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Criminal justice is a thorny issue in society. According to Mathew, (2005), the criminal justice system is subject to media, ideological and political influences.  The ideological nature of law making holds great effect on the criminal justice system. The media coverage of criminal activities especially in reference to terrorism is also put into perspective by the scholar. A major disillusionment concerning the justice system is premised on growing concerns over the quest for honesty and fairness particularly on the political establishment. Policing,  plea bargaining, bail, the war on drugs, sentencing punishment by incarceration plus the death penalty, the role of race, gender, class, among other issues have been raised as potential setbacks in the justice system (Mathew, 2005).

The criminal justice system is a governmental institution responsible for law enforcement, court administration, and provision of correctional facilities.  The various agencies within the system are expected to guarantee societal cohesion. This has been achieved remains to be seen though one can ably argue that the system has played a noble goal in the American society.

The criminal justice system is not consistent with the requirements of social justice as posited by Mathew (2005). The system is a failure in regards to the promotion of socially just practices or outcomes. In launching an attack on the system, Mathew, (2005), claims that the system is not a system in the first place. The scholar sees the system as a network. The scholar further finds out that the system places more importance on crime control as opposed to due process rights. In simpler terms, the intended reflection captures the fact that the criminal justice system is aimed at punishment instead of rehabilitation. The criminal justice system is seen as a reflection of prejudice in the American society. This is in so far as the system employs in its practices the use of death sentence and the handling of the drug war (Mathew, 2005). A major standpoint here is connected to an equal treatment to culprits surrounding these offences.
A system is ideally an organization that consists of several parts that work together as a unit in pursuit of a common goal. In reference to Mathew, (2005), a system must maintain harmony in the execution of its activities. This has not been achieved in the American criminal justice system (2005). To cite specific examples, the police force, courts plus corrections have in the past developed separately. Each of these organizations develops their own responsibilities and goals. Despite this crucial realization, the courts are expected to achieve a common agenda. Ideally, these agencies should work as a group because their agenda is correlative in nature. As an illustration, courts rely on the policy to initiate trial processes, if the courts make convictions, the correctional facilities depend on the court for guiding information regarding the cases. But if there is a breakdown between the three, the police are likely to get a backlog of cases due to failure by the correctional facilities. According to Mathew, (2003), the American criminal system is loosely connected and thus remains a body lacking in harmony.

Any criminal justice system has two main goals one the reduction of crime and secondly, the administration of justice (Mathew, 2005). The main methods to achieve the goals are through crime prevention and crime control. Crime control method is often reactive and remains commonly used by the system agencies. This method involves apprehending a criminal while in the act and barring the execution of the offence. In crime prevention, the system responsible addresses the root causes of problem and offers a solution thus negating the emergence of the crime.

The crime control model presents a tough stance on crime approach (Mathew, 2005). In this approach, the courts seek to convict many suspects as much as possible. In this model, the police and the public at large endeavor to obtain factual guilt. This presents a deviation from legal guilt which is based on credible and valid evidence. This model places much focus on plea bargaining. The model has drawn parallels with the assembly model of justice. In this model, issues are carried out expeditiously leading to questions about certainty. Through the use of a rash mode several mistakes may arise and thus jeopardize the success of a program.

The due process mode presents another version useful in handling cases. In this model both the offender and the offended reserve their legal rights. This model encourages an adversarial approach to issues as determinations of cases are based on actual truth. This model has been equated to the obstacle mode as the burden of proof dogs it. This method however good, it serves to undermine justice at times. As an example, if an individual commits a crime and nobody witnesses the act, then such a criminal stands to defeat justice. In this regard, the burden of proof is a big bottleneck in the criminal justice system (Mathew, 2005).

In order to ensure a just society, equality in treatment of offenders in similar cases should be observed. The criminal justice system should also ensure that there is a balance between the offenders act and the crime victim. This should be done through retribution or making attempts to correct an offender through the use of commensurate punishment. The scales of justice are a representation of perceptions. It is in this light that the system should make amends and be seen as an equal dispenser of justice to every citizen. In this case, social status ceases to inform the direction cases take.

If there is system breakdown as posited by Mathew, (2003), then a recommendation is made in regards to striking a working formula. The criminal justice system should consider working as a group by closely coordinating their activities. Communication should freely flow in the system so as to inform the different agencies on priority of issues. If the system manages to attain the harmony that is envisaged in an ideal system, then several issues affecting the justice system will be mitigated.

The American criminal justice system is accused of laying more emphasis on punishment than rehabilitation. Efforts to correct offenders are preferable if such individuals are guided by certain beliefs to engage in offences. The fact that punishment is hard and punitive serves to validate the call for using rehabilitation approaches. However, rehabilitation may pass as a soft stance on crime. On this basis, cases should be dealt with adequately to determine which case qualifies for rehabilitation and which one does not. It is also held that the use of punishment though punitive must be applied to serve as a deterrent measure.


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