Policy Making in the Criminal Justice System


Write a paper, describing your personal perception of policy-making in criminal justice. Identify any assumptions on which your perceptions are based. Be sure to answer the following questions:
?How would you describe policy-making?
?How would you describe policy analysis?
?How do your perceptions compare to the definitions in the readings?
?What are 2-3 examples of criminal justice policies.

Sample paper

Policy Making in the Criminal Justice System

Policy making

Policy making is one of the major instruments in criminal justice system that assesses crime levels and provides crime reduction strategies. Policy making can be defined as making a system of principles to assist in decision making and govern government or organizations’ operations. According to me, policy making is meant to provide solutions to several issues in the criminal justice system. Firstly, it should assess new criminal trends and come up with a way to combat the crimes. Technological advancement has seen the increase of criminals who take advantage of cyber insecurities to commit crime. Members of the public who lack awareness of such insecurities can easily fall prey to the criminals (Garrison, 2009).

Policy making provides a platform to fight technologically instigated crimes by using modern technology. Secondly, policy making ensures that members of the public are safe and their security concerns are addressed. Civilians are usually the target of many criminals and thus public safety is paramount. Thirdly, policy making should establish how future problems should be addressed and stop planned criminal activities before they happen. The system should make projections on how to handle potential criminal activities in the future by assuming the worst case scenario. This can only happen by constantly carrying out research in order to be up to date with new developments.

Policy analysis

Policy analysis helps decision makers to ensure that the policies set are implemented. It also provides information on how the policies work their effectiveness in fighting crime and the effects they have on social, economic, political and environmental factors.  In my understanding, policy analysis involves conducting research to establish whether the designed policies are of good merit. The criminal justice system should leave nothing to chance in the fight against crime.

A research should be done to ensure that the policies be efficient in all the sectors of criminal justice system. Policies in the law enforcement sector should enable police officers and any other force that is involved in identifying and prosecuting criminals. The policies should clearly outline the resources needed and provide the information to the federal and state governments for funding. The policies in the courts should ensure that prosecutors have enough resources to do thorough investigations and provide the right information to the judges. This helps to ensure that justice is served. Finally, the correction facilities like prisons should provide prisoners with skills and rehabilitate them so as to avoid crime cycles. A research should be conducted to analyze polices in the three areas of criminal justice system to ensure that the system succeeds as a whole. If one area is neglected, it marks the failure of the criminal justice system as a whole since none of them can succeed without the others.

How do your perceptions compare to the definitions in the readings?

My perceptions and the readings definitions agree in several ways. In both cases, the policies of the criminal justice system are set aside to help in the fight against crime. However, my understanding of policy making and policy analysis provides a general overview of what they mean, how they are applied and how they are implemented in the criminal justice. On the other hand, the readings contain detailed and clear information regarding the role of policy making and policy analysis in the success of the system. The readings term criminal justice policy as entities that are entirely based on morals. This defines what is right or wrong and what constitutes justice and what does not. This is what makes criminal justice policy making agencies different from other agencies in other fields. The dynamic processes in decision making enables policy makers to determine the factors that influence when, how and what decisions are made and what policy is implemented.

My perceptions concur with the readings that both policy making and policy analysis are essential in ensuring the sanctity of the criminal justice system. The readings provide that policy making is influenced by two factors; political and moral forces. In addition, every state needs to have criminal justice policy planning agency in order to receive federal funding. Law enforcement agencies at the local and state level, the judiciary, corrections and nongovernmental organizations receives federal funding through the criminal justice planning agencies to carry out criminal justice initiatives.

Examples of criminal justice policies

To understand how policy making in the criminal justice works, some examples can help to create a light on that. The drug policy has been implemented in the United States for a long time now. For more than fifty years, efforts to combat drug trade have been heightened by improving border security, increasing arrests and set long sentences for drug offenders.  In addition, drug offenders have some right stripped away drug testing has been introduced in schools and workplaces. Billions of dollars have been set aside to fight the drug war and policies are adjusted to suit the dynamics in the drug market (Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, 2016 ).

Violence against women is another criminal justice system policy that has been in action for a long time. Women have been subjected to various forms violence such as rape, physical violence and experienced male dominance for the longest time. Some of these issues are due to traditional beliefs which argue that men are superior to women. The criminal justice system has come up with policies which ensure that the victims find justice.


Criminal Justice Policy Foundation. (2016). Home. Criminal Justice Policy Foundation. Retrieved 22 September 2016, from http://www.cjpf.org/

Garrison, A. (2009). The Influence of Research on Criminal Justice Policy Making. Professional Issues In Criminal Justice, 4(1). Retrieved from https://kucampus.kaplan.edu/documentstore/docs09/pdf/picj/vol4/issue1/picj_v4n1_garrison_9_22.pdf

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