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According to Nancy Ritter, a writer and editor with the National Institute of Justice, myriad sweeping changes are expected in the discipline in the next few…
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Changes of Introduction Many criminal justice practitioners and scholars wonder what criminal justice will look like in the next fifty years. According to Nancy Ritter, a writer and editor with the National Institute of Justice, myriad sweeping changes are expected in the discipline in the next few decades. Although opinions vary on the expected changes, most cited as the origin of these changes are huge migration, increased terrorism, increasingly multicultural populations, globalization, and disruptions in age-composition and demographics, and technological developments (Ritter, 2006). However, the question on which of these factors will have the greatest influence remains unanswered. This paper outlines three of the changes expected in criminal justice in the next fifty years.
The Co-evolution of Crime and Justice
Like any other system or discipline, criminal justice is expected to evolve. This evolution will be apparent in both crime and justice. In fact, as criminal evolve; their potential victims will also evolve in the preventive strategies they will use against the perpetrators. For instance, criminals are expected to use devices that would counter or unlock the more advanced devices and technologies such as alarm systems and locks that potential victims are expected to use to protect themselves (Ritter, 2006). As is currently the case, crime fighting strategies will however continue to focus on the reduction of crime opportunities, removing criminal-motivators, and altering peoples’ basic values by nurturing positive values, more so in the youth so that their propensity to commit crimes is reduced (Ritter, 2006). Population experts believe that in the next three to five decades there is a likely increase in the percentage of the over-30 population, particularly those over 65 years of age. The implication of these demographic changes on criminal justice is that more people will be highly likely to become victims and criminals.
Increased Use of Technologies
The other change expected in the next fifty years in criminal justice is the increased use of technological advances in fighting crimes. In this regard, there is an expected increase in the development and use of more sophisticated biometric devices, surveillance equipment, identification microchips, and DNA analysis in preventing, detecting and reducing crime (Ritter, 2006). These technological devices will be quite effective in enhancing crime prevention and crime solving in the future. Technologically, more complex and effective intelligence databases for policing and analysis of crime trends by experts and the public will be exploited in fighting crimes. Technologies will also be used extensively to connect the operations of not only national crime agencies but also support the interoperability of international criminal justice systems for the purposes of sharing information about criminals and crime patterns (Ritter, 2006). As a result of the increased interoperability of world criminal justice system, there is an expected improved connection among local communities, national crime-fighting agencies, and the international community, the vulnerability and attractiveness of crime-prone people and assets is expected to drop from the current rates.
Influence of Global Trends
Changes are also expected in criminal justice with regards to the influence of global trends in crime and crime fighting. For instance, global trends are expected to influence how nations’ justice systems will deliver justice. Accordingly, the expected increase in multiculturalism and diversity in national populations will impact on the delivery and numerous implications for criminal justice systems world over. That is, even countries that hitherto had no knowledge on other cultures will have to content with these new cultures among their people. This foreseen diversity growth in many nations will no doubt result in disharmony (Stojkovic et al., 2011). An example of these disharmonies is in fact evident in current times in the form of the many languages that require translators in court cases as judges, lawyers, complainants, and defendants speak different languages. Diverse people and cultures will also result in different societal norms and expectations since immigrants might have different criminal justice experience with regards to lawyers’, prosecutors’, and judges’ roles and responsibilities (Stojkovic et al., 2011).
Concussion
Technological advances, changes in global trend and co-evolution of crime and justice are among the major expected changes in criminal justice in the next five decades. Although in current times, criminal justice systems use technological advances and are influenced by global trends elsewhere, the use of technology in preventing and fighting crime is expected to increase as crime and justice co-evolve and criminals resort to use technologies to commit crimes.
References
Ritter, N. M. (2006). Preparing for the future: criminal justice in 2040. The National Institute of Justice.
Stojkovic, S., Kalinich, D., and Klofas, J. (2011). Criminal justice organizations: administration and management, fifth edition. Wadsworth Publishing. Read More
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