Criminal justice systems identify, investigate and gather evidence with a view to try and punish criminals based on the crime intensity. Thus, it aids in preventing and controlling crime. Those that identify and reprimand criminal suspects are the law enforcers who are commonly referred to as policemen, detectives and/ or investigators.
A major problem facing law enforcement agencies is corruption. This is evident through taking of bribes, unfair promotions within the agency, fraud related activities leading to misuse of power and abuse of office. The reasons behind the exercise of corruption being rampant in the law enforcement system include the following.
Law enforcement agents are on low income salaries. Hence, sustaining themselves and their dependants raises a major problem. While trying to meet their financial demands, they lean towards asking and taking of bribes. As a result they do not enforce the law as required since criminals bribe their way out which leads to an increase in crime. This has denied innocent citizens justice.
The lack of operating expenses while working has led to fraudulent behavior as resources are not sufficient to cater for the rising criminal activities in the society. Fighting crime is difficult if law enforcers are not well equipped (Hess & Hess, 2008). They need efficient means of transport to move from one place to another in addition to ammunition to use when necessary.
The desire to lead better lives has pushed officers into illegal activities (Hess & Hess, 2008). Law enforcers provide service to the society. The urge to make it financially in life has led to the adoption of corrupt means of obtaining money to the level of getting involved in criminal activities like selling of drugs as they use the power they hold in office to get away with it.
As a way of fighting corruption in the law enforcement system, the superiors should supervise the officers. For the supervision to be effective, the superiors should randomly audit officers at their positions of work. They should also avoid sending information about such audits. They should not identify themselves as their superiors, an aspect that would facilitate the yielding of better results.
Salaries should be increased on merit rather than on rank or position. With this put into consideration, the officers will aim at being more effective and productive to increase their salaries instead of involving themselves in illegal activities to meet their financial needs. In the effort to improve their livelihood allowances such as house allowances, medical covers and retirement savings should be made mandatory.
In the event that an officer of the forces is found to have been involved in any corrupt activity, severe punishment, demotion or dismissal of the officer from his post should be considered. Law enforcers should enforce the law.
The government should increase the budget on training of the officers so that they can be trained on different ways to curb corruption and on how to carry out their roles at the work place. Frequent training acts as a reminder to the officers, and updates them on any new laws or by-laws in their regions. Training also teaches officers how to deal with other corrupt criminals offering bribes or abusing power to commit crime.
Employee assistance programs should be initiated to help the officers cope with the working conditions out in the field. Counseling would be required especially in the time of dealing with stressful criminal cases.