The Criminal Justice System in the United States of America deals with the formulation and the implementation of laws regarding criminal acts and investigating cases of their violation, arresting criminals, administration of justice, punishment, and rehabilitation. The departments face numerous accusations such as corruption, discrimination, violation of the rights of the accused, the prisoners, and the public. These accusations undermine the leading groups’ reputation and result in the occurrence of various challenges that need solving.
Criminal justice organizations are government institutions mandated to deter and mitigate crime, uphold social control, impose penalties on lawbreakers, and rehabilitate them without violating their constitutional rights (Dale, 2011). Examples of such organizations include the law enforcement bodies, courts, and prisons among others. The police force’s mandate is to maintain peace, enforce the law concerning criminal activities in a given jurisdiction, and provide services to the community (McElreath et al., 2013). Usually, suspects face charges after the police have investigated the offense in question and apprehended them. However, if the culprit is a threat to the whole country, a national law enforcement agency may intervene. In particular, there may be a legal allowance for the bodies to use coercion or force to implement a social order. Furthermore, the courts deal with the settling of disputes and administering justice. Their staff members include defense attorneys who offer legal counsel to the accused, prosecutors who prepare the charge sheet, and judges who deliver the verdict. Finally, the correctional departments comprise jails and prisons where the administration of punishment or rehabilitation takes place and poor living conditions and the violation of rights are evident.
Bias, discrimination, and prejudice influence the course of judgment, thus shattering the confidence of citizens. Numerous complaints about the courts, the police, and the correctional facilities contribute to the occurrence of challenges in the entire criminal justice system. Thus, the management team has to act appropriately to improve the services offered and restore the fading confidence in the eyes of the public. To address the challenges that criminal justice organizations face, their leaders should take intervention measures. The latter will assist in effecting changes that promote work ethics that facilitates the professional execution of duties while considering the rights of the affected people and the public.
The United States is among the victims of domestic and international terrorist activities that target its installations both in foreign countries and on its territory. Such actions included the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya and the 2001 World Trade Center terrorist attack in the New York City (Office of the Inspector General, 2011). The management of the criminal justice organizations faces the problems of formulating and implementing appropriate strategies to deal proactively with the threat and respond to the actualized danger without interfering with the civil rights of the American citizens. Some of the issues surrounding this challenge are the coordination of the various government agencies to improve the efficiency of response, tracking and pre-empting terroristic cyber intrusion, processing, managing, and sharing of information among others.
Cost Savings and Efficiency
The increased security threats continue to inflate the monetary needs for security operations, hence stressing the budget as in the case of 2011 when a deficit of $1.28 trillion occurred. To curb the imbalances of spending, the leaders face the challenge of practicing proper management of resources to avoid duplication and wastage on unnecessary operations. Another monetary issue is coping with the incarceration charges for the increased prisoners as well as the high rates charged by the jailers (Office of the Inspector General, 2011).
The Southwest Border Threat
The activities of the organized criminal gangs and cartels, such as human, drug, firearm, and ammunition smuggling across the U.S.-Mexican border that stretches for 2,000 miles, provide a major challenge to the managers of the criminal justice organizations in curbing the illegal business. The accusations of militarizing of the border point and the violation of the rights and freedoms of the people complicate the operations, thus necessitating the formulation and implementation of actions to address the matters of concern (Office of the Inspector General, 2011).
Protection of the Civil Rights and Liberties
Apart from enforcing criminal laws and preventing the terror threats, guarding of civil and constitutional rights of Americans is a crucial duty of the criminal justice organizations. However, the leaders face problems in balancing these two goals. For instance, the controversial and problematic PATRIOT Act allows the Federal Bureau of Investigations to obtain business records of individuals without consent. As a result, one may consider it a clear violation of the rights of individuals (Office of the Inspector General, 2011). Moreover, the utilization of the National Security Letters to track communication and financial records of citizens and the arrest and detention of witnesses also frustrate the idea of human rights. All the issues mentioned above adversely affect the reputation of the various departments that deal with criminal law and justice, making their management come up with mechanisms that respect people’s dignity.
The Planning, Implementation, and Security of Information Technology Systems
The management of information technology machinery and processes is hectic and it contributes to the failure, delays, the cyber threat, and extreme costs. The Office of Management and Budget highlighted the systems at risk. They included the Litigation Case Management System that was shut down after consuming several millions of dollars and the Next Generation Identification expected to cost $1.2 billion upon its completion in 2017 (Office of the Inspector General, 2011). One more challenge is the establishment of a unified financial management system to enhance the preparation of monetary statements and facilitate audit and the development of a network of communication between officials of various departments.
Criminal Law Enforcement
The criminal justice organizations continue to prioritize the fight against terrorism. However, in the United States, a variety of unlawful activities such as drug, weapon, and human trafficking, gambling, and cybercrime among others continues to thrive, hence lowering the level of security in the country. Therefore, the management of these institutions should not overlook other crimes while focusing too much on terror challenges because they also threaten the law and the security of the public of the United States (Office of the Inspector General, 2011).
Restoration of Confidence
Some of the organizations have a bad reputation. Particularly, the dismissal of nine attorneys in 2007 and their replacement based on political and ideological beliefs as opposed to ethical or work-related issues can serve as an example of the action, which shatters people’s confidence. The management of the organizations has a challenge of improving the image in the eyes of the public by eradicating corruption. Furthermore, it should also instill discipline in the workers who misuse the investigative powers by mishandling cases and molest people by the correctional officers in whose custody they fall (Office of the Inspector General, 2011).
Detention and Incarceration
The Federal Bureau of Prisons and the U.S. Marshals Service face the problem of economical, secure, and safe detention of the swelling population of inmates and detainees. The issues surrounding this problem include overcrowding that undermines the prison capacity, high convicts-to-staff ratio, and the lack provision of jobs, education, healthcare, sanitation, and other social services. Moreover, leading groups fail to maintain the infrastructure and the management of staff to avert the misconduct that occurs in the form of the violation of rights. Finally, some more issues concern contraband smuggling in the cells and sexual harassment (Office of the Inspector General, 2011).
Developing Professional Standards of Performance
As a criminal justice professional, I would consider taking a number of steps to address the challenges faced by criminal justice organizations. As mentioned earlier, sometimes, the leading groups have a bad reputation in the eyes of the public, which happened during the case of the unfair dismissal of nine attorneys in 2007 and their replacement based on non-professional reasons (Office of the Inspector General, 2011). Furthermore, there also exist many malpractices, ranging from manipulations of the law in courts to the accusations of violation of the rights of incarcerated people (Epstein & Mauer, 2012). Therefore, I would consider setting up a strict code of ethics that emphasizes evidence-based practices and the adherence to the rights of defendants to help rebuild the spoilt reputation.
Adopting Strategies of Rehabilitating Criminals
Most of the correctional departments and institutions tend to focus on subjecting the inmates to suffering as opposed to assisting them in reforming their behavior. Consequently, there is a need to shift the goal of incarceration from punishment to helping felons rebuild their lives and averting the possibilities of the repeated implication of former convicts into crimes (Epstein & Mauer, 2012). Thus, I would seek to transform the correctional institutions by improving the living conditions of prisoners, advocating for their rights, and promoting behavioral change. Particularly, I would recommend the provision of training and job opportunities to enable criminals to obtain skills for their survival upon their release.
Promotion of Community Policing
To curb crime and enhance the security of all people effectively, the criminal justice organizations need to work hand in hand with the members of the public to improve the soiled relations (Epstein & Mauer, 2012). The citizens need to share information freely with the security agencies, airing their dissatisfaction with the services offered by these organizations to facilitate the streamlining of the operations of eliminating felony.
Advocating for Amendments of Laws
In the United States, there are allegations of unfair incarceration of the minorities, especially the African-Americans. The country’s prison population constitutes a quarter of the global number of inmates, yet the American people make only 5% of the world population. African-Americans are more likely to be potential victims of incarceration as compared to the whites (Epstein & Mauer, 2012). As a professional, I would petition a change in the laws to make sure that only serious offenses warrant a conviction. By implementing this change, I would reduce the congestion of inmates. The laws that target the minorities also require adjustment to avoid the unfair implications of such groups.
The leaders of the criminal justice organizations such as courts, prisons and other correctional facilities, the security departments, and the legislative bodies have a hard task of undertaking reforms in their institutions to solve a wide range of problems that pose challenges to them. These problems include the counterterrorism, cost savings and efficiency, the Southwest border threat, the protection of civil rights, the information technology problems, a variety of criminal law enforcement threats, restoration of confidence, and the detention and incarceration of large numbers of people. Among the solutions needed are the setting up of professional standards of work, rehabilitation of prisoners as opposed to punishment, facilitating community policing, and the amendment of laws to avoid victimization of minorities and the imprisonments based on petty offenses.