Essay on Issues Within the Criminal Justice System

Published: 2021-08-11
919 words
4 pages
8 min to read
Harvey Mudd College
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The criminal justice system has a role to play in regards to deterring and mitigating crime, maintaining social control, uphold rehabilitating efforts, and sanction criminals. The three primary systems of the criminal justice structure are the police, courts, and corrections. However, many issues have come up in the system, which has caused public concern. The injustices, barbarism, and duplicity of the American criminal justice system is a topic f public concern. The paper describes police corruption within the police force, jury selection in the courts, and overcrowding in corrections.

Police corruption is rampant in the criminal justice system. Rashbaum & Goldstein (2016) from the New York Times report that three police commanders from the New York police department were arrested alongside a Brooklyn businessperson on federal corruption charges. Across America, police officers have always taken bribes from citizens. Some of these officers accept gratitude passively while some of them solicit bribes from their victims. From a personal perspective, the federal government should take apt measures to ensure that the menace of corruption within the police department does not continue. For example, if they deploy police officers who have undergone strict training. If the trainers coach police officers on situations of corruption, and how to avoid them, then the likelihood of receiving bribes will end. Indeed, taking bribes is always an economic problem. Beyond doubt, if police officers are forewarned about situations that might lead to accepting bribes, it may be easy for them to avoid them. Additionally, giving police officers a decent pay can help them avoid these situations. Most officers take bribes because they have not received their salary or because they do not have the means to take care of themselves and their families in that situation. Indeed, decent wages can create a secure criminal justice system.

In the courts, the jury selection process has faced ethical concerns. There is a broader problem regarding jury selection in America. Specifically, the exclusion of black jurors from the bench is a primary problem. According to McCray (2015), the Supreme Court in the state of Washington ruled that there are racial discrimination cases in the jury selection. The author provides an example of Andre Cole, whom in 1998 received a conviction, and later a death penalty sentence after prosecutors removed black jurors from the bench. From a personal perspective, courts should apply the law plausibly. When African Americans are dismissed from jurors who decide their fate, then the likelihood of justice being served will be zero. In the contemporary world, racism remains to be a primary problem that affects the society. Specifically, in a country where are black-dominated, white jurors fail to understand the dynamics and demographics of that particular location. Even so, when they decide a criminals fate, a myriad of aspects come into play. For instance, the histories of crime as well as family and mental issues, are the primary concerns that jurors should consider when they come up with a verdict. The criminal justice system can be just when they include an impartial race jury selection.

In prisons, overcrowding has been a significant issue. The criminal justice system ought to come up with partial policies, which are aimed at reducing prison overcrowding. For example, when they come up with sentencing practices and parole decision-making, the issue of congestion would be minimal. Prisons act as correctional facilities meant for people to change their behavior regarding crime. When petty criminals receive longer sentences and denied chances of parole, then the prisons will overcrowd because more offenders are sentenced daily. As well, sometimes, criminals are unable to pay bail upon their arrest. Correctional facilities should minimize the amount or make a deal with the offenders as long as they are assured that will attend court. Alternatively, the criminal justice system can coordinate with the federal government to build new prisons to avoid the issue. When there is an issue of overcrowding, the likelihoods of fights and plans of escape are rampant. As well, friendships become widespread in the prisons. Albrecht (2010) articulate that the criminal justice system should establish the maximum number of prisoners at a facility based on the criteria of human rights and the minimum standards of regional bodies. The rapid rise in prison populations reflects the pressure of policymakers, criminal sanctions, the stability of criminal justice policies, and criminal sentences.

In summary, issues within the criminal justice system are a public concern, which arises because of what citizens term as slow and non-working policies. The system should think strategically, act ethically, and come up with practical laws to be successful. As it is known, ethics is the foundation of any criminal justice system. Based on the issues discussed above, it is apparent that the criminal justice system is failing. The problems result in a cultural decline in a way that the vulnerable do not benefit from the policies put forward within the system. Overall, it is believable that the criminal justice system can run smoothly when they operate ethically.


Albrecht, H. (2010). Prison Overcrowding - Finding Effective Solutions. Strategies and Best

Practices Against Overcrowding in Correctional Facilities Retrieved from

McCray, R. (2015). America Has a Jury Selection Problemand Its Killing Black People.

Takepart. Retrieved from

Rashbaum & Goldstein (2016). 3 N.Y.P.D. Commanders Are Arrested in Vast Corruption Case.

The New York Times. Retrieved from

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