THEORIES OF CRIME 6
Criminaljustice and crime are intricately linked to the issue of welfare andsocial justice and equality. Robinson (2010) uses the application ofthe social justice theory to establish whether justice is trulyachieved in the societal context. It is evident that people believethat the social justice is not equally achieved especially when basedon the ideas that criminal laws and established forms of criminaljustice reproduce and amplify social inequality and not reduce them. Social inequalities, in regards to class position, unemployment, andoccupational stratification, is known to increase crime rate due todeprivation and discrimination. In fact, Siegel (2010) points outthat committing a crime is an expression of anger and frustrationcaused by social inequality, and views that the criminal justicesystem puts away people who have been victims of inequality.
Dueto the increasing social injustices, the constitutional goal ofincreasing economic opportunities is not achieved. More so, theestablished criminal justice attempts to respond to the first kind ofinequality, one caused by crime itself, is poor achieved. Robinsonbelieves the constitution should implement new justice practices thatmay offer improvement. However, people should not expect new justicepractices alone to achieve social justice. Striving for thisachievement constitutional goal on social justice will require othermajor societal commitment and policy implementation.
Racialdisparity and discrimination in sentencing has a long history in theUnited States. Offender convicted of the same crime and having thesame criminal record should receive the same punishment regardless ofrace. However, from the article “Racial disparities in sentencing”by Kamalu et al. (1999), it can be concluded that racial disparityand discrimination in the criminal justice system is a complex andpersistent problem. Racial disparity in criminal justice is oftenbased on the ideas that people with color commit more crimes, peoplewith color are treated more harshly because the criminal justicesystem is biased, and that the criminal justice system expresses theracial bias found in society as a whole.
However,race itself is not a cause of criminal behavior. Instead, race isonly correlated to crime only to subcategories of people withinracial and ethnic groups such as the poor, unemployed, and the youngilliterates among others. When these people seek to steal throughburglary or carjacking, this sort of crime tends to receive moreattention from the police than crimes involving illegal stocktransaction or employee theft. However, the constitution protectsevery citizen from discrimination. More so, police agencies havedeveloped specific policies to steer their officer away from improperuse of race and ethnicity in criminal arrest. Thus, racial profilingshould not be limited to the African American just because they arelinked with crime.
Roleplayed by the crime control perspective
Crimecontrol perspective in a constitutional democracy should considerboth ends and means. The ‘ends’ consists of finding the truth toobtain justice, that convicting the guilty and exonerating theinnocent. In this case, the constitution commands public officials toensure that communities are safe, individual rights and privacy isprotected from unjustified government interference, and that this isachieved both fairly and impartially (Samaha, 2014). For this reason,the crime control perspective should ensure a proper role of thejustice system is established to prevent crime through the judiciaryuse of criminal sanctions. Every person/citizen has the right to beprotected from dangerous criminals and, therefore, expect thegovernment to do what is necessary, that is punishing criminals, tomake them feel secure.
Onthe other hand, crime control has played crucial roles inemphasizing on the use of legislative measures to monitor,incapacitate, and restrain individuals. The crime control legislativemeasures have effectively lengthened incarceration sentences,prohibited manufacture of assault weapons, expanded the list offederal crimes that are eligible for capital punishment, and notifiedthe public of sex offenders residing in the neighborhood. However,with increasing challenges such as prison overcrowding and countlessoffenders under community supervision, alternative models of justicewill need to be developed in the future.
Crimecontrol is part of the democratic process. Therefore, the efficiencyof the criminal justice system should include efficient lawenforcement, strict mandatory punishment, and expand the use ofprison to reduce crime rate. Although crime control may be expensive,reducing the gains of criminal activity is more worth the price.Advocates of crime control perspective hold that, with the trendingcrime rate, a proper objective should be achieved through toughsentences, effective police protection and the construction ofprisons designed to incapacitate hardened criminals safely. They alsourge that crime control advocates should not help the guilty go freeand tie the hands of justice.
Isjustice applied fairly when crime control is taken into perspective?
Themodel of crime control asserts that the goal of justice is to protectthe public and incapacitate the known offender. Thus, the equaljustice model calls for fair and equal treatment for all offenders.The due process model emphasizes on liberal principles such asprocedural fairness of offender and legal rights. However, studieshave established that most often, justice applied is often unfair andineffective when crime control is taken into perspective. Fromvarious conducted surveys, researchers have established that a largepopulation of African America people views the criminal justicesystem as racially biased. It has been observed that the Black peopleand other minority groups do not receive equal treatment from thecriminal justice system. In fact, the black and white people’sconfidence in the criminal justice system is as difference as the twocolors.
Socialinequality and injustice are other known reasons for the increasedunfair justice in the criminal justice system. Crime is mostlycorrelated with people living around poor and disadvantaged sectionsof the society. Furthermore, the less powerful segments of societyare consistently underrepresented in criminal justice because theadministration of justice is unfair. As a result, structuraldisadvantages relating to discriminatory treatment by criminaljustice agencies have been experienced by those living society’smargin. Anyone who is concerned to increase public confidence in thejustice system should understand the dynamics of an effectivecriminal justice. People tend to trust in a system that focusessimply on its objective performance.
Inconclusion, although many views on what the true goals of criminaljustice should be, the system undoubtedly must be expected to operatein an unbiased and fair manner. The system should make sure that itis attuned to the civil rights afforded every citizen by thecountry’s constitution. For this reason, strict monitoring of theuse of discretion should be ensured within the justice system as itwill help to reduce cases of religious, racial and ethnicitydiscrimination.
Robinson,M. (2010). AssessingCriminal Justice Practice Using Social Justice Theory:Social Justice Research  Volume:23  Issue:1
Samaha,J. (2014). Criminalprocedure.Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.
Siegel,L. (2010). CengageAdvantage Books: Essentials of Criminal Justice.New York: Cengage Learning.