Discuss public order and criminal justice.

Create a 2 pages page paper that discusses public order and criminal justice. Public Order and Criminal Justice Introduction: The s control over society and public order is through the medium of criminal justice (Lin & Keith, 2006). Public order is directly related to the rule of law. There is increasing concern about public safety in western democracies especially post-September 11. The protection of human rights is the prime focus of the western liberal democratc system. and

law and order are maintained through the criminal justice system.

This paper proposes to study the merits and de-merits of the maintenance of public order by criminal justice procedures, in the United States of America.

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Discussion:

According to Pakes (2004), public order maintenance essentially involves keeping the peace. The American ideal of the freedom of the individual does not allow the U.S. police to maintain public order in the sense of imposing restrictions on human liberty, (unlike the English “bobbies”), and their main function is crime control. However, Waddington (1999) argues that crime control is also a form of public order maintenance, since a crime is not only an offence against the victim, but also a violation against society’s law and social order.

Pakes (2004: 30) points out that riots and protests are able to overthrow governments, whereas crime cannot. The police are the key tool used by the state for suppressing riots and mass protests. Since the protestors have rights to protest peacefully, the police has to balance their concerns against public order laws.

The judiciary primarily defines the legitimacy, purpose, scope and legal functions of the Anti-social Behavior Orders (ASBO). and the local authorities and the police carry out the orders. Since the role of the judiciary in defining the boundaries and limits in the use of ASBO is central to its implementation, it has the responsibility of being proactive in ensuring the quality of justice (Donoghue, 2007).

It is observed that there is increasing social disorganization of poor communities, which is brought about by government policy. “Planned shrinkage” of poor and minority communities by the withholding of essential municipal services, particularly fire extinguishment resources, results in rising levels of violent death. There is also intensification of deviant behaviors leading to the spread of AIDS. Ecologically informed interventions, particularly essential service restoration is greatly required (Wallace, 1990).

According to Taylor (1997: 113), “neighborhood disorder explicitly recognizes three levels of informal social control: private (family and close friends), parochial (based on nearby acquaintances), and public (between neighborhoods and external agents and agencies)”. Recent research observes that the parochial level needs to be focused on: by recognizing variations in informal social control and its responses to disorder within the neighborhood. The central importance of street blocks to residents, and their relationship to the broader ecological dynamics in their neighborhood has to be taken into consideration. Enhancing resident based social control can help in increasing social organisation and order within the community.

This view is supported by the concept of “collective efficacy” (Champion, 2004: 49), which is defined as the “ability of communities to regulate the behavior of their residents through the use of community institutions such as the family and church”. Residents maintain public order by sharing mutual trust and willingly helping in the supervision of children and youth.

Conclusion:

This paper has discussed the various aspects of public order and the criminal justice system. The increasing requirement for the maintenance of public order necessitates concurrent evolution of the criminal justice system with new policing practices.

Children who lack role-models, and who are in adverse conditions tend to resort to a criminal way of life, becoming hazards to society. Community policing and police mentoring of children and youth who are at risk of becoming anti-social elements, are helpful in guiding them to grow up to become law-abiding citizens (Arter, 2006). Thus, government policy focusing on childhood interventions and innovative, life-changing programs for high-risk youth in need of support, will go a long way in maintaining public order. “An optimal portfolio of crime prevention strategies requires a combination of punitive actions of the criminal justice system and supportive efforts” (Witte and Witt, 2001: 36).

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References

Arter, M.L. (2006). Police mentoring: moving toward police legitimacy. Criminal Justice

Studies, 19(1): 85-97.

Champion, D.J. (2004). The American dictionary of Criminal Justice: key terms and major court

cases. Maryland: Scarecrow Press.

Donoghue, J. (2007). The judiciary as a primary definer on anti-social behavior orders. The

Howard Journal, 46(4): 417-430.

Lin, Z. & Keith, R.C. (2006). New crime in China: public order and human rights. New York:

Routledge.

Pakes, F.J. (2004). Comparative criminal justice. Oregon: Willan Publishing.

Taylor, R.B. (1997). Social order and disorder of street blocks and neighborhood: ecology,

microecology, and the systemic model of social disorganisation. Journal of Research

in Crime and Delinquency, 34(1): 113-155.

Waddinton, P.A.J. (1999). Policing citizens. London: University College of London Press.

Wallace, R. (1990). Urban desertification, public health and public order: “planned shrinkage”,

violent death, substance abuse and AIDS in the Bronx. Social Science and Medicine,

31(7): 801-813.

Witte, A.D. & Witt, R. (2001). What we spend and what we get: public and private provision of

crime prevention and criminal justice. Fiscal Studies, 22(1): 1-40.

 
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