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PEACE & POLICE is a nonviolent campaign for social change, aimed at restoring trust and respect between our communities and our police. This campaign is the work of students at Virginia Union University who are majoring in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Many of us will eventually have careers in the field of law enforcement and policing and we want the relationship between the police and our communities to be strong. This Peace & Police campaign is where we offer our thoughts and ideas about how to make this relationship the best it can be.
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Criminal Justice Reform

Apr 17, 2016 | by admin

The more people the system incarcerates the more money is being spent to keep them imprisoned but it does not stop the crime from happening on the streets. So the question is raised, Do we need Criminal Justice Reform?

 

Criminal Justice Reform is simply the change within practices of the criminal justice system, necessary when we, as the people do not agree with the way things are. Do we need Criminal Justice Reform? Yes, we do and perhaps many cases that the community does not agree with can be approached differently. Many methods used within the criminal justice are seen as “flawed” by many of us (the people) and they can be improved. For example, some people do not agree with the long sentences drug dealers receive compared to someone who has committed a serious case of bank fraud.

It has been an argument that the large amount of monies from the community’s taxes that is used to incarcerate these criminals for such a long period from minor or less serious offenses is wasteful.  Statistics show that it takes over 80 billion dollars per year to maintain the prison population alone.[1] By having or creating a stronger criminal justice reform, we can preserve not just our money but also our people from the different types of problems that are reoccurring in the criminal justice system.

The War on Drugs has been a huge topic for years within in the Criminal Justice system simply because it is one of the biggest problems within the country and surrounding countries. With drugs, come crimes from different areas across the board, including murder, robbery, etc. We are aware of the many problems drugs alone create, but incarcerating hundreds of people on average a year does not stop the problem from arising so what could be addressed differently? This is where the practice of criminal justice reform comes into play.

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, our criminal justice systems face a number of challenges, including the large population that is incarcerated on drug-related offenses. The number has doubled throughout the past twenty-five years, including the not only the jail and prison population but the amount of people on parole and probation also. What are the alternatives to incarceration? What can be done to prevent so many people having jail or prison time? How can we create a better system that can keep these people off the streets, but also prevent them from causing harm in the streets (drugs, murders, etc.)?

The more people the system incarcerates the more money is being spent to keep them imprisoned but it does not stop the crime from happening on the streets. So the question is raised, Do we need Criminal Justice Reform? Yes, until a positive change is promoted, and change will always been needed, so we will always need Criminal Justice Reform.

Works Cited

“Criminal Justice Reform: Breaking the Cycle of Drug Use and Crime.” The White House. The White House, n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2016.
“Criminal Justice Reform.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia Foundation, 27 Nov. 2015. Web. 16 Feb. 2016.

 

[1] Remarks by the President at the NAACP Conference, July 14, 2014 at https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/07/14/remarks-president-naacp-conference.