At the turn of the century criminal justice system would still be confronting the same transgressions despite the issues surrounding crime and the rationalizations of criminality. Although the general public maintains that issues of criminality are solved by simply using common sense, criminologists otherwise recognize that the study of crime demands a scrupulous analysis and understanding. Despite however, the enhancements of modern technology, funding, and public awareness criminal justice scholars remain sceptical about the ability to restructure criminal justice system and the controversies mantling criminality remains to be a daunting question.

Many countries have already devised further approach of imposing severe punishments and seizing assets. They even created new offenses to ensure protection of rights. However despite these political solutions problems of enforcements and equity remain. This cynical view is founded on the fact that hasty solutions to crime problems has failed to reconcile the publics preoccupation with what solution is really effective and the current and more realistic ideas of what the public can live with and wide-range preventive solutions.

Criminal justice is never a simple matter of policy and practice, it is rather a complex process through which the state formulates what particular actions or forms of behaviour are to be considered unacceptable to the society and provides for due process such as arrest, charge, prosecution, trial, appeal, and punishment to ensure justice is achieved.

Issues of criminal justice have always been controversial giving rise to various questions. Should criminal justice restrict itself to those acts strictly defined as criminal by law Are the penalties provided for in the community effective Should the range of criminal law be extended to various societal aspects such as environmental destructions, medical negligence, and corporate corruption Is the system institutionally racist Should crime policies be devoted to preventing rather than punishing crimes These issues in range of guises are not simply academic concerns, they maybe stemmed from real-life crime drama that plays in courtrooms and daily diet of much of our media (Muncie  Wilson, 2004).

A criminal justice approach whether based on prevention, rehabilitation, or retribution is grounded and driven by particular theoretical formulations. As a consequence, every theory that is founded to explain crime is premised on the various beliefs of the nature of criminal behaviour and provides for probable solutions. However criminal justice system should not be viewed to operate solely through any of the theoretical principles, rather it should be expected to exist simultaneously with the number of crime control strategies working alongside or against each other.

Although crime policy is largely dominated by political interests, there are various aspects and theories of criminal justice policy and understanding each theory would facilitate the formulation of potential solutions.

This author introduces potential solutions on the basis of some of the major philosophical positions on crime control and explores its theoretical underpinnings.


Reforming the criminal justice system involves not a chain but rather a circle of assessment, legislation, implementation, evaluation and report which shall mobilize all branches of government and the citizenry as a whole. We shall oversee each aspect of this circle and how they all work to affect the totality of our criminal justice as it is today.


The process of reformation starts with the general assessment of the present criminal justice system. Among the flaws embedded in our justice system include the following general issues wrongful convictions mostly resulting from eyewitness misidentification and reliance on informants, proliferation of gangs which account for up to eighty percent (80) of crimes in some communities, the focus on convicting the criminal while neglecting the victims rehabilitation and the continuing racial injustices as well as corruption committed in every level of criminal justice implementation ( HYPERLINK, retrieved April 2010).

Along with determination of the flaws comes setting of objectives from the most general to those which particularly address the root causes of the bigger problems. Let us do this for each of the issues enumerated.  The following assessment and formulation of objectives, standards and solutions are merely proposals and would involve a separate study each as well as an entire paper on its own to be effectively implemented.

Wrongful convictions arising from eyewitness misidentification and reliance on informants can be avoided by creating an administrative, not a judicial, appeals body for reviewing evidences as well as testimonies, not for every case but for those which deserve a review. This would include the setting of standards by which a reasonable doubt may be presented in evidence sufficient to call for a retrial of the case subject to judicial approval. Of course, this is easier said than done but would definitely be a tedious process which should require the cooperation of the administrative and judicial agencies which may be tasked to do the job. It does not need to be a newly created body but may be composed of representatives of the different agencies involved in the implementation of the criminal justice system.  This could be exercised only with utmost caution and when the review of evidences profoundly creates reasonable doubt.

How can a problem as immense as the proliferation of gangs be solved This would involve a separate study and an entire paper on its own. However, as a simplified proposal, start with the basic and most general knowledge available on them. Gangs proliferate in the poorest of communities where education is almost impossible to pursue. Creating community-based livelihood programs and strengthening funding of education specifically in communities where these gangs are mostly prevalent can be a good opening policy for the government. Police presence should also be maximized in these areas and compensation for authorities should be higher as the risk involved is also higher.

Criminal justice mostly involves bringing the criminal to court and convicting the guilty. It should not stop there, criminal justice should continue the process up to the rehabilitation of traumatized victims and making sure that they are healthy in all aspects such as physical, emotional, and mental before they can be reintegrated into society. Hence, it may be necessary to classify victims according to the crimes committed, degree of exposure, age, status and personality. Rehabilitation and reintegration programs may be created and imposed mandatorily to victims of heinous crimes and discretionary to those victims of lesser crimes. This may be institutionalized under the Social Welfare Division.
Racial injustice still prevails and it happens at every stage of the criminal justice process from arrest to conviction. Reports from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, of the thirteen percent (13) of African Americans making up the general US population, they constitute twenty-eight percent (28) of all arrests, forty-percent (40) of all convicts and forty-two percent (42) of the death row population. On The other hand, Whites comprise sixty-seven percent (67) of the total U.S .population, seventy percent (70) of all arrests, with only forty percent (40) of held in jails and prisons and fifty-six percent (56) of the death row population. The statistics may actually indicate racial injustice. The approach to racial injustice may be treated the same way as other injustices based on gender and status ( HYPERLINK, retrieved April 2010).
The most complicated of all the problems enumerated would have to be the issue of corruption which abounds in all levels and in all agencies from top to bottom. Again, we can set the objective of eliminating corruption in the criminal justice system. Standards and solutions of course vary as to the agency as well as the position of authorities or officers involved and, sometimes, the localities in which the corruption may be taking place. We address the problem differently at each level from giving decent salaries to police officers to making a rewards program in each of the agency involved.

With the objectives clearly set, standards may then be formulated that would assimilate the objectives desired. Of course, when the flaws are accurately assessed, goals can be clearly set and laws amended accordingly.


Efficient legislation, as stated, can be done only when assessment is nearly accurate. In other words, its backbone is a continuing evaluation of the performance of each of the agencies involved in our criminal justice system. Legislation should be prompt and categorized, the most important of which should be given priority.

Legislation concerns the primordial observance of due process. Crime control should always yield to the protection of Constitutional rights at every step of the criminal justice process. The innocent should not be subjected to wrongful litigation consistent with the ideal of innocent until proven guilty.

In its attempt to reduce crime, legislation should consider a shift away from punitiveness toward prevention, rehabilitation and reintegration. The conditions which make communities and the society breed criminality should be eradicated. Both the criminal and the victim should undergo a rehabilitation process geared towards reintegration back to their communities and into the society as healthy and productive individuals. There should be a commitment to forgiveness rather than vindication. The ideals of community and restorative justice, staffed by normal people learned in alternative dispute resolution such as mediation and compromise is a great policy that may be given consideration.

In order to deal with the vast issues in the criminal justice system, those concerning internal administration, formulation of rules and protocols addressing specific problems should be delegated to the administrative level. A strong supervision and monitoring system can back up proper delegation of power. Again, this is where a continuing evaluation is most essential.

Proper implementation of criminal laws and processes should be grounded upon a well-educated citizenry. Cooperation from the general public cannot be undermined as they form part of what makes a criminal justice system effective. A well-educated citizenry by proper dissemination of knowledge on criminal laws, the criminals as well as the victims rights and how the citizens involved or not in a crime, may participate would tremendously affect proper enforcement and observance of due process by authorities every step of the implementation process. This way, evaluation would start and root from the very people who are in the position to give the best evaluation possible as they are the ones who witness and most often than not are subjected to the injustices that take place. They are the ones whose interests are jeopardized by the scrupulous and corrupt.

The citizenry has a guardian when it comes to protecting their rights. The media plays this vital role. Therefore proper implementation through citizenry education would also entail educate of the media about crime and criminal justice which may be done through planned workshops.  Misinformation of the media would be misinformation of the citizens. There is a need to insure that misinformation stops (Robison, 2009).

Robinson (2009) further suggests that a network of contacts between criminal justice scholars and the media should be developed. Every criminologist and criminal justice expert owes it to the nation to insert him or herself into the media when stories about crime and criminal justice are discussed. If politicians and the police remain to be the primary sources of information about crimes and the laws, public knowledge would be confined to the status quo.

The police play a more significant role in implementation. Hence, it is vital that the reformation of the criminal justice system takes primary consideration of the employment conditions, salaries, training, values and morale of the police force. Consistent improvement of compensation and benefits as well as reorganizing the departments, continuing education and re-evaluation as well as a system of rewards are few of the policies which would positively improve the police force.  Developing a policecommunity partnership in localities or communities where it is mostly needed is another policy that may be given consideration.

Implementation, of course, would relate to investigative procedures, arrest, detention, litigation, incarceration, rehabilitation, reformation and reintegration.  The scrutiny goes both ways in protecting the rights of the victim as well as the suspect and in ensuring that the basic responsibility of the authorities to perform their duties be without delay or prejudice.

Corruption best plays its hands in the implementation phase as the options and targets seem to be limitless from the top of the legislative, administrative as well as judicial departments to the bottom of the ranks in the district authorities down to the arresting police officers.

The implementation process should be strictly observed, reported and evaluated. This is the heart of the criminal justice system. Justice without bias nor delay is justice duly served.

There should be a strict policy on the making of accurate and reviewed report for every phase in the implementation of the criminal justice process. Report and evaluation should be religiously done starting from the police department. And a supervisory body all the way up must be integrated to check on the propriety of each process.

The government should also make a commitment to evaluate the performance of our criminal justice agencies at regular periods of time, in order to assess how well we are achieving our stated goals (Robinson 2009). Evaluation is inexpensive. It need be only implemented from bottom to way up with proper monitoring and less vulnerable to corruption.

The root causes of criminality boil down to the bigger and more complex issues of poverty, lack of education and corruption, peer pressure. In essence, these are the very problems that need to be addressed if criminality is to be eradicated. Nevertheless, on the administrative side, various things may be done to improve the system so that those who are in the unfortunate and inevitable situation of getting involved in a crime, whether voluntarily or not, will not be subjected to an institutionalized criminality, which is injustice.


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