In 100 words or more please respond to the following post:
For this week’s assignment, the first question is requiring us to explain about research and it’s role in creating policies in criminal justice. When I think of that term and defining it in my own words, research is finding and gathering information about a specific topic or area of interest and the Lexico Online Dictionary (2019), defines research as the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions. When creating criminal justice policy, research definitely does and should play a role. Research helps the policy maker to see what needs to be addressed; things like previous policies and effectiveness (statistics) and their impact on criminal justice. Without research, how will one know which avenue to start, on approaching the issues. Research also plays a part in the evaluation process. If evaluation is “the systematic collection and analysis of information to make judgments, usually about the effectiveness, efficiency, and appropriateness of program initiative” (Department of Premier and Cabinet, n.d., pg. 5), then research is needed in the decision-making process, and to know what is to be improved with the collection of data, and in turn creates information and issues that will be addressed and focused on in policy. After the research has been done and policy in place for implementation support is important. Support allows for the implementation process to run more smoothly. With support comes others to invest in the policy, and stand behind the policy.
In the state of Georgia, in the year of 2011,the governor signed the HB 265, a resolution that created the bipartisan, inter-branch Special Council on criminal justice reform for citizens. This mandate was to “address the growth of the state’s prison population, contain correction costs, and increase efficiencies and effectiveness that would result in better offender management, improve public safety by investing into strategies for crime reduction, and strengthening supervision sanctions” (Georgia Department of Corrections, 2017, pg. 3). To address crime and justice, some strategies used are providing those leaving prison with services and supervision that not only starts at the end of the sentence, but at the beginning of incarceration to decrease rates of recidivism and help with integration into society; ensuring that they have appropriate tools needed to successfully return and becoming productive citizens. Reducing crime by re-offenders creates and contributes to public safety.
Another strategy is the implementation of accountability courts. The Georgia Department of Corrections (2017) argues that accountability courts can effectively reduce recidivism among offenders diagnosed with a substance abuse disorder and/or mental illness. Accountability courts are alternatives to prison for non-violent offenders and offers programs and treatment and intense supervision combined with support, and helps with prison overcrowding as well. If they violate while in the program, they will face prison sentences, but participation and completion helps with becoming productive citizens while also lowering recidivism rates.
There are some gender specific policies, one in particular started in the year of 1992 in Maryland. The director for Baltimore city Department of Juvenile Justice felt that girls had specific needs that needed to be addressed especially around the area of sexuality. The director formed a new unit called Female Intervention Team (FIT). According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDPP) 1998, the FIT staff was trained to understand the patterns in delinquent girls behaviors, and they addressed positive gender identity and teen parenting issues, sexual abused, pregnancy prevention and substance abuse education. I understand that there are policies that are gender specific and there are theories that investigates the biological impact on criminology, but I do believe that juvenile justice programs should be unisex. Both girls and boys should be treated the same in the system as juveniles, they both need to learn about the same life lessons, and be held accountable for their actions. Yes programs will vary depending on subject matter, but both genders need to learn about specific information and given the same resources if needed. When it comes to teen pregnancy, prevention, sexual information, sexual abuse, etc. both genders will benefit from these programs. No laws should be geared towards a specific gender and no consequence should be lessened or increased due to gender.