The Criminal Justice System Essay

642 words - 3 pages

The Criminal Justice System

The United States criminal justice system is perhaps the most intricate process in the developed world. It consists of three parts; the legislative body (responsible for creating laws), corrections (responsible for imprisonment) and the court system. The legislative body is self-explanatory and the bulk of the legislative process is through Congress. The corrections division of the justice system is vital as it facilitates the punishments of the accused who are found guilty. Typically this is comprised of a sentence determined by the court system and varies depending on the severity of the crime. Not all punishments lead to imprisonment however, as there are other means of rehabilitating a criminal such as house arrest, community service and mandatory drug rehabilitation of the situation calls for it. The court system facilitates disputes between individuals and is the administering body for justice.

While the system is ...view middle of the document...

However, this justice system does not come without it's flaws.

The current statistics reveal some disturbing truths regarding the justice system in which minorities are overwhelmingly marginalized. The unequal treatment of minorities is a very serious problem the America faces in today's age. This is backed by some troubling statistics. For example, a recent Justice Department report indicates that out of all of defendants who are sentenced to death in the state of Virginia, over 80% of them can be identified as minorities. The statistics only serve to reinforce the upward trend of racial disparity in which minority groups are locked in a system where crime and imprisonment is the norm. While it is important to tackle this issue, it is extremely difficult to get to the source of the matter as there are many players in the grand scheme of the justice system. Furthermore, this instability and disparity that is caused by the justice system only serves to make the public ever weary of the justice system and leads to a wide-scale distrust of the system itself. A survery conducted in 1999 revealed that in a survey of 2000 participants, only 20% of them trusted the court system and 50% responded by saying they had “some trust” in the system.

Overall, the justice system is vast in it's capabilities and amount of individuals involved in the process. From the average beat-patrol police officer to a Supreme Court Justice, the overall process involves these players and everyone else in between. In my opinion, the justice system is far from effective and can certainly use a great deal of adjustment to further advance civil liberties and ensure that individuals are treated fair and properly. On the other hand, even though it is flawed in many aspects, it still ensures the safety of the public and social order to a fair degree. However, the massive scale of racial disparity that is facilitated by the justice system is perhaps the greatest challenge that it faces and, in all reality, will probably never be “fixed”; only mitigated. In the land of the free, it seems that the individuals with the wherewithal to defend themselves to a great extent in the court of law come out relatively unscathed, while the lower echelons of society are left twisting in the wind.

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