. Roberts reiterates that with improved technology, the level of communication among the criminal justice officers has improved, and they are able to locate and arrest offenders easily. Again, the improved systems of communication give these officers the best opportunity to conduct forensic investigations concerning matters such as drug trafficking. They are able to move around easily with technologically boosted vehicles and choppers, hence, ensuring that they make quicker arrests than it was in the past. Technology also helps criminal justice officers detect any form of crime and prevent it before it matures. All this is aimed at the protection of society. Unlike the past, the society does not have close relationships with criminal justice officers and most individuals always avoid giving any information. This justifies the current use of technology in the conduction of investigations and the arrest of any suspected criminals.
The current system of criminal justice also tends to give both genders an equal opportunity to maintain law and order in society. Women are given the opportunity to work as police officers and also help in the rehabilitation of individuals who are locked up in correctional departments. This is a shift from the past system, which perceived women a minority group incapable of preventing and protecting the society. The inclusion of women in the performance of the criminal justice duties also reiterates the gender balance to which that the entire society looks forward.
The death penalty can also be considered in the current criminal justice system, as some states argue for its efficiency in handling criminals. There has been much controversy about the death penalty and its fairness in the handling of criminals who have committed offenses relating to felony and other highly rated offense such as terrorist activities. Therefore, the fairness of the death penalty remains in suspense, as some states have readily embraced it, while some others are still contemplating.
According to Ismaili, the future trends of the criminal justice system are also inclined toward the changes in the level of technology. It is believed that in the future, criminal justice officers, such as the police, would have to be given technologically advanced communication and crime detection tools that would play a crucial role in boosting their activities. This is in line with the belief that criminals are also embracing sophisticated means of crime commission. These can only be handled with equal and even superior equipment among criminal justice officers. It is also envisaged that the writing that is used in the passing of judgments could be completely disregarded with the advancing technology. The information pertaining to different criminals and their sentences would be stored in particular applications that would ensure easier retrieval in cases where reference is needed. Therefore, it is also critical to understand these changes and enhance the training of the criminal justice officers. Technological training is the focus of the future trends in the criminal justice system.
The Value of the Criminal Justice System in the Changing Society
The value of the criminal justice system can be noted from its protective capabilities in the community. As noted earlier, the criminal justice system is always focused on protecting the interests of the society in terms of security. This is done through ensuring the arrest of any criminals and their incarceration. This helps to keep the society safe from any form of further criminal activities. The society also feels safe with the availability of the criminal justice system, hence, emphasizing its value.
Additionally, the criminal justice system plays an instrumental role in the correction of individuals. It is always aimed at ensuring that the individual in the society becomes better by correcting criminals and bestowing the correct values and required rules of conduct on them. The correction of criminals involves teaching them on how to become better members of the society and equipping them with the required skills. This boosts the value of these members in society, hence, creating the healthier society with reduced level of crime.
In conclusion, the criminal justice system entails the authorities that are put in place by the government in order to ensure that the society is protected and criminal activities are alleviated. Notably, the criminal justice system has been evolving tremendously with the changes in technology and the overall society. The evolution of the criminal justice system from one generation to another is justified with the belief that it has to match the changing levels of crime and ensure more effective protection of the society. Continuous changes in terms of technology would make the system sounder and more responsive to the criminal activities.