The U.S. Criminal justice system is based upon three institutions that administer law enforcement: the police, courts, and prison. Like any other system, it has its flaws, but lately, it has been under much scrutiny and controversy because of some questionable decisions about race.
2020 was also when we saw the comeback of strong public resistance to the police in the Black Lives Matter movement. The police were highly criticized for their racial profiling practices and many open cases of Black killings. As a result, they were brought up in the movement, in response to which the police launched its tone-deaf movement, Blue Lives Matter.
Similarly, Courts, which are a paramount and integral component of the criminal justice system, have been criticized for granting death penalties and harsher punishments to African Americans. These people are low in social standing and financial status or, at times, not even provided with a proper attorney. Capital punishment cases are a high issue of concern, and granting this decree so carelessly is a miscarriage of justice. One of the more prominent issues in convictions and court decrees is that Black men are at a disadvantage at all times due to racially driven prejudice. Convictions being on their records cause them to live a life below the standards of an ordinary citizen in terms of housing, employment, and even partaking in the democracy since they become barred from voting.
The third and final pillar of the criminal justice system in U.S prisons. Convicts live in inhumane conditions, not only physically but also mentally tormenting. Solitary confinement is one of the worst forms of isolating convicts, leading to serious mental problems. The ban on Pell Grants causes these people to get into activities that are not healthy or legal once they get out of prison.
A flawed criminal justice system has been on our checklist for a while now, and it is high time to make some positive developments.
We can start by investing in states to empower their local policies related to the criminal justice system. Federal grants can help in the efficiency of the process; crime and incarceration will be brought down over time.
There should also be strict limits on police’s use of force in certain situations. There have been instances where the use of force is unjustified, but there is no action taken against the officer; however, this should be the duty of the second officer to intervene in case there is any police procedure misconduct.
The states can cleanse the police departments from the officers who abuse power by forming records of their misconduct and then evaluating them on it. Thus, police accountability is essential for a sound criminal justice system.
Many other prisons and policy reforms need to be made to reestablish our justice system, the core principle of which is based on justice, equity, fairness, and rehabilitation.
Authors at Lumen, https://courses.lumenlearning.com/wm-introductiontosociology/chapter/the-criminal-justice-system/#:~:text=There%20are%20three%20branches%20of,courts%2C%20and%20the%20corrections%20system.
Authors at Stimmel Law, https://www.stimmel-law.com/en/articles/american-system-criminal-justice