Correctional Policies essay

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The principles of restorative justice especially those of indigenous justice may play a significant role in coming up with correctional strategies and policies. A good example of this is the Atayal principle of restorative justice which holds that crime should be dealt with in a manner that promotes absolute good, redemption, and harmony. The model does not incorporate a punitive element but there is much focus on the restorative element. This may be adopted in order to reduce crime by encouraging restorative rather than punitive justice. This model is, however, workable in some offences such as theft but may be impractical in others such as assault or drug peddling (Cox, 2000).

The best hypothesis for explaining why juveniles of color have the highest rates of contact with the police is the differential selection processing theory. According to this theory, law enforcement agencies tend to select and process law enforcement strategies differently in the minority neighborhoods as opposed to the majority neighborhoods. The minority neighborhoods tend to be patrolled more than majority neighborhoods. In the minority neighborhoods, victimless crimes such as interference with public order and drug dealing in which police have discretion on action taken, is 20% more likely to result in more attention from police as opposed to the majority neighborhoods (Hsia, 2003).

Juveniles that are of minority groups such as Hispanic, African-Americans, and Native Americans tend to be treated more harshly than whites. The instances of undue harshness against minority juveniles may be influenced by prior record of the offenders is also influenced by the tendency of juveniles by color to portray demeanor that is deemed by the police officers to be violent in nature (Poe & Jones, 2000). On the other hand, law enforcement agents also have negative attitudes and bias against minority juveniles; most police officers deemed juvenile criminal activity to be a result of attitudinal and character while that of whites is deemed to be a result of environmental factors (Pope et al, 2001).

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