Legal Guide

Areas Where Criminal Justice Reformers Need To Adjust

Criminal justice reform is required to reduce crime, create safer communities for victims of crime, and bring transformation to the lives of criminals. While it may be impossible to eliminate crime, Communities can take a step in the right direction by reviewing their systems. 

As society and technology advance, so do the types of crimes. As with many other sectors, criminal justice must constantly shift and adapt to the times. 

Causes of the Rising Crime Rate

People engage in crimes for several reasons, some of which include:

  • Poverty: Poverty is one of the most typical causes of crime. According to the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) data, 1 billion children live in poverty globally, and more than 20,000 children die every day due to poverty. Frustration is the order of the day in a society where people are poor. When people are frustrated because they don't have enough money to meet their fundamental necessities, they may resort to stealing and other criminal behaviors.
  • Peer Pressure: There are cases where people who commit crimes are not needy but are dragged into it by peer pressure. Peer pressure is common among young adults and gangs. 
  • Unemployment: People with difficulty finding jobs may engage in criminal activities to help them survive. 
  • Drug Addiction: Drug addiction has a  detrimental impact on people, causing them to do things they would not normally do. 

Reforming the Criminal Justice System

Criminal justice reform is concerned with challenges in criminal justice systems, aiming to rehabilitate offenders, reduce future crimes, and provide moral support to crime victims. 

Areas Where Criminal Justice Reformers Need to Prioritize

Some areas need to be prioritized regarding criminal justice reformation. Some of these areas include: 

#1. Mass Incarceration

Incarceration has been the primary way the United States has tried to prevent future crimes from occurring. Studies now show us that this method has yet to work.  True, it is the quickest technique to isolate criminals from society and prevent them from committing further crimes.

“Those who complete their sentence are released from prison. Unfortunately, due to a lack of resources and support,  most of them revert to their prior criminal lifestyles and end up back in prison. This becomes a never-ending cycle of committing crimes and returning to jail for criminals,” says defense attorney Douglas I. Leifert of Leifert & Leifert.

The incarceration rate rises due to the constant locking up of criminals. Given the high cost of maintaining prison facilities and prisoners, increasing the incarceration rate will impede long-term crime reduction. Reform of the criminal justice system is required.

Giving offenders training, education, and rehabilitation is part of this reformation. Giving them these opportunities while they are in prison will assist them in finding a suitable job when they are released. This lowers the crime rate and reduces the rate of incarceration.

#2. Policing Techniques

The goal of policing is to keep people safe and to apprehend people breaking the law. Regrettably, there have been countless instances where police are acting as executioners.

Police brutality and racial profiling are on the rise, including profiling based on a person's suspected immigration status, bringing rise to movements like Black Lives Matter. As a result, the need for police reform should be stressed to promote community-police solid relations.

#3. Sentencing Equity

Everyone wants a criminal justice system that works effectively, treats people fairly, and keeps people safe pragmatically and responsibly. It is reasonable to be fair when choosing to lock up criminals and take away their freedom. Sentences should consider a variety of circumstances and reflect the seriousness of the offense.

Nonetheless, there are numerous circumstances in which sentencing is not equitable, and people end up in prison due to unfair punishment. Sentencing reforms are essential to guarantee that penalties are suitable to the specific circumstances of an offense. This will deter victims of injustice from seeking vengeance after their release from prison.

Ways of Lowering the Crime Rate

By providing various training and education systems to criminals while incarcerated, the crime rate will be significantly reduced to the barest minimum. Once they are released, they will no longer return to their previous lifestyle and instead focus on other legitimate sources of income.

In addition, another way of lowering the crime rate is through national initiatives to alleviate poverty and improve living conditions in neighborhoods. While it is true that the majority of impoverished individuals do not commit a crime, it is also true that the poor and near-poor commit the majority of street crimes for the reasons mentioned previously. 

Efforts to generate decent-paying jobs for the poor, expand their vocational and educational options, and improve their living conditions in their neighborhoods should all assist in lessening poverty and its associated difficulties, and hence crime.


It is good to have a functioning criminal justice system, but it is much better to emphasize areas of reform. Reducing mass incarceration by giving inmates beneficial programs such as education, training, and rehabilitation will reduce crime rates.

Another way to lower the incarceration rate is to reform the sentencing law to minimize the number of imprisoned persons due to discriminatory sentence decisions. Furthermore, adopting fair policing tactics will minimize brutality and lower the murder rate, as many people die due to police killings.

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