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    Three Challenges to the Criminal Justice System

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    Details: Prepare an analysis (portfolio assignment) of 3 challenges facing the criminal justice system. Be sure to cover the historical, theoretical and functional issues of each of the challenges.

    Provide the following elements for this assignment:

    1. An analysis of the each of the challenges
    2. The impact of the challenge on the criminal justice system and the rest of society
    3. The historical response to the challenge and current strategies
    4. The effectiveness of the current response
    5. Specific solutions & justification (rationale)

    The report should include specific references, and demonstrate knowledge of the criminal justice system, guiding theories, and administrative practices.

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    Solution Preview

    Challenges to the Criminal Justice System:

    For instructional purposes, I chose three identified challenges and developed an outline discussing the points requested in the assignment. This should provide you with the foundation to complete your assignment.

    I. The three challenges are:
    A. Drug Problem in the Community
    B. Gang Problem
    C. Domestic Terrorism

    A. Drug Problem in the Community:
    ? Most criminal justice analysts are in agreement that the most challenging problem in the criminal justice system is the country's devastating drug problem.
    ? 60% of prisoners in the Federal system are there because of drug-related crime. (FN1)
    ? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approximately 10 to 22 percent of vehicular accidents are caused by a driver on drugs, of combined with alcohol. (FN2)
    ? At least half of homicide, theft, and assault felons were under the influence of drugs when they were arrested. (FN3)
    ? Drug abuse is considered a chronic disease like diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. (FN4)
    ? Experts identify two factors causing drug abuse: environmental and genetic influences. (FN5)
    ? Drug abuse is one that is not new in 20th century America. During the 1800s many of the opiates, marijuana, and cocaine were not illegal and were readily used. (FN6)
    ? It was not until the passing of the Controlled Substance Act in 1970 that all the different federal statutes were all consolidated under this Act. (FN7)
    ? The CSA regulates the manufacture, importation, possession, use, and distribution of certain chemical substances. (FN8)
    ? The drug problem is a problem of both law enforcement and the government. More funds are needed in development of comprehensive drug programs which includes education and treatment rather than concentrating most of the funding in enforcement.
    ? The Special Committee on Criminal Justice in a Free Society in their studies found that even with most of the funding concentrated in the enforcement approach, "the drug problem in this country is severe, growing worse, and. . .law enforcement has been unable to control the problem. There is no law enforcement solution to the problem. . . .It is ultimately a social problem." (FN9)
    ? The effect of pushing for drug arrests has clogged the cities' criminal justice systems. A prime example was in New York City under Mayor Koch when an enforcement program called "Tactical Narcotics Teams" were formed. This was a special team that placed all their energy on street level drug arrests. Of the $116 million budgeted for this program, only 8% ($9.5 million) was allocated to the Legal Aid Society and the District Attorney's office. (FN10) According to New York lawyers, judges, and the police, the system was so bogged down that many of the drug traffickers and users ended back out in the streets because there were not enough funds or staff in the system to process all of them.
    ? A dilemma about drug related crimes is that drug dealers believe that with the millions they profit from selling illegal drugs, the three year sentence with a chance of parole within 18 months is not a deterrent. Richard Abell, former Assistant Attorney General (Office of Justice Programs) has one good solution, which is with a 15-year mandatory sentence with no chance of parole, drug pushers might think twice. (FN11) I believe that this kind of sentencing should be directed to the drug traffickers and pushers but not the users, the victims of the madness of drug abuse.
    ? Besides stricter penalties for pushers and traffickers, the other approach of dealing with this crisis is providing the funding and resources for education and treatment for the users. If more emphasis is given to removing the cause of addiction, then the drug traffickers and pushers will suffer economic loss.
    ? In the judicial system, the drug courts and treatment alternatives to incarceration have proven to be successful. This has been particularly effective ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution is a 2,455 document written in outline form. The document identifies three challenges to the justice system: (1) gang problem; (2) drug problem in the community; and (3) domestic terrorism. The outlines analyses each of the challenges, discusses the impact on the criminal justice system and society, points out the historical responses to these challenges and what are the current strategies being implemented, whether these strategies are effective, and what the rationale is for utilizing these strategies.