4 Important Issues to Tackle in Criminal Justice Field

  • Criminal Justice
  • June 14, 2024
  • 4 min read
4 Important Issues to Tackle in Criminal Justice Field

Criminal Justice professionals are responsible for maintaining law and order and ensuring public safety and the rule of law. They work in various areas, such as law enforcement, corrections, and forensic science. Due to the broad scope and constant evolution of crime and justice, it is challenging to pinpoint the most significant issues facing Criminal Justice today. However, this post will attempt to discuss substantial topics impacting the field, including mental health, technological advancements, community-relations issues, and ethical challenges.

Mental Health

Mental health issues are prevalent among people involved in the criminal justice system, including offenders, victims, and professionals. While resources are inadequate throughout the system, the system’s deficiencies are often most evident regarding offenders.

The lack of adequate community-based mental health services and resources can leave offenders trapped in a cycle of offending and reoffending, each time becoming further marginalized from society. 

Many mentally ill offenders do not receive the necessary care or support while in prison, often leading to their deterioration. This makes it challenging for them to reintegrate into society upon release. Furthermore, correctional facilities are usually ill-equipped to handle severe mental health crises, which can result in self-harm, violence, or even suicide.

To address these issues, criminal justice practitioners should advocate for a more comprehensive mental illness screening and treatment system within the system. This should include training for identifying and responding to mental health crises, increased access to mental health services, and the development of diversion programs to guide individuals with mental health problems away from jails and toward treatment.

Technological Advancement

The criminal justice field is experiencing rapid technological advancements, which present opportunities and challenges. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data analytics, and digital forensics can enhance crime detection and investigation capabilities but also raise ethical and legal concerns.

Thanks to big data analytics, artificial intelligence, in particular, plays a role in predicting and preventing crimes through pattern and trend analysis. Digital forensics and cybersecurity are crucial in the fight against cybercrime, but the increasing sophistication of cybercriminals and the sheer volume of digital data present significant challenges.

Criminal Justice professionals must stay abreast of technological developments and ensure they have the necessary personnel, skills, and resources to combat cybercrime effectively and handle digital evidence.

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Community Relations

Developing and maintaining positive community relations is crucial for law enforcement personnel and the overall success of the criminal justice system. However, incidents of police misconduct, excessive use of force, and racial profiling have strained the relationship between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve.

Community policing involves active partnership, trust-building, and collaboration between police officers and community members to address and resolve local concerns, contributing to overall safety.

Transparency and accountability are essential for rebuilding public trust. Law enforcement agencies must have transparent policies and practices. Independent oversight bodies, civilian review boards, and body cameras to provide objective evidence can help hold officers accountable for wrongdoing.

Ethical Challenges

Ethical challenges are embedded in criminal justice, requiring professionals to navigate and balance complex moral and legal dilemmas. Corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest diminish the justice system’s integrity and erode public confidence.

Ethics across the criminal justice sector are ensured through a deep commitment to professional standards and ongoing training. The ethics education for professional Criminal Justice personnel should encompass the principles governing criminal justice practice. It should provide personnel with the necessary tools and resources to address ethical issues, including clear policies and procedures for reporting misconduct, whistleblower protections, and a culture that promotes integrity and accountability.

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Many challenges before Criminal Justice require notice and action in this field. Issues such as mental health, the use of technology, community partners, and ethical considerations must be addressed to ensure that criminal justice remains fair, effective, and just.

Lisa Myers
General Education Department Director

Beginning her career as a Paralegal, Lisa soon advanced to the role of Senior Paralegal for various Family Law, Personal Injury and Corporate law firms in the Las Vegas community. She obtained her Juris Doctor and LL.M, completing her fellowship…Read Full Bio

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