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The Future Of Criminal Law Trends And Challenges

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Criminal law is subject to constant legislative reform, review and criminal justice reform. Crime prevention research is a continual process and criminal law trends and challenges need to be assessed to determine what changes may or may not need to be made.

Major challenges facing the criminal justice system include, prison population issues, International criminal law, and rehabilitative/punitive measures. These are only a few of the many challenges that face criminal law in both the present and future due to the high level of criminal offending we are seeing in the community.

Criminal justice reform is a complicated and fluid area of law. If you require any information about how these matters may affect and your criminal offending, Jameson Law have a team of highly trained and skilled criminal lawyers ready to assist you.

Prison Capacity

Overpopulation of the prison system is a concerning issue which affects not only individual states and territories but the nation as a whole. It is also an international concern as the level of criminal offending rises across the world. There are requirements within the prison for certain amenities which must be provided and prison conditions which need to be adhered to.

The major challenge in this respect is that prisoners are in fluxing at such a dramatic growth that accommodations cannot be made. There are not enough cells, guards, amenities and facilities to keep up with the demand and funding does not easily exist to expand the facilities available.

This is one of the reasons why electronic monitoring is a more widely accepted punitive measure as it removes some of the pressure from the prison system. Solutions of this nature are being more widely explored, particularly in smaller states where they have limited remand and prison centers available.

Another difficulties facing prisons both presently and in the future is the availability of drugs within the system. Remand centers and prisons have ling struggled with the easy access and availability of drugs within their facilities. Despite attempts to keep drugs out, there is a disproportionate number of guards to prisoners and it is a challenging task.

It is difficult to enhance prisoner reform in circumstances where illegal substances are rampant. The criminal justice system does what it can to tackle this issue but it is becoming increasingly more challenging.

For example, a drug aversion course being offered within the prison is going to have little to no effect on addicts if they have available access to illicit substances. In this regard, a stricter drug policy or drug screening process must be imposed and substances successfully removed from the facility before rehab practices will have an impact.

International Law

International criminal justice systems are a combination of jurisdictions under the united nations working towards one international standard. The basic principles rely on a cooperation of the international community to bring war crimes, hate crimes, crimes against humanity, etc, before the international criminal court.

The International criminal court or international criminal tribunal only considers matters under the Rome Statute and the criminal justice process relies on the inter-cooperation of many countries. This is primarily because there cannot be a breach of sovereignty so even if charges are laid it may be difficult to remand the defendant to stand trial due to the universal jurisdiction.

For example, a Russian diplomat accused of war crimes and violation of human rights may be unable to be brought before the criminal court due to Russia not providing his transport. It is not possible for international law enforcement to enter the sovereignty of certain countries to obtain defendants without that countries permission. Of course if permission is granted then that is different.

Historically, it has been the case that some countries would deal with these matters themselves and either detain or execute the accused. From a political perspective this is problematic as the accused are never brought to justice.

Rehabilitative Measures

There is a growing recognition that rehabilitative courses and measures play a vital role in the decrease of criminal offending however this may not be the case in the future. The rising level of entitlement within society has created new found challenges for rehabilitation.

It is more common for a criminal sentence to include a rehabilitative competent than it was previously as trends suggest this is the more effective way of reaching people. Unfortunately, the trends did not predict that by looking to a more rehabilitative sentencing approach, we would be sending the message that sentencing will not be harsh and therefore community deterrence seems to have decreased.

Replacing a term of imprisonment for example with education and rehab has resulted in a widespread understanding that criminal offending will be met with sympathy instead of anger. Whilst this may not be one size fits all it is a concern.


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