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Criminal Justice Policy and the 21st Century - Research Paper Example

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Criminal Justice Policy and the 21st Century Instructor Date The primary purpose of the police force in any democracy is to ensure that the citizens enjoy the tranquility without interference by maintaining law and order. On the other hand, the main objective of the constitution is to provide guidance for the citizen’s on the best practices that foster peaceful coexistence with each other…
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Criminal Justice Policy and the 21st Century
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Criminal Justice Policy and the 21st Century The primary purpose of the police force in any democracy is to ensure thatthe citizens enjoy the tranquility without interference by maintaining law and order. On the other hand, the main objective of the constitution is to provide guidance for the citizen’s on the best practices that foster peaceful coexistence with each other. The constitution sets out the principles that necessitate the creation of a police force to ensure that the constitution is upheld. Accordingly, the constitution goes ahead to stipulate the expectations of the police (Newburn, 2003, p.120). Being that the police force receives guidance from the provisions of the constitution it, therefore, follows that the police should uphold the constitution. This yields the view that the police must love the constitution. It is crucial for the police to love the constitution because they are tasked to protect the people. In order to ensure that a police officer operates within the confines of the constitution, police officers must acknowledge, and respect the provisions of the constitution in providing these services. A police officer, in carrying out his duties, exercises a lot of discretion and; therefore, there must be limits on what the police can, or cannot do. It is vital to have a common ground that ensures police officers do not overstep their powers and limitations. The moral obligation of a police officer is to respect the rights and freedoms of individuals in the society in executing their duties (Schmalleger, 2012, p.76). Crank and Caldero (2010) provide that the duties of police officers require that the police officers observe a code of conduct that reflects on the expected norms of the profession. The police officers have to respect the desires of the society; therefore, they must follow moral guidelines in their operations. Police officers should also have values, which reflect on the elements of desirability, importance, and worth. These values should guide the police officers in making judgments during the performance of their duties. The judgments made by these officers, must be moral, and their decisions must follow from the acts, or behaviors of individuals. These acts warrant the right of police officers to intervene. The police officers must perform their duties in accordance with legislative expectations and at the same time they should ensure that their activities fall within the confines of what is considered moral. The means to end thinking encompasses the notion that the police officers act as a means to achieving the desired goals which are peace and order. Accordingly, this goal is far more valuable such that the focus is only at achieving the goal and the means of achieving it deserves a little attention. This thinking considers police officers as stepping stones towards their goals, and the purpose of these individuals is to attain these aims. This means that the police force should only aim at attaining their desired goals without regard to the means of achieving this goal. Where the primary objective is maintaining peace and order the means of attaining this goal are irrelevant to the situation and what are necessary are the results. The idea follows that the attention of the system is on the results and not on welfare or the well-being of the individuals who contribute to this end (Pollock 2011, p.29). The dangers of this thinking are that it only looks at the outcome of the situation without considering the ways of achieving the goals. This thinking only limits concerns to goals and has no regard to processes or individuals involved in the attainment of this goal. Hence, this thinking tends to compromise the desired results since the means of attaining these results must not be justifiable as long as the results are attained. Moreover, this thinking leaves the participants vulnerable and can lead to unjust methods aimed at achieving the desired goals. Without ensuring that the process involved is, just it becomes difficult to justify the outcome of such a process. The process aims at the goal and everything else can be justified by that goal is not a valid approach towards this end. According to Frost, Freilich, and Clear (2009), this thinking is dangerous as it disconnects the means of attaining a goal from the goal itself. In order for a goal to be justified, the means to attaining that goal must also be justified. Without regard to the means of attaining a goal, then it is impossible to determine whether the goals are justified or not. Similarly, placing emphasis on the goals alone leaves the involved individuals vulnerable to other factors and this affects the realization of their goals. The goals should reflect on the means of their attainment in order to ensure justifiable goals. This thinking poses threats to the validity of the goals, and it is imperative that the means of achieving a goal should be as beneficial to the goal itself. Reference list Crank, J., P. & Caldero, M., A. (2010). Police Ethics: The Corruption of Noble Cause. Anderson. Frost,N. A., Freilich J. D., & Clear, T.R. (2009). Contemporary issues in criminal justice policy: policy proposals from the American Society of Criminology conference. Cengage Learning. Newburn T. (2003). Crime and criminal justice policy. Pearson Longman. Pollock, J. M. (2011). Ethical Dilemmas and Decisions in Criminal Justice. Wadsworth Publishing. Schmalleger, F, J. (2012). Criminal Justice Today. Prentice Hall. Read More
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