Pretrial Intervention Programs

Sufficient knowledge on the criminal trends in the modern world is very essential in formulating of the best approaches to deal with the ever increasing cases of criminal activities in the society. More and more people are getting involved in criminal activities in the United States which includes minor offenders. It is important for all law enforcement agencies, criminal judicial systems and the rehabilitation facilities to have personnel that are well equipped in knowledge on effect approaches to the worrying trend. There is a need to devise better methods that can be used to deter criminal activities in the societies. This may not be necessarily incarceration of minor and first time offenders. The congestion in the rehabilitation facilities due to the increased number of minor offenders is worrying. The number of juvenile delinquency has also increased in the recent past.

However, there is an option of pretrial intervention programs that can effectively be used to mitigate the growing problem. Pretrial interventions are potential solution to the problems that are facing the criminal judicial systems and rehabilitation of minor and first time offenders. The pretrial interventions gives a first time offender, offenders convicted with minor crimes or juvenile offenders an alternative to the normal criminal judicial process in the ordinary criminal justice system. The main objective of the pretrial intervention especially among first time offenders is to rehabilitate the offender early enough when the rehabilitation services are expected to deter the offender from committing more crimes in the future. Despite the promise, extensive research should be done on the effectiveness of this approach in deterring first time offenders from committing more crimes in the future and how to effectively rehabilitate the minor offenders. Otherwise the program may be ineffective in rehabilitating the offenders or be lenient and release dangerous criminals back into the society.

The pretrial intervention programs are basically based on rehabilitation of the offender which should be the major objectives of the criminal judicial systems. The rehabilitation need is therefore determined based on the offense with which the offender is accused of. This model is also determined by the conditions, social, economic and health, that may have resulted into offender committing the crime. In many cases, first time offenders are forced by economic and social circumstances to commit crimes. Failure to solve these problems and incarcerate the criminal will not deter the offender from committing the crime in the future. To the contrary, the ordinary criminal judicial process to incarcerate the offender will harden the individual and is more likely to commit the same crime because the social and economic problems facing the individual are yet to be solved.

The offender may have also committed crime due to poor mental health. It would be unjust to try such an individual without the necessary pretrial interventions. The normal judicial process may have negative effects on the individual. Moreover, the normal judicial process may not be effective in deterring the offender from committing the crime in the future. The pretrial intervention in this case will provide an opportunity for the rehabilitation of the offender or diversion of the trial. The program will allow the adoption of proper measures that will ensure the mental health of the person is taken care off. The same case applies to juvenile offenders who may have not had fully developed cognitive abilities. In such cases, pretrial intervention programs will provide diversion of the trial to the juvenile judicial system. The same case applies when the juvenile offender is accused with violent crimes such as murder. In such cases, the pretrial intervention programs will ensure proper diversion of the case to avoid the release of such dangerous juveniles back into the society.

In general, the pretrial intervention programs are effective in deterring offenders especially first time offenders from committing similar crimes in the future. This is because the programs seek to solve the personal problems that forced the individual to commit the crime he or she is accused from. Further more, pretrial intervention programs can effectively deter young offenders from committing any crime in the future by providing the necessary support and rehabilitation of the juvenile offender. This is as opposed to the traditional criminal judicial proceedings which are aimed at incapacitating and deterring the individual for a specified period of time. Research indicates that the rehabilitation facilities in the normal criminal judicial systems may not be effective in rehabilitating offenders. The rehabilitation facilities are sending dangerous and hardened criminals back into society after years of incarceration. The pretrial intervention provides a better approach to dealing with offenders who are accused with minor non violent offences or they are first time offenders (Gottfredson, 2003).

The pretrial interventions ability is to make the offender acceptable in the society after it has been successfully completed. This is one of the factors that ensure that the offender will not commit the crime in the future. It has been noted that a good number of criminals commit crimes because the society does not accept them. A convicted criminal may find it hard to go back to the society after spending several years in prisons. The prison life in some cases transform the individual who find it difficult to fit in the society upon release which increases the chances of committing more offences and going back to prison. Instances have been reported where released offenders being rejected by their family members, spouse and the community. These people have no option but to go back to their criminal lives. Pretrial interventions programs on the other hand can be effectively employed to avoid the stigma associated with being convicted as a criminal. The record of being convicted can be avoided and the offender may file for an expungement to remove the original arrest records (Butler  Garcia, 2005).

Pretrial interventions programs provide a timely provision of rehabilitation services to the offender. Normal criminal judicial process may take time and make the rehabilitation services ineffective. The prompt rehabilitation which is made possible by pretrial interventions provides the possibilities of solving the offenders problems in time which increases the effectiveness of offenders rehabilitation programs. It is easier to correct behavior immediately the offence is committed. Pretrial interventions also provide early resolution which is in the best interest of the offender, the victim and the general society. The judicial resources are thus not overburdened by minor offences which increase the effectiveness of the systems in dealing with serious criminals. The high cost associated with the traditional court proceeding are also eliminated by pretrial interventions.

In conclusion, the pretrial interventions are in the best interests of the offender, the victim and the general society. The interventions provide prompt solutions to the problems that cause the first time offenders to commit crimes thus deterring them from committing more crimes in the future. Pretrial interventions are therefore effective in ensuring that these offenders are rehabilitated and reaccepted back to the society.


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