These two policies discussed with the three strikes law as well as the policy on first-time marijuana offenders have had a direct effect on the decision-making processes in the police and court systems of the criminal justice agencies. These policies affect the decision-making process by directly influencing how the different segments of the criminal justice system have to deal with offenders in these particular crimes. When you look at the three strikes policy, a person can see that based on the prior history of an individual, the direct punishment inflicted on the offender, if convicted, is greater based on the crime itself and on the prior history.
With having to keep these rules in mind, the court system, and how it operates is directly impacted in their decision-making process. This can be seen as well with officers in the police segments of the criminal justice agencies, and how they relate to first-time marijuana users because individuals using marijuana, or has marijuana but has no prior record, can have an effect on the decision-making process for both the police officer and the court. It’s interesting when looking at it from operation standpoint, because one of these policies takes the power away from the individuals involved in the criminal justice system such as the three strikes policy. In the policy it lays out that if a person were to commit three serious offenses, then they have mandatory sentences already taken care of. The courts do not have to spend time on how to punish since there is a policy already in place. However, on the other hand, the power is given to the active police officer on whether or not to give leniency based on if it was a first offense for a particular type of drug, in which case the power and responsibility was handed down to the discretion training and expertise of the individual on the ground. Policies of the three strike law in California also have a direct impact on other segments of the court operations because it doesn’t allow for other programs such as probation, community service, and rehabilitation to be factored in. Once an offender has committed a third serious offense or felony, there is no rehabilitating that