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There has been an increasing pressure on the criminal justice organization to perform professionally and successfully. However, there are challenges which are facing the justice system thus hampering its delivery. Crime is on the rise as more adults as well as minors indulge in it. With modernization and the world becoming a global village, there is need to identify these challenges and find possible ways of mitigating them.
Top groups in a criminal justice organization have been encountering numerous challenges (Rundel et al, 2007). The criminal justice consisting of the police, the courts and the correction facilities have not been having a smooth ride. The police for example are overwhelmed by their demanding work. They are supposed to enforce the law and sustain peace and order in the society. This is not to be as one police officer is in charge of a large number of people making it almost impossible for him to conduct his duties efficiently. Also, the police have been accused of delaying in responding to a call for help. It has been noted that the police take too long to arrive at the scene of crime thus making it difficult for them to curb any grave eventuality or even to apprehend the suspects. This lack of quick response has proven to be challenge to the police maybe because of lack of police vehicles.
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The courts, in this case, adjudication has the mandate to provide a fair trial to the accused. This has not been easy for them since the courts have been receiving cases that are of public interest and that are controversial. With the modernization of almost everything nowadays, crimes are becoming sophisticated and there are no clear laws to rule over them. The lack of clear policy for adjudication is one of the major challenges facing the courts. The general public is now getting concerned as to whether the judges and/or the magistrates have the capability of handling such cases. These, for example, are the cases on homosexuality and terrorism.
According to Randell et al (2007) there are no proper guidelines to the adjudication of a case on terrorism since the existing laws are ambiguous on that issue. The terrorist assault on the World Trade Center on September 11th has made the public question the manner in which the matter is being handled. Muslim faithful in our country have repeatedly been harassed in the assumption that they are terrorists.
Another challenge facing the organizations for criminal justice, the courts, is the fact that the witnesses are not being well protected. Many witnesses are now afraid of going to testify in court for their lives may be in danger if they do so. The accused might hunt them down and harm them. This has proven a major challenge because if no sufficient evidence is produced in court then the ruling declared will be impaired. Witness protection is very important in any criminal justice system and lack of thereof will be detrimental to any judicial process (Schnabel, 2002).
There also has been a rise in the crime rate amongst the minors thus causing a big problem in the judicial system. Many children are indulging in crime such as underage sex, rape, abuse of drugs, pornography and robbery. This is creating a challenge to the organizations for criminal justice because of the way their cases will be handled. They are minors, yes, but the type and intensity of crimes they are committing is astounding. At this rate they may turn out to be hardcore criminals in the future. The challenge to the courts is on how to charge as minors considering the fact that they know the graveness of their crimes. Worse still is the fact that proper systems of addressing issues on underage crime have not been properly put in place. With the absence of such laws, the courts are having a hard time charging the delinquent.
The challenges increase when the quality of investigations carried out by the police investigators leave a lot to be desired. These investigations are proving to be inconclusive hence making it impossible for the plaintiff to get justice. The accused may go unpunished when the prosecution fails to provide adequate evidence that is beyond reasonable doubt that he or she is guilty. The police and the courts are both challenged in this area as they are both inter-dependant. The police lack proper skills and equipment to pursue the culprits.
Another challenge facing the criminal justice organization is the fact that cases take too long for them to be heard and the verdict given (Newburn & Jones, 2006). The delay in hearing of cases has created a backlog of cases that becomes too much work for the judges to handle. These delays are majorly occasioned by the absence of a witness in court. Thus this drags the case and as it is said 'justice delayed is justice denied'.
Newburn & Jones, 2006 further note that the criminal judicial organization is also challenged with the fact that it has to offer sentences that are not fair to the accused persons. Some sentences are not in equal measure to the offences the accused have committed thus the accused receives a sentence which is harsher than supposed.
When all that is said, there still remains the uncertainty of what challenges will present themselves in the near future. I am now going to look at the possibility of some of these challenges to show up in the next five years. First of all is the probability of more cases being presented in courts if law and order is not maintained in the society. When the police officers remain as they are while the population is growing then there will be increased crime rate leading to more criminal cases being presented in courts. This will then lead to an increase in the backlog that currently exists. With that in mind then the quality of judgment being rendered will be illegitimate because of the pressure on the judge to offload his work.
Another foreseeable challenge is the overworking of judges if their current number is not increased. They will be overworked in the near future thus making them incompetent and unproductive. This will portray a compromised picture of the criminal judicial system. An overworked judge will not be in any way productive and such should be avoided by hiring of new judges.
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According to Del Carmen (2006), with the raise in the number of offenses committed by minors, there is enough cause to believe that in the near future the number of offenses they will commit will increase further. So this is going to be a potential challenge to the criminal judicial organization. The cases of juvenile delinquency will increase and cause havoc if it will not be curbed.
A challenge that might arise in the next five years is the ability of correctional facilities to hold the increasing number of crime offenders. This will pose a challenge to the judicial system if in the next five years it will not be able to have correctional facilities that can be able to hold the number of offenders at that time. This also is foreseen due to the fact that crime is on the rise.
The judicial organization faces a predictable challenge of not being able to render sentences to accused persons if they are minors. This challenge is also currently being experienced and if it is not looked into soon, it will still be a problem in the next five years. The manner in which cases of underage crime will be handled in the near future, without proper policy guidelines, will pose a major challenge to the judges and magistrates of that time.
Another challenge that may occur in the future is the likelihood of the accused to file a case against the court when it rendereds an unfair sentence to him. If an accused will feel that the judgment issued upon him was not just then he will sue the courts thus tainting the credibility of the judicial system. This will not be in good taste for them for the general public will lose faith in their ability to defend and offer them a fair trial (Schnabel, 2002).
Lastly, the criminal judicial organization will face the challenge of acquitting accused persons due to lack of evidence as a result of poor investigations. Many accused persons will be set free thus increasing the crime rate in the society and all this will be blamed on the judicial system for their lack to prosecute and convict the accused.
In conclusion, there are numerous challenges facing the criminal judicial organization varying from inadequacy by investigators to lack of clear policies to concerning certain issues such as terrorism. These challenges should be looked into in order to avoid any of them recurring in the future or better still to avoid other predictable challenges if these ones are not tackled carefully and soon enough.