When It Is All Said And Done, The Current Criminal Justice System Is About As Fair And Effective As We Can Resonably Expect

2326 words - 9 pages

The incessant debate of whether the current criminal justice system is 'about as fair and effective as wecan reasonably expect' has yet again been addressed in this essay. It is argued throughout this essaythat the criminal justice system fails to meet with the protection and well being of the public by notappropriately processing offenders. Six main arguments of this essay highlight weaknesses within thesystem. The first argument of this essay exposes the time in which offenders spend in remand prior totheir trial. The second, debates whether bail over remand is being used appropriately. The third showshow lenient judges sentencing decisions are, and in addition to this, the fourth argument shows whateffect the media has on the courts decisions. Then finally the fifth researches the rate of offenders re-offending. This essay concludes that the criminal justice system is not using it's ability to the fullest tostop these offenders from re-offending within our community.The first argument in the weaknesses of the criminal justice system addresses the time an offenderspends in remand, in the wait of their trial date. The length remandees are spending in custody is far tooextensive, and more action needs to be done to trounce this problem within our system. When a personis placed in remand it is believed the main factors are; so that they actually show up for their hearing, toprotect witnesses, or anyone else if they re-offend, and in some cases the accused themselves need theprotection (Sarre et al 1999). Biles (1990) documents that the annual prison census conducted in 1990shows us that out of 1,843 remandees, 4.3 per cent spent over one year in custody and 13.3 per cent ofthose served between six to twelve months. Due to this lengthy remand period, we are now seeing anincrease in our prison population, mainly that of remandees rather than convicted prisoners. Besides theconcern of overcrowding in prisons, the fact that these prisoners are technically and legally innocentuntil further proven is a cause for much greater concern (Biles 1990; Sarre et al 2003). Furthermore,earlier studies on this show that most of the remandees are never actually sentenced to prison, but are'either acquitted, sentenced to non-causational penalties, or released to bail before the courtappearance.' (Wilson n.d, p.1; Biles 1990). Biles (1990) suggests in his documents, different 'strategies'in which to help alleviate this problem; firstly he suggests that better legislation and education can helpmagistrates and judges to use remand as "sparingly as possible", therefore lowering prison intake. Hissecond suggestion states that the time spent on remand be kept to a minimum by increasing theefficiency of the court systems, to which he adds, in particular the higher courts. This may be achievedby employing more judges (Biles 1990).Secondly, it's questioned whether bail over remand is being awarded appropriately. Evidence shows insome jurisdictions the bail Act needs to be...

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