Policy Analysis in the Criminal Justice Context

Criminal Justice Context

Defining the problem

Research shows that there is a substantial increase in the rates of incarceration in the United States, particularly in the last decade.  Further research shows that the increase in incarceration in the US has led to the rise in the number of inmates in the US jails and prison resulting from choices by policymakers to increase the utilization and intensity of prison sentences. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, when the crime was high in the US policymakers decided to pass policies with an aim of ensuring that lawbreakers would be imprisoned and that prison sentences for many would be longer (In Chettiar, In Waldman, In Fortier, In Finkelman, & Brennan Center for Justice, 2015).


The Bible teaches all Christians that God is a God of righteousness and that all his ways are just.  Notably, the Bible significantly second the idea of social justice where care is shown for the predicament of the poor and stricken. God commands his people to show concern for those who can neither feed themselves or defend themselves thus promoting social justice.   Similarly, the United States Constitution outlines the minimum rights the society must provide to protect everyone from social injustices. Moreover, by granting the same legal rights to all people, the US Constitution promotes social justice in the country (Ellis & Carlson, 2008).


The changes in the US sentencing policies, practices and patterns have changed with the federal system advocating for individualized sentences which have significantly reduced the rate of incarceration in the country while at the same time promoting social justice in the country. Currently, the judges have the liberty to decide whether to enforce prison, jail, probation or monetary sentences.


The government should give more power to the judiciary to decide on the best way to deal with criminals to reduce incarceration in jails and prisons while at the same time fighting social injustices in the country (Ellis & Carlson, 2008).


Ellis, C. M., & Carlson, J. (2008). Cross Cultural Awareness and Socail Justice in Couseling. Hoboken: Taylor & Francis Ltd.

In Chettiar, I., In Waldman, M., In Fortier, N., In Finkelman, A., & Brennan Center for Justice. (2015). Solutions: American leaders speak out on criminal justice.


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