The U.S has a dual court system that comprises of the federal courts and the state courts (Schmalleger, 2015). The offenders are processed into the federal and state courts depending on the crime committed (Schmalleger, 2015). For instance, Federal courts hear cases that deal with the constitution, bankruptcy, public ministers, ambassadors, treaties, disputes involving states as well as the habeas corpus. However, state courts deal with probate and criminal cases (Schmalleger, 2015). Besides, the state courts also deal with the issues revolving around personal injury, contracts, and family law cases.
The state courts possess the last words of the state constitution and laws (Schmalleger, 2015). The Supreme Court is usually called upon to interpret federal laws and the constitution and reserve the privilege to hear or decline the cases brought forth. It all depends on the crime committed by the offender as well as the severity of the criminal act and how the offender is punished by the correctional facilities (Schmalleger, 2015). The offenders or criminals usually are arrested before they are brought in for trial (Schmalleger, 2015). The offenders are convicted if found guilty by the jury or the judge and subsequently sent to the correctional systems where they are classified depending on the existing local procedures. For instance, they can get sent to a confinement facility or a treatment program.
In America, the most used approach to rehabilitation by correctional facilities is educational and work programs (Schmalleger, 2015). Education and training inmates with a low level of skills and research show modest data about how training programs and education bring a significant impact on the behavior of offenders (Schmalleger, 2015). It is the best approach to reduce the post repeat of the offense as compared to other multi-model approaches of rehabilitation (Schmalleger, 2015). There exist other life training skills and vocational training for inmates that help them to reform their behavior. However, it is also important to recognize that some states usually provide counseling programs as well as psychological community-based methods of treatments (Kelly, 2015). The quality of treatment programs leads to the success of the rehabilitation rates for the inmates since the states do not typically provide most programs.
Research shows that the most effective approach to reducing crime in society is the rehabilitation of offenders (Kelly, 2015). There are a significant number of people that support the incarceration of offenders as the most useful method of correcting offenders (Kelly, 2015). For people that support the imprisonment of offenders, it is the best method to allow the offenders to objectively serve their time in prison while also receiving the right training and skills before they are released back to the communities (Schmalleger, 2015). This group is adamant that in as much as offers should get rehabilitated, they must also learn a lesson for their bad conducts before they are allowed interaction with other members of the society (Kelly, 2015). It is important to realize that the community has come a long way from the concept of rehabilitation because most of the criminal justice system over-emphasize on giving people more sentences to punish them of their crime. The policy now is doing a crime and do time behind bars (Schmalleger, 2015). It is the reason why the number of incarcerated people in the U.S is more than as compared to other countries around the world.
According to the U.S data from the justice and statistics between 1988, 2002 and 2012, the number of people incarcerated has risen by 535% when compared to 1936 to 1988 (Kelly, 2015). It is a direct sign that society has moved from the rehabilitation of offenders within the communities to punishment (Kelly, 2015). The approach of punishment is not working to reduce crime in the society because it only contributes to the increased number of people in prison. The U.S must now rethink on a new approach of rehabilitating offenders as opposed to incarcerating people to uncontrollable amounts. The U.S has invested a lot of money in building ultra-modern facilities without making enough legislative pieces to provide the right procedure of rehabilitating inmates (Kelly, 2015). The society should put more emphasis on the process of establishing the root causes the problems, not incarceration. The approach of incarcerating people will not solve the existing challenges in the society (Kelly, 2015). The offenders face numerous issues that are not getting addressed by the existing mechanisms such as drug abuse and alcoholism as well as mental related illnesses.
The process of locking many people in prisons will never provide a long lasting solution to the existing challenges (O’Connor, 2014). For instance, it is evident that when people get imprisoned without providing the right programs to change their behaviors, they are likely to get incarcerated again because they don’t change their behaviors (Kelly, 2015). People who have a prior history of incarceration tend to commit more significant crimes such as murder, rape, and robbery when they are released back to society (O’Connor, 2014). So the focus should be how people can be put through a rehabilitation system as opposed to punishment. The American criminal justice system should review the existing policies and procedure to develop a more effective method of fighting crime (Schmalleger, 2015). The current pieces of legislation about the crime only serve to perpetuate more acts of crime in society (Schmalleger, 2015). For instance, the effects of crime are already spilling over to American schools, home, and public places.
In conclusion, it is important to realize that there is a lot of social stigma and discrimination associated with people who have been incarcerated. It is an aspect that can make the offenders revert to crime especially if they do not get reformed. The criminal and justice system should focus more on correctional mechanisms that happen within the society such as releasing offenders on parole before the end of their time in prison. The small offenders can be put through probation programs where they are monitored effectively.
Kelly, W. R. (2015). Criminal Justice at the Crossroads: Transforming Crime and Punishment. New York: Columbia University Press.
O’Connor, R. (2014). The United States Prison System: A Comparative Analysis. Graduate thesis and dissertation. Retrieved on April 8, 2019, from http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=6282&context
Schmalleger, F. (2015). Criminal Justice Today: An Introductory Text for the Twenty-First Century (13th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson.