Criminal Justice Agencies
U.S. Homeland Security Act. The enactment of the US Homeland Security Act was conducted in 2002 with a singular objective of preventing terrorist attacks to the United States of America. The provisions of the Homeland Security Act have given the government the authority to observe record and analyze individual, private affairs and lives. These are done in an attempt to identify and neutralize any terrorist threats within and without the borders of the United States. The US Homeland Security Act gives the government the authority to hoard and withhold information considered sensitive in matters of national security (Whitehead, 2002). The act also gives the US government the right to withdraw security structures from areas considered as inconsequential to areas or persons of special interest.
The US Homeland Security Act negates the principles of social justice, where all the persons are treated equitably under the law. Individuals suspected of terrorism are not subject to the procedures of criminal justice as stipulated by the constitution. All the persons held under the US Homeland Security Act are denied the right to refuse unreasonable seizure and search or the right to legal representation under the law. Suspected terrorists are not presumed to be innocent before they are proven to be guilty but presumed guilty until they are proven to be innocent. Therefore, the incarceration of terrorism suspects is not aimed at rehabilitation per se but incapacitation of suspected terrorists by life imprisonment or other methods.
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The US Homeland Security Act gives the government the right to withhold information despite the public’s demands for it. Despite the threat, posed by terrorist attacks, the disregard for the fundamental principles of the law, where each citizen is granted equitable liberties, rights, freedoms and responsibilities in the society are detrimental to the significance of social justice in the United States (Whitehead, 2002). I feel that the processes of criminal justice under the law should be applicable to all suspected criminals irrespective of their crimes. These will prevent violating fundamental individual freedoms and rights as per the constitution while preserving human rights and the rule of law.
International Aspects of Criminal and Social Justice. The applications of the rule of law are recognized across the international community. The application of criminal and social justice is critical in facilitating international cohesion, peace and economic developments. The protection of human rights, individual liberties and freedoms in the international community are overseen by the United Nations. The UN is critical to the management, administration and execution of international justice. The member countries of the UN are in conformity with enacted international laws that provide for criminal and social justice. The establishment of the international criminal court creates a framework for the facilitation and exercise of criminal and social justice.
The rule of law is constantly abused by individuals in positions of power like political leaders. I feel that if the world leaders and rulers are left to dictate the applications of the law, the resultant effects would be the abuse of the rule of law. The infringement of human rights, freedoms and liberties, would be uncensored. Therefore, international criminal and social justice seeks to strengthen the rule of law across political and international boundaries.
The cooperation of governments in control and prevention of international criminal activities is characteristic of international criminal justice. I sense that crime is an evolving aspect of human culture; therefore, the spread of criminal activities across international boundaries should be prevented. This can be realized by harmonizing criminal and social justice systems. This will allow the law enforcement agencies to pursue criminals beyond international boundaries without facing restrictions of jurisdiction and applicable laws. These have been illustrated by law agencies like the International Police (the Interpol) a great deal. The functions of criminal and social justice should illustrate fairness and accountability in their policies and procedures, on the treatment of international criminal offenders; in lieu of their legal rights and obligations. However, obsolete information and technological applications of the international criminal and social justice systems should be done away, while incorporating new developments in critical areas.
Re-Introduction to Society after Release. The rehabilitative programs offered by correctional facilities are crucial in the re-introduction of prisoners into the society. However, the community must be willing to accept the released offender by offering them an environment and opportunity to illustrate their rehabilitated behavior and regard for the rule of law. The re-introduction process requires keen monitoring to ascertain that the released offender does not revert to his criminal activities. Therefore, an effective re-introduction structure should be formulated to ensure efficient re-introduction into the society. The failure to create feasible structures in terms of allocated resources will result to increased recidivism rates, leading to a failed correctional and rehabilitative system.
I feel that individual cases of released offenders should be categorized according to merit and level of vulnerability in reverting to criminal activity. These facilitate optimal allocation of resources to areas of critical need; however, the commitment of the offender is critical in the success of the re-introduction program. I sense that the community will attempt to avoid affiliation with the offender; however, the offender must realize that re-introduction is a process where trust is earned. The social justice systems in place should prepare to assimilate the released offender into the work force by providing adequate training and supportive programs.
The social justice system is the determinant of the job placement program being available; therefore, the placement of released offenders is overseen by the social justice programs. The appropriate job is provided on the basis of the skills possessed and capability of application. The job market is significantly aggressive; hence, the services of the social justice system in facilitating and supporting job placement for released offenders are critical (Wilson, 2010). Progress being made is constantly monitored to ensure that the released offender does not deviate from the program. The social justice systems ensure that the terms and requirements of release or parole are met to the latter; thus in enforcing compliance and prevention of relapsing to criminal activities or disregard for the rule of law. The released offenders are mentored while building their social integration skills and regard for the rule of law.
Societal Programs. Societal programs are essential in the re-entry process into communities; therefore, their role in maintenance of social justice should not be ignored. Societal programs act as support systems attempting to prevent relapses into previous destructive or criminal activities. For instance, physical and mental treatment on substance abuse provided in societal rehabilitation and treatment centers are critical. A significant number of released prisoners revert to drug abuse in an attempt to cope with societal challenges; however, the societal programs are tailored to enable them to cope with these challenges without the influence of substance abuse. The dangers and repercussions of drug abuse offer a formidable challenge in combating recidivism, in correctional systems. Therefore, I feel that the creation of societal programs like substance abuse treatment and prevention programs is essential.
The affordability of medical services enables a released offender to focus on the development of self reform while preventing the recurrence of past behavior that led to their incarceration. The societal programs like healthcare, Medicaid and housing, are critical. In the vent of ailments or occurrence of disease it is difficult for a released offender to pay for their personal or their family’s medical bills. The lack of medical insurance or significant employment is the factors that may lead to individuals resulting to criminal activities in attempt to provide for their families (Wilson, 2010). The provision of housing to released offenders creates confidence in the system and illustrates the systems willingness to take responsibility towards rehabilitation. The societal programs like Medicaid are instrumental in the rehabilitation and reformation of released offenders. These give them a rationale to re-evaluate their priorities and alignments towards the rule of law in their daily activities.
The released offenders have not any immediate ability to cover their living costs; therefore, societal programs act as complementary income source. These programs characterize released offenders as needy; thus, enroll them in their assistance for family programs. These enable the released offenders to cover the costs of their basic needs while they look for employment and placement opportunities. Social services are instrumental in ensuring that families of released offenders are protected and provided with the basic needs; hence, making societal programs is an integral aspect of the solution to the effective rehabilitation problem.
Approaches to Protect Society from Released Inmates. The re-entry of released offenders is to some extent construed as a threat to the community. The negative regard and criminal association of released inmates create an apprehensive environment where the public fears for their safety. The risks associated with reentry of released offenders are characterized by their inability to secure gainful employment, housing and health services. If released inmates are unable to integrate themselves into the society, they revert to criminal activities. Criminal activities pose a danger to the community where people are victimized by the released offenders. This creates a sense of fear and insecurity in the community. In cases of drug related activities, the offenders pose a significant risk to the community health directly or indirectly dealing drugs in public.
The protection of society should not be compromised by the release of offenders. Therefore, the identification of the underlying cause of the crime problem is necessary. The creation of community policing is required to ensure that all activities of released inmates are tracked and reported to the appropriate authority in the event of deviations. The creation of partnership between the community and law enforcement agencies is crucial in the establishment of an integral system of ascertaining public safety at all times. The community policing aspect is effective in the protection of the society against released inmates in its structural characteristics.
Community policing places focus on criminal activities by implementing monitoring, observing and reporting mechanisms which lead to the apprehension of offenders. The engagement of the community in prevention of crimes and protecting the members of society makes community policing the most effective approach to protecting the society from released offenders. However, it is critical to involve the law enforcement agencies in the community policing activities to ensure uniformity of purpose in the public protection objective. Therefore, success in these approaches can only be realized when strong partnership relations are established and maintained between the community and the law enforcement agencies.
Recent Proposals Aimed to Protect Public. The insecurity and danger posed to the public on the release of inmates requires stringent policies and laws to be implemented. The cases have risen where members of the public or law enforcement agents have been harmed by released inmates. Therefore, in order to prevent future occurrences of such actions, it is critical to implement proposals that aim at ascertaining public safety. These proposals include the enabling of the judicial process to deny bail on suspected violent offenders while increasing the severity of penalties imposed on individuals aiding and abetting criminal activities (Lyons, 2012). These individuals include family members, friends and associates. The violation of social justice programs like community service should be swiftly dealt with and severe action prescribed.
These will mitigate the cases of insecurity posed by the release of offenders into the community. Released offenders illustrating a history of violence should be committed to involuntary mental hospitals. These will enable the underlying issue to the history of violence to be unveiled and treated adequately. The creation of a system where bail is not posted before a judge can review the suitability of posting bail for the offender, and the immediate notification of community based correctional officers on the release of inmate under their jurisdiction and supervision from jail is necessary. These proposals are crucial in ensuring that public safety is guaranteed. It also enables law enforcement officers to work in a safe environment without endangering their lives.
Restatement of Thesis, Research, and Proposed Solutions. The inadequacy of the correctional facilities in effective and efficient rehabilitation of inmates has led to increased inmates’ turnover rates; hence, the rehabilitative programs implemented in the jails systems have failed in their purpose and function. The poor structures, inadequate rehabilitative programs and insufficient resources have led to the increased recidivism rates leading to overcrowding the existing correctional facilities.
The research into the correctional agencies dilemma has been conducted through the lessons received in class, which as I feel were critical eye openers to the problem. However, definitive research was done through analysis of statistical data provided by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, analytical journals on demographic trends in American prisons and published scholarly findings on problems and successes of American correctional facilities. These research tools have enabled a concise identification of the problem and recommended solutions, thereto, a great deal.
The mitigation of the problem facing correctional facilities can be attributed to the identification of causes of criminal behavior in each inmate and addressing it as such. It is critical to implement a rehabilitative system that is realistic to the prevailing economic and social demands while tailoring changes as they occur. Redundant and ineffective programs that offer obsolete practical applications should be re-engineered to focus on trending applications at the job markets. Rehabilitative programs should include inmate’s contributions in making the appropriate choice in skill preferences.
These will create an interest in the educational and skill training programs. The creation of feasible effective and efficient social justice structures is characterized by stringent laws on adherence to community release programs. Deviation from release terms and regulations should be met with severe penalties. However, the government should have illustrated its commitment by allocating adequate resources for personnel training and funding of the rehabilitative programs. Released inmates should be subject to a follow up program until such a time their re-entry is considered to be successful; however, time limits should not be imposed to prevent relapses in the event of program withdrawal.
How Corrections in The United States Directly Affect All the Individuals. All the individuals are directly affected by the corrections in the United States directly or indirectly. Individuals are affected directly by being party to or involved with the correctional process in one way or other one. The success of the correctional agencies reduces the rate of crimes, thus creating a sense of security to all the individuals. However, failure of the correctional systems creates insecurity to all the individuals as result of the prevalent criminal activities and victimization. The contributions to the maintenance and financing the correction facilities are derived from taxes. Therefore, the success of the correctional agencies results in reallocation of resources to more productive applications. The correctional problem cannot be designated as the government’s problem but it is the problem that affects all citizens equally.
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