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NCJ Number: 65317 Find in a Library
Title: OUR KALEIDOSCOPIC CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
Journal: JOURNAL OF THE INSTITUTE FOR SOCIOECONOMIC STUDIES  Volume:4  Issue:3  Dated:(AUTUMN 1979)  Pages:47-56
Author(s): T GOLDSTEIN
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 10
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IS INEFFECTIVE AGAINST CRIME BECAUSE IT IS UNCOORDINATED AND USES INAPPROPRIATE PERFORMANCES MEASURES. SPECIAL PROBLEMS OF POLICE, PROSECUTORS, AND COURTS ARE ALSO DISCUSSED.
Abstract: CRIME HAS INCREASED TREMENDOUSLY OVER THE PAST 50 YEARS, AND THE ABILITY OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM TO COPE WITH CRIME HAS BEEN OVERESTIMATED. INCREASED POLICE AND PRISON CAPACITY HAVE HAD ONLY A MINOR EFFECT ON THE CRIME RATE, AND FEW ARRESTS LEAD TO CONVICTIONS. THIS INEFFICIENCY IS DUE TO LACK OF COORDINATION AMONG POLICE, PROSECUTORS, AND COURTS, MEMBERS OF WHICH SELDOM SEE HOW COMPLEMENTARY ARE THE JOBS OF THESE THREE SERVICES. ALTHOUGH A CRIMINAL'S FIRST CRIMINAL JUSTICE CONTACT IS WITH THE POLICE, THEY ARE OFTEN INEFFECTIVE BECAUSE OF LACK OF EDUCATION AND POOR MORALE. IN ADDITION, POLICE GREATLY DEPEND ON WITNESS OR INFORMANT INFORMATION IN MAKING ARRESTS AND RARELY APPREHEND OFFENDERS ON THEIR OWN. PROSECUTORS' OFFICES ARE PLAGUED BY A HIGH ATTORNEY TURNOVER RATE AND INEXPERIENCED PERSONNEL JUDGES, DUE TO HEAVY WORKLOADS, MUST DISPENSE ASSEMBLY-LINE JUSTICE. IN PRISONS, PERFORMANCE IS MEASURED BY HOW WELL ORDER IS KEPT RATHER THAN WHETHER OR NOT A WARDEN CAN MAINTAIN A USEFUL REHABILITATION PROGRAM. POLICYMAKERS ARE HESITANT TO BUILD BADLY NEEDED FACILITIES, SINCE SPENDING MONEY ON PRISONS IS UNPOPULAR. THE PRESS ONLY ENHANCES PUBLIC IGNORANCE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE, WHILE FEDERAL AND STATE LAWMAKERS AND AGENCIES CONTRIBUTE TO THE SYSTEM'S INEQUITIES AND CONFUSION. RECOMMENDATIONS TO IMPROVE THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM INCLUDE BETTER RECORDKEEPING BY ALL SERVICES, ADEQUATE PERFORMANCE MEASURES, MORE ACCURATE PUBLIC INFORMATION, AND MORE APPROPRIATE LEGISLATION. (PAP)
Index Term(s): Corrections effectiveness; Court delays; Media coverage; Police agencies; Police effectiveness; Prosecutors; Public education
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65317

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