posted on Dec, 9 2012 @ 12:33 PM
Does anyone else believe that our current (western styled) criminal justice system in fact encourages crime , instead of deterring it?
I think many people argue that labelling individuals as criminals, permanently attaching criminal records to them, and the prison/correctional system
does more harm to society than it does good. Generally speaking, its my opinion that jails are criminal colleges where criminals learn how to commit
crime. I dont think they are correctional at all. If jails really were "correctional" they would decrease the crime rate. I think our current
correctional system is barbaric and out of date in the deterrence of crime.
Furthermore, labelling all individuals who commit crime with a criminal record serves to encourage crime economically. If someone has a criminal
record, they don't have the same opportunities to better their lives in finding jobs, education and improving their skills.
Now I believe we should still keep track of certain offenders of certain extreme crimes (murder, rape, etc.) , however there are so many people in
jail for less serious offenses who dont deserve to be discriminated against in society just because they get mixed up with the wrong people or fall on
bad times, especially in rough times like these.
I believe we should legally recognize something i term "crimes of poverty" which is essentially recognizing the fact that people dont deserve to be
labelled criminals and discriminated against just because they are born into poverty and dont know any better. Our criminal justice system fails to
take into account the socioeconomic factors which influence crime.
Our criminal justice system must take into account, and legally recognize "labelling theory" (by interactionist theorist howard S. becker) in that
once people have become labelled "deviant" they are influenced to accept that as their label when society mandates it on them. Really think about
it, if we want to deter and eliminate crime, why are we labelling people as criminals, pushing this perception on them by all members of society? One
day people will realize this is just another form of discrimination in ignorance.
For example, when someone is labelled a criminal with a criminal record, the uninformed masses will likely make stereotypical judgements that such a
person is immoral, a threat, is horrible and in the same category as murderers and rapists. What if that person was arrested for stealing to survive?
what if that person made bad choices growing up influenced by culture and their (socioeconomic) environment, not knowing any better?
The criminal justice system fails to take into account cumulative factors which contribute to criminal behaviour. If they were so concerned with
deterring crime, they would acknowledge these factors and think of a solution. Many authority figures and the criminal justice system fails to produce
solutions to counter criminogenic environments (conflict theory)
We must provide solutions for the impoverished and those who suffer from criminogenic environments, because they are victims of crime in a way society
has yet to legally acknowledge. Instead of labelling people from criminogenic environments with criminal records, we must remove those records (if
they are not serious charges) and give them a chance to better their lives, and to positively reintegrate into the community.
I believe instead of probation and criminal records, we should have an alternative system where we mandate offenders to seek employment, or education
and job skill programs. We must treat these people with open arms because of the unfair societal struggle they have faced, imposed by economic
oppression. People cant help being born into poverty. We can't penalize them for this.
This, and other tactics will be how we will achieve a world free of crime, this is how we will EFFICIENTLY deter crime.
One final thought to consider - we must consider those who wish to profit from crime (those who build jails, make equipment for police and jail
industry) because they have in interest in making a fairly ineffective criminal justice system, they have an interest in ensuring crime. We must
eliminate the corporate/business profitability in crime. One solution might be dedicating those profits to education and job programs for those in the
criminal justice system.
thanks for reading guys !