Social Issues and its Impact of Criminal Justice

Criminal justice practitioners are essential in our country, they work together to maintain order. Criminal Justice Personnel are impacted daily by social issues across the United States. Three social issues that will be discussed are gangs, drug-alcohol abuse, and overcrowded prisons. This essay will inform you on how these three social issues contribute to one another and how they impact the criminal justice system.

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Gangs across the US are the culprits for so much criminal activity, for example drugs, gun trafficking, prostitution, human trafficking, fraud, and murders (Gangs. 2016, May 03). According to the federal bureau of investigation there are 33,000 active gangs in the United States, these numbers include motorcycle gangs, street gangs and prison gangs (Gangs.2016, May 03). Criminal justice practitioners must be on constant vigilance for any gang activity within their communities, as gangs can have a very negative impact on them. Some negative effects gangs can have been; decreasing home values, mental effects on children of gang members, and lastly deaths of innocent bystanders. Unfortunately, juveniles are easy targets for gang members, neglected or abused teenagers form a lot of these gangs; fast money, enjoyment, friends, and respect are also reasons why people join (Gang Prevention: An Overview of Research and Programs. n.d.). Criminal justice practitioners have programs in place to help school aged children, an example of this is, the gang resistance education and training program or (GREAT). In this program Law enforcement personal teach children how to avoid being involved with gang activity, this is one-way criminal justice practitioners are also involved (Smith, M., & JH Bloomberg School of Public Health. 2009, August 27). Programs like this can have a positive impact on criminal justice professionals because they feel good about helping children make better decisions for a better future.

Drug and alcohol abuse are responsible for 80% of illegal acts that eventually lead to incarceration in the United States. (Wilcox, S. n.d.). Criminal justice personal deal with the negative effects that substance abuse usually causes for example dui’s, domestic violence, drug offenses, public intoxication, disorderly conduct, and sexual assault (Wilcox, S. n.d.). All these examples will need criminal justice personal, from law enforcement, mental health, crime scene investigators, lawyers, and probation officer’s but these are just a few of the professionals involved. A lot of time people dealing with drug or alcohol abuse are not sent to prison and are put on community supervision where they receive some type of rehab services. Probation officers oversee monitoring and making sure offenders stay out of trouble. Dealing with people under the influence can impact criminal Justice personal in negative ways, police can encounter bodily fluids like being spit on or even have to use hand to hand combat as well as lethal force. These can impact law enforcement both mentally and physically.

Brutal inmate on staff assaults have occurred in many prisons across the United States. According to Joe Davidson with the Washington Post there has been more than 350 savage assaults on staff from 2008 to 2009 (Davidson, J. 2012, October 15). Overcrowding is starting to be of bigger concern since it can have a high ratio of inmates to correctional officers. Let’s not forget to mention the mental affects that we so much hear about on documentaries, all of these can lead to prisoners hurting themselves, other inmates, and personal working inside the facilities. Relapse in prisons is also common, prisoners will finish their term and once again end up behind bars, causing this overcrowding issue. There are programs in prisons that are implemented so that inmates can try and turn their lives around. Criminal justice personal put their lives on the line everyday inside of prisons some either because they are security or because they might be giving a class to inmates. When dealing with criminals everyone around is a target, some inmates have life sentencing which to them means they don’t have anything to lose.

To conclude criminal justice personal are impacted both physical and mentally. They sacrifice a whole lot so that our country can be safer. While some people think of criminal justice personal as bad those are the same people calling them for help. Crime impacts criminal justice professionals every day and it’s not new news. What is impressive is that people know how it can impact them both physically and mentally but still want to be a part of the criminal justice personnel and make a difference.

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Social Issues and Its Impact of Criminal Justice. (2019, Feb 20). Retrieved October 4, 2022 , from
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