Actions aimed at fixing errors and making necessary or desirable changes in the criminal justice system
Criminal Justice Reform: Complex Issues Criminal Justice Face Everyday
Complex issues face the criminal justice system every day. These issues and how we address them are a reflection of us as a society. Unfortunately, these challenges will not be going away soon. The question is how do we address them and what are we going to do to make the necessary changes?
The US is ranked as one of the world’s worst countries where human trafficking occurs, with over 199,000 cases yearly. California ranks as the state with the highest cases at over 1,300 reported.
There are five types of human trafficking:
- Forced labor (modern-day slavery).
- Forced criminal activity.
- Sexual exploitation.
- Removal of organs.
- People smuggling.
Combatting human trafficking is a top priority. It’s become all too familiar that people from developing countries are exploited. Federal law and policymakers are focussing on laws and programs to support victims and prevent occurrences, but it’s not an easy task as smugglers stay a step ahead of the law.
As research into the relationship between mental illness and crime continues, it’s become more apparent that people with mental illness are more likely to commit a crime. It’s estimated that people with mental illness are ten times more likely to be incarcerated. More than 70% of prisoners in the justice system have some form of mental illness, substance abuse issues, or anti-social behavioral issues.
President Biden’s announcement of a new package of measures to build on the American Rescue Plan aims to address our country’s substance abuse and mental health crisis. Although this is most appreciated, throwing money at the situation won’t solve it. We need to overhaul the entire criminal justice system. This is a big job, and mental health providers, law enforcement, the court system, policy, and lawmakers must work together to address it.
With America’s growing opioid epidemic, more drug arrests are placing considerable pressure on our criminal justice system. A study released in March 2002 states that the war on drugs incarcerations was at 374,000 on any given day, and one in five prisoners is locked up for drug-related offenses.
As we find ourselves in the 21st century, cybercrimes have increased dramatically. Extortions, cyberbullying, identity theft, data breaches, and more are daily challenges. It’s the fastest growing crime and threat taking place in America today. Lawmakers, policymakers, and IT experts play a critical role daily in keeping us safe. We must be flexible, adaptive, and proactive in addressing this threat in our interconnected world.
Homeland Security plays a vital role in our nation’s safety. The criminal justice system must find a balance in addressing homeland security threats and issues without compromising our individual rights. For example, the Patriot Act, written by John Whitehead, violates at least six of the ten Bill of Rights amendments.
On average, 1.9 million people are held in jails in the US on any given day. It’s evident that something needs to change in our criminal justice system. How and why we incarcerate offenders should be the primary questions we should ask ourselves. Policymakers, law enforcement, and social structures need to change.