May 4, 2015
Criminal Justice Trends Paper The criminal justice system also referred to as the correctional system has been affected by a number of issues and concerns. Some of the known issues that have surrounded the criminal justice system for a number of years have been the constant increase within the inmate population among several prisons. It is this very issue that has caused many prisons to become extremely overcrowded, which has resulted in a number of budgets. However, there have been a number of philosophies created in order to help aid the correctional system with the evolving changes throughout the future, by examining the current and past trends of the correctional system. If the correctional system continues to have issues and they began to progress over time and they are not addressed accordingly it could affect the future of the whole criminal justice system. There are several activists, administrators, as well as legislators within the criminal justice system that have turned towards restorative justice programs and the community in the hopes that it would help combat one of the major issues, such as overcrowding prisons through the use of the current and past trends. In the past, the national political climate once favored the “Get Tough” program approach, but the program did not prove to be much help in reducing the recidivism rates. Since the treatment programs did not produce great results it was not help with reducing the recidivism rates. Many hope that it would help to not only protect the public, but to also keep the national crime rate at a moderate level. As result offenders that committed crimes needed to be punished in order to help deter crime. Due to the lack of performance that the ‘Get Tough” program produced it resulted in the truth-in-sentencing and the three-strikes legislation reforms being developed, which were soon implemented into law. Soon after these reforms developed into law the amount of arrests increased at an alarming rate, higher conviction rates were implemented, as well as longer wait periods to be sentenced; which resulted in an increasing level of incarceration rates. In fact, the incarceration rate within the United States is almost five times higher than several other countries according to Webb (2009). These reforms were created in order to help target more individuals who were involved in drug crimes and those individuals who are constant offenders. In fact, in this country alone houses more than 25% of the world’s reported offenders (Webb, 2009). There are several concerns that have been known to have created several past trends, and many of these issues can be related to the corrections component within the criminal justice system. However, one of the major concerns that continue’s to be a revolving issue is the constant amount of increasing inmate population within a number of prisons around the world. There was a popular legal case that was developed in 1981 that was geared towards the issue of overcrowding prisons, several individuals believed that prisons was created to be used as a form cruel and unusual punishment (“Prison Overcrowding is a Growing Concern in the U.S.”, n.d.). Overcrowding prison causes a large amount of stress not between the inmates, but between the inmates and the correctional staff as well. In fact, in 2006 a study was conducted to determine the effect that prison overcrowding causes and the study concluded that it is has direct negative effect on the psychological state of several inmates (“Prison Overcrowding is a Growing Concern in the U.S.”, n.d.). Once an individual psychological state is affect it caused several stressful situation to arise within the prison walls, which could create a number of dangerous situations for not only the inmates but the staff also.
According to James (2013), the ratio between inmates to