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CCJS 100- American Criminal Justice System

Aug 25, 2023

What alterations need to be implemented in the American criminal justice system?

American Criminal Justice System


Research made on the previous form of the American Criminal Justice system requires a reformation because the reports have stated that criminals are getting harsh treatment in prison, even if they attempted non-violent crimes. Thus, a change to this system is significant because of racial profiling, the punishment due to harsh laws, or the methods of over-criminalization on racial grounds. Where most whites get less punishment as compared to the victims who are blacks. Perhaps, the American Criminal Justice System needs to be changed mainly for their formation of the mass incarceration rates, as well as the institutionalized based on discrimination, as here all are blamed for being a shocking number. Thus, the problem relies upon socioeconomic status. Moreover, in the case of the American system which does not favor lower class people, which in turn affects all the people on the grounds of their color.


The higher number of American Criminal Justice systems requires revision as it is dire to all forms of necessities. To make the criminal justice system to be more successful, the reformation of the system is required, while the changes need to end all the harsh policies, Apart from this, it is likely to be that harsh racial profiling is considered to be another issue. On the other hand, the criminal system, shall not be considered entirely perfect in the United States. As argued by Castro (2018), this Reformation of the Criminal Justice System mainly aims at fixing errors, which includes several organizations that involve a movement in different ways. Taking a stand for the reformation of the system, to make changes within justice would help the people who often get life imprisonment for non-violent crimes, like burglary, or illicit drug use, with no criminal or murder records. On the other hand, this has been seen that criminals committing murder, brutal sexual rape, or even involved in human trafficking, often get to plea to the justice court and get to file a plea of bargain”( Kurlychek & Johnson, 2019). Moreover, the necessary changes to be made because this would help the society to be more partial on increasing the number of black prisoners rather than the whites. Reducing the number of harsh prison sentencing systems for prisoners. Equal justice under the jurisdiction is required to be maintained because all the prisoners are required to get equal punishment, whereas non-violent criminals should get an opportunity to file a plea for their non-criminal attempts. Chang in the drug sentencing policy which is surrounded by the war on illicit drug consumption. Moreover, decriminalization is related to the laws that include drug policies. Perhaps, prioritizing is based on the rehabilitation of the offenders, especially in case of the juvenile offenders (Castro, 2018). On the other hand, altering the policies mainly surrounds the food assistance related to the programs or the voting rights of the offenders. Apart from bringing out the changes to minimize the sentencing laws.      

Reasons required to bring changes to the Criminal Justice system require reform because America holds approximately 5% of the world’s population. Yet this has been calculated that over 25% of the world’s prison population, and on the other hand, this records be placed at the highest incarceration rate in the world. As narrated by Winkelman et al. (2020). the nation has a problem, that can address the crime by locking up people, even the people who do not commit a violent criminal offense, thus often involved with criminal offenses like illicit drug trafficking, burglary, robbery, or other non-violent crimes. They are kept in prison and get a life sentence over the years, as the criminal gets into prison with illicit drug consumption, they often get a life sentence. The reasons are as follows:

1: Overcrowding prison: Statistics based on the research stated that based on the prison population has been made research which is astounded with about 2.3 million Americans who are incarcerated today, on the other hand, more than 5 million people are released under parole or probation. Thus, this increases the number of 31 adults, who wind up in jail, relevant with the higher likelihood, in most of the countries faced in the world. As stated by Macaulay, (2019), in most cases the major incarcerated criminals are non-violent offenders. Thus, this is often considered to overcrowd the prison. However, the overcrowding system, under the Penal Reform Internal, is based on the consequences underneath the criminal justice system, with the policies that reduce the increased crime numbers. Thus, this challenges the prisoner’s ability to relate to the basic needs of humans, which allows for a development fund for appropriate rehabilitation for the prisoners. Apart from this, this system requires a proper educational program which is required to initiate fund the staff training methods.     

2: Minimum sentencing laws: The mandatory minimizing sentencing maximizing sentencing laws are designed with all the basic rule-of-thumb which is undertaken by a specific charge. As opined by Hinton et al. (2018), the crimes that come out of a certain number to find out the severity to understand the individuals who are guilty in a court of law. However, the prosecutors, with such laws have an advantage, they can threaten the defendants with a longer sentence in an attempt to solely secure the plea in exchange” to reduce the number of sentences given to the criminals attempting non-violent crimes. Critics stated that the law has out the call on the hard black prisoners or the white reasoning to take away the power from the judge in an account to narrate the basic circumstances that surround the case related to the defendant, which led them to get a harsh sentence.

It is mandatory to minimize the “Sentencing laws”, which involve drug usage, under the Federal prison undertaken by the system which grows dramatically. Under the Federal drug law, which accounts for one of the longest maximizing sentences out of the crime which is committed, to be in prison for a time tenure of 40 years of life prison for individuals based on the quantities of drugs. As opined by Farrell & Kane, (2020), the influence of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 was published with minimum sentence years can be five years, for those who are cracked with 500 grams of cocaine, and 1 kilogram of heroin. As per the drug law, it is mandatory to minimize the sentencing laws that can affect the drug offenders so that they can hit the low-level offenders who are rough (Winkelman et al. 2018). Harsh sentencing is done to the people mainly based on the black people are always kept in prison for a longer period. It is required to build up a mandatory step to minimize the law because of the poor representative conducting non-violent drug offenses which are committed by the poor people who are unable to afford to make payments for legal representation. Moreover, based on an inability that cater to the lowering of the level of the offenders who can trade with vital information within the criminal organization, who do not stand the chance related to the committed crime. Perhaps, nearly 95% of the Federal drug defendants have pleaded guilty (Monk, 2019).           

3: Racism in the prison system: In 2016, Paw Research Centre was established for the racial demographics, like African Americans represent 12% of the United States population, and nearly 33% of the prison is populated with African Americans. Hispanics held up 16% of the nation’s population and over 23% of prison inmates. In American society, people are judged on the race incarcerated within the state and Federal prisons across the country with higher rates than white people. Moreover, in case of the African Americans have landed in prison five times more than white people. Oklahoma is considered to be the state that has the highest number of black incarcerated prisoners, holding more than 15 black males above the age of 18 in prison (Mauer, 2018). A comparison study denotes the facts stated under the American Civil Liberties Union, stating that black persons are more than 3.73 times who are likely to be arrested for possessingpeople marijuana, as compared to the white person. Despite this, the rate which is used between the two races can be considered on an approximate note to be the same. It is agreed by Kurlychek & Johnson, (2019), that Hispanics and Latinos are of the same range to face the racial disparity, while Latinos in the United States were imprisoned by 1.4 times more than whites. Thus, blacks are still more than twice, as they are more likely to wind up their prisoners than those who are Hispanics. Thus, lingering racism, related to the criminal justice system, under the Federal level with racial profiling, harsh drug laws with “Over-criminalization”, “Mass incarceration rates”, and “Institutionalized discrimination” related to the problems that rely upon the socio-economic status.


Within an organization that advocates the criminal justice reformation. Moreover, in most states under the reformation act, drug-use criminals are getting the privilege of relying upon the system to get a lower punishment. As stated by, Macaulay, (2019), mandating the influence of the agenda to make a reformation within the justice system to spread awareness to the public and within the government. To bring forth a healthy system to the social justice organization. Comparative studies have denoted the point that the American Legislative Exchange Council, develops proud leaders based on the Criminal justice system within the nation, to combat the harsh treatment or life imprisonment. Compared with this, another law that was passed against the criminal justice system was that of the Penal Reform International fights for a fair and effective criminal justice system on a worldwide basis (Kovera, 2019). Yet another significant method to bring a change within the system is the Sentencing projects, for working on a fast and effective practice entrusted upon the criminal justice system. Apart from this, the center criteria were established by the Brennan Centre for Justice and were mainly established by the Non-Partisan law with the policies under the institute of the New York School of Law that keep the work and bring changes. Lastly, implementing the Innocence Project System which exonerates those who have been wrongly convicted of attempted crime. While reformation of the criminal justice system mainly keeps track of future happenings. Thus, to conclude on this point, the American Criminal justice system requires change because non-violent criminals can get legal justice and can overcome the challenges that they face under their Civil Rights.  


Castro, E. L. (2018). Racism, the language of reduced recidivism, and higher education in prison: Toward an anti-racist praxis. Critical Education, 9(17).

Farrell, A., & Kane, B. (2020). Criminal justice system responses to human trafficking. The Palgrave international handbook of human trafficking, 641-657.

Hetey, R. C., & Eberhardt, J. L. (2018). The numbers don’t speak for themselves: Racial disparities and the persistence of inequality in the criminal justice system. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 27(3), 183-187.

Hinton, E., Henderson, L., & Reed, C. (2018). An unjust burden: The disparate treatment of Black Americans in the criminal justice system. Vera Institute of Justice, 1-20.

Kovera, M. B. (2019). Racial disparities in the criminal justice system: Prevalence, causes, and a search for solutions. Journal of Social Issues, 75(4), 1139-1164.

 Kurlychek, M. C., & Johnson, B. D. (2019). Cumulative disadvantage in the American criminal justice system. Annual Review of Criminology, 2(1), 291-319.

Macaulay, F. (2019). Prisoner Capture: Welfare, Lawfare, and Warfare in Latin America’s Overcrowded Prisons. In Routledge Handbook of Law and Society in Latin America (pp. 243-258). Routledge.

Mauer, M. (2018). The Crisis of the Young African American Male and the Criminal Justice System 1. In Impacts of incarceration on the African American family (pp. 199-218). Routledge.

Monk, E. P. (2019). The color of punishment: African Americans, skin tone, and the criminal justice system. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 42(10), 1593-1612.

Winkelman, T. N., Chang, V. W., & Binswanger, I. A. (2018). Health, polysubstance use, and criminal justice involvement among adults with varying levels of opioid use. JAMA Network Open, 1(3), e180558-e180558.

Završnik, A. (2020, March). Criminal justice, artificial intelligence systems, and human rights. In ERA Forum (Vol. 20, No. 4, pp. 567-583). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

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