Policy Process Paper

A variety of elements are needed in order to improve the efficiency of the criminal justice system operations. States, communities, and local neighborhoods face the major challenge of creating less violent and safer communities. Creative ideas supported by solid working crime policies can be an effective tool in creating a better tomorrow.

Listed below are three possible ideas for improving the operation and efficiency of the modern criminal justice system.

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1.                          Prioritize- As a result of changing the manner and processing of the non violent misdemeanor crimes. Different types of crimes require different response and priority. Non violent crimes require less attention from the court than the crimes which pose a threat to the public. Priority can create more efficiency as well save time and money.

2.                          Prison alternatives- Short term offenders who are sentenced with less than a year in prison could be under supervised release programs. This type of policy could save a considerable amount of costs. Costs which occur in the process, intake and release for short term, non violent criminal offenders.

3.                          Agency coordination- Although the state often believes keeping the administrations separate and focused only on their area is effective, this creates invisible barriers and inefficiency.

Once the suggestions or ideas are formed, it is time to determine the next step in implementing the concept for the greater good. The policy process entails a large number of participants, the media, special interest groups, voter and both the legislative and executive branches.

At the time, when an occurring criminal problem grows and becomes big enough to become a critical issue in the system, then citizens and politicians began calling for new action, reform and even the creation of new policies. The desire for change starts the process of creating the criminal justice policy.

The processes necessary in the policy creation procedure are: identify the problem, agenda set, formulate the policy, implement the policy and then evaluate the policy’s effectiveness. However, after evaluation, it may be necessary to alter, change or add to the policy. In this occurrence, the required steps must be processed through all over again (Gesauldo, 2003).

Depending on the way the issue is handled determines the type of policy implemented. Morality, redistributive, distributive and regulatory policies are four types which may be used. The creation and the fundamentals of the policies are usually impacted by public opinion, the media and even elected officials. In order for the policy to be more specific and focused on the goal, the policies should be built under stricter guidelines so that politicians and judicial branches can not alter or influence the policy (Harris, 2006). Once the policy is created, the courts, law enforcement agencies and the corrections systems become the tools which put the policies into effect.

Public Policy is governmental laws, rules and regulation, funding and courses of actions that are measured by the government. Public policies can be complex and can rapidly change under most circumstances. There are many different areas related to Public policy that affect every one individual by way of education, economic development, health care, housing, employment & income, and immigration just to name a few. There are also international policies as well that affect the US such as importing and exporting goods that go out into the economy, weapons, and terrorism (Harris, 2006).
All areas of public policies are important and should be addressed as top priority because some policies such as justice are just not a top priority. Prisons, rehabilitation centers, and prison guards are being closed and laid off daily due to public policies and politicians trying to figured out ways to cut cost and meet budget requirements. With overcrowded or closed prisons, shut down centers for the criminal element, crime is more likely to increase in the neighborhoods as well as the unemployment rate increasing among police officers and without law enforcement, how are the criminals going to rehabilitate and learn what is needed to become tax paying citizens in society (Gesauldi, 2003)?

American citizens know and feel the tension between justice and liberty, the desire to have a safe society while enjoying a free society. With the history of terrorisms and attacks in recent history the slant tends to lean toward a secure society being the top priority. Although there are those whom will argue, that they will not concede on their personal freedoms, even for a goal of safety, justice and security (Harris, 2006). Freedom is not free, but it can impede the process of criminal justice policy.

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