Criminal Justice Issues


The community experiences a burden that is linked from crime and violence. There exist direct consequences that are linked to the quality of life. These consequences may include the reduced lifespan, intensive feeling of insecurity and a change in the way people behave due to the reduction in the time that is spent on the streets. More so, crime and violence brings about a social waste; this waste comes from the loss of value of goods as well as the destruction of the goods. A waste also results from the expenses, both pubic and private, that are incurred in the course of crime prevention and other costs that are linked to the prison and criminal justice system.

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More so, and in a much more indirect manner, crime brings about significant consequences which are not monetary which have likelihood of bringing about a reduction in productivity and making the planning horizons on investments in the human capital as well as in the physical capital short. Following this, it can therefore be concluded that crime is very much destructive to the welfare of the people in the community in so many ways and it is a major obstacle to development.

However, measuring the level of the unfavorable consequences of crime is very much hard. In engaging in measuring the magnitude of the negative consequences of crime, one must take in to consideration several dimensions and there exist no common framework to handle the problem. The direct costs and expenditures which are associated with criminal justice and the prevention of crime has been identified as adding up to a significant portion in all the regions of the world. Each year crime is increasing at a double-digit rate in some regions of the CT state and residents are leaving as fast as they can thus causing erosion in the tax base of the community. Community policing has achieved minimal success. This paper is going to outline what needs to be done initially to secure the area and then there will be formulation and discussion of a plan of action for the next three years assuming the same level of budget. First there will be reviewing of literature in relation to crime.

Crime and its effects

According to Bourguignon (1999), in the case of the United States of America, the costs associated with crime form 2.1 percent of the GDP and the case of Latin America the fraction is 3.6 percent of the total GDP. Bourguignon (1999) points out, in considering the crime costs that are monetary, that these costs go up for the United States of America to 2.6 percent and to 5.1 percent for Latin America. However, the debate has come up in the literature in regard to whether this, in actual sense is a social cost or a transfer of resources among the society members. Glaeser (1999) presents an argument that because in general terms there is less valuing of commodities by criminals as compared to the valuing that is carried out by the people in the society who lose those commodities, following this, there must consideration of this as a social loss. This value is supposed to be equal to the opportunity cost of the time of the criminal. This is the time that is spent on dealing with crime rather than the time spent on the legal activities and this is in line with the welfare loss.

In addition to loss that is linked to material, among the significant direct crime consequences, is the rise in the injury rates as well as the death rates. In the recent times, there has been development of the mechanisms that make it possible to estimate the social cost that come from bringing down the level of life expectancy and this have indicated that this can be of great significance in quantitative terms. In considering violence, it has been indicated that this represents a significant level of welfare loss which is the same in regard to the magnitude and order of the crime material costs that is direct.

Soares (2006), carries out estimation on the basis of the willingness to pay approach, that the loss of one year in terms of life expectancy to violence is linked with the annual social cost on average that stands at 3.8 percent on the domestic gross product. This estimation does not include the injury costs as well as the reduced health. Injury and reduced health costs do not have the estimates that can be trustworthy which are based on economics.

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The crime costs that are non-monetary along with the age profile that is specific may as well bring about economic consequences that may not be direct. These effects result from the changes that occur in the way people behave which are brought about by the reduced length of productive life. This may include reduced level of investment in the human health and capital, a reduction in the level of investment in the physical capital and thus, in general terms, a reduction in growth in the long term.

The life horizons that are shorter bring down the level of incentives for people to engage in taking action that may bring about benefits that are long term and the costs which are short term which may include carrying out investment in education and people saving for the time to come. According to Lorentzen, McMillan and Wacziarg (2006), among the main channels that connect growth and mortality is fertility. A positive relation does exist between fertility and mortality. On the other hand, there exist a negative relationship between mortality together with fertility and investment in human capital. In those nations where there is a high prevalence in regard to HIV/AIDS, for instance, the parents have approximately, in average terms at least two children in comparison with those nations where the prevalence is low (Kalemli-Ozcan, 2006). This link brings about a negative relationship between investment in human capital together with physical and adult mortality and this can turn out to be a point of origin for poverty traps.

More so, there exist intangible costs in the labor market as well as the negative consequences on the business environment or climate. Londono and Guerrero (1999) point out in line with crime in Latin America that “intangible costs of crime-deterioration of productivity, consumption, and labor force – constitute the major part of the Latin American’s estimated cost of violence, corresponding to 7.1 percent of the region’s GDP.” (pg 2). However, these figures are not very much clear conceptually and it is difficult to carry out the estimation in a manner that may be convincing. Yet, it is of great importance to carry out the highlighting of the implications of crime on the stability of institutions as well as the business environment and especially in the case where there is a substantial existence of organized crime. Arguments are presented by Gaviria and Velez (2002) that crime has a bad effect on the efficiency of the economy, bringing down the level of employment as well as investment in the communities of urban Colombia that are poor. In considering the report given out by the World Bank (2006), in the Brazilian situation, 52 percent of the managers in the country consider crime as a great constraint to business.

The negative effects of crime are thus of many dimensions and the scope of the costs that are associated with it are dependent on what is considered or put in to account. In whatever the case, the costs that associated with crime as well as violence make representation of a substantial portion of the overall production

In relation to crimes related to drugs, according to Rengert et al (2000), research indicates that the market for the illegal drugs is spatially concentrated in particular metropolitan regions. The level of the likelihood to have social disorganization has an inverse relationship with the level of the social and economic status of the neighborhood. The lower the status, the higher the likelihood of having social disorganization. Eventually, the ability of the residents in the community to prevent the blooming of the illegal drug market is brought down. Skogan (1990) points out that the social disorder as well as the economic disorder brings about deteriorating of the environment that is set up and eventually indicates that that the activities of those who deal in illegal drugs are not interfered with by the residents (Wilson and Kelling, 1982)

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Other arguments presented put focus on the environment nature. Customers must have certain accessibility to drugs before they can embark on its usage. The market for these harmful drugs should be the best targets for the law enforcement officers. This is a line of action which can be taken without stretching the initial budget allocated for the purpose of maintaining security in a particular state. Moreover, drug users who have access to these drug points can be tracked down and finally apprehended.

. According to Robinson and Rengert (2006), “the lower the social and economic status of a community and the more deteriorated the housing stock, the more abandoned homes are likely to exist in the community and the fewer the potential customers there are likely to be the illegal drug market” (Pg 20). Hough and Edmunds (1997), observe that entry of the likely clients must be there within the scope of a market place where there is dealing in illicit drugs in order for it to stay in business. Principles of economics as well as the geographic principles in question come before the sociological principles. They made a discovery that at the time the urban communities make entry in to the social and economic status that is at the lowest level, there is minimal likelihood that the markets for the illegal drugs to emerge unless in the case whereby their positioning in spatial terms is close to the major highway to capitalize to the commuter clients who are not residents.

In general terms, there is highlighting of the fact that all the people in a particular city are not on the same level in regard to the attributes that are on the basis of the location of a market that deals in drugs. This highlighting is carried out by the geographic and sociological explanations. In regard to the viewpoint that is much inclined to sociological aspect, there is a higher likelihood that among the communities there are those that are very much disorganized in comparison to other communities and have less capability of offering resistance to people dealing in drugs within the community. In regard to the view point that is much more inclined toward the geographic aspect, among the communities, there are those that contain the potential clients or those that are situated close to the place where the clients come to the city and therefore possess economic as well as geographic advantages for dealing in the sale of the illegal drugs.

In the case of the geographic aspect, where the local authorities like the police attain success in doing away with the illegal drugs in the community from a region that is deemed to be geographically advantaged community, there will be substantial motivation on the side of those who deal in illegal drugs to come back and engage in establishing their illegal drug market because this is among the best places to realize maximum profits in their business. This implies that the actions that are taken by the police may achieve success in driving them away from the position the drug dealers have chosen to engage in the trade of the illegal drugs.

Those who abuse drugs or deal in its supply do not operate at one point but they move from place to place. Yet, the aspiration of those people who deal in drugs that are rational is to come back to the location they deem to be the best where they engage in the illegal drug business. The moment the actions taken by the police stop, the drug dealers will make attempts to find their way back in the original location from which they were moved away (Harrell and Peterson,1992).

The residents in the communities are very much aware of these fact. Police officers are stationed at those regions that are seen to be having active drug dealers on a temporary basis. Almost each and every individual knows that the department of the police is not in a position to place the police in all the regions on a permanent basis. Following this, the police go from one region to the other and there is a high likelihood that the criminals who deal in illegal drugs will come back to go on with their business. According to Moran, Fleming and Salisbury (2002), one of the local residents where the legal drug dealing is prominent indicated in the case where the police were staged in the region that that was just for a moment and the moment the police move away, the situation goes back to the usual state where the criminals engage in selling the drugs. Measures taken by the police were just temporary and there is need to come up with a permanent solution.

To be more candid, there is need to put in place more stern measure other than just staging a police officer at a particular region on a temporary basis in order to get rid of those people who engage in dealing in illegal drugs. The issue turns out to be that if there is a possibility for a geographic viewpoint may bring in more understanding of this problem that is not stopping.

Measures to be taken

There exist three categories of measures that need to be taken to deal with crime that which are employed in addressing the problem of the illegal drugs among other crimes in the coming three years. Crime zones that are linked to the drug free zones should be spotted while the other measure that need to be taken is carrying out the combination of the action of the police together with the legal sanctions. In considering the identification of the hot spot, these areas need to be avoided at all costs. In the times that have just passed identification was carried out by Schuerman and Kobrin (1986) of what is referred to as “persistent high crime neighborhoods”. They presented arguments that there existed very minimal public action that could be taken in regard to crimes in such areas because there was no gaining support from the residents. They presented an argument that neighborhoods like these are supposed to be written off and the concentration of the police is supposed to be put on the “tipping point” communities that were found around the regions having high crime rates which had not earlier on gone through high level crimes over a long period of time.

The use of modern technology like computer knowledge and applications especially in areas where crime rate is high is highly recommended. Such an approach will ensure that new competences in crime are contained at the right time. It is possible, by employing this strategy, for the police to focus their resources on those areas where it is seen to be having high levels of crime.

Legal prohibitions in areas which are affected by drugs is one approach which the law enforcement officers can use to curb the rising crime rate. The question still stands to be if or if not a concept of a drug free zone can turn out o be effective. In employing this measure, the police among other officials that deal with crime are supposed to carry out the identification of those areas where there is the occurrence of high levels of crime, especially in regard to drugs in the city. These areas are then supposed to be outlined on the map and the signs are placed all over the place indicating to each and every person in the region that the place is a drug free zone. The intention of such a move is to permanently do away with the criminals who deal in drugs from this region that is sensitive so that they can not come back.

In seeking to come up with the appropriate measures to prevent crime, Telep (Not Dated) points out that; by carrying out the examination of just the intervention evaluations which are valid scientifically, the presentation carried out offers a review of what is known among people which works for the agencies that deal in the enforcement of the law. In most specific terms, the strategies put in place by the police are proactive to a high level and they are much focused and they have reliance on the analysis of crime. The evidence that is presented indicate that there is a tendency among the police officers to be most successful at the time they put in place the efforts that are tailor-made focused on the streets that have many violence crimes.

In general terms, the police effectiveness can be realized among the police in bringing down the level of the violence crimes the moment they become proactive and use those strategies that are specific in nature instead of using the strategies that are general and put much focus on the locations that are smaller and set up the solutions that are tailor-made which utilize an analysis that is careful of the problems of the locality and the local conditions as well. The interventions that are proactive offer challenge to the reactive nature of the existing practices associated to enforcing of the law. By employing the analysis of crime to forecast the place, time and the way incidents come about, the effectiveness of the strategies put in place to prevent crime increases to a very significant level. If proper forecasts are carried out, it will be possible to not only prevent the future crimes but also cut down on the national budget of security.

Those approaches that are reactive and based on arrest which put focus on people at the time they have already engaged in the criminal activities, are in general terms ineffective and they are likely to bring up the level of recidivism. Those interventions that focused and specific in nature are the strategies which put much focus specific kinds of criminal activities or focus on specific factors that contribute to people engaging in criminal activities as opposed to those strategies that are general.

More so, focusing on a small fraction of the locations in a particular city in which there are widespread cases of violent crimes, in most cases about 1/20 of the whole jurisdiction, have a high likelihood to bring down the level of the general rate of the violent crimes in that particular city. A tool that is even much more powerful is carrying out the combination of the targeting of these geographic regions that are small together with the interventions that are much focused, tailor-made and multi-agency. One of the best examples an approach that problem oriented which is employed to bring down the level of crime at the hot spots where violent crimes occur which encompasses gang activity.

Over time, the approach referred to as the “Pulling levers” approach which puts much emphasis on providing deterrence to particular high risk gang members have been identified to bring in much effectiveness in regard to preventing violent crimes at the places they have been employed (Stevens and Payne. 1999). Even at the police beat level or the neighborhood level; those interventions that were successful are the ones that still employed an allocation that was carefully planned of the resources of the police instead of the preventive patrol that was standard and random. An example can be given by the crackdowns in the neighborhoods where there are high levels violent crime cases which is a type of the approach of hot spots to geographic regions that are larger.


The criminal activities which people engage in bring about many negative effects to the society. Crime brings about costs in line with the welfare of people living in a community that is dominated with the cases of crime. A better plan need to be laid done to ensure that crime is effectively dealt with. The plan has to stretch within a period of the coming three years to ensure that there is safety in the region in question.,

Dealing with crime should involve staging the police in the insecure regions on a relative long period rather than on a temporary basis to avoid the criminal activities coming up once again after being dealt with. There are several measures which can be put into consideration. For example, areas that are considered to be hot spot should be given critical focus and attention as well. Both the law based sanctions as well as the power of policing can help in curbing the rising crime incidents.. A tool that is much more powerful is carrying out the combination of the targeting of the geographic regions where crimes occur that are small together with the interventions that are much focused, tailor-made and multi-agency. It is indeed that if such measures are taken, the rate of crime will be contained in addition to maintaining the budget allocation for the entire process. The crime costs that are non-monetary along with the age profile that is specific may as well bring about economic consequences that may not be direct. These effects result from the changes that occur in the way people behave which are brought about by the reduced length of productive life. This may include reduced level of investment in the human health and capital, a reduction in the level of investment in the physical capital and thus, in general terms, a reduction in growth in the long term.

List of References

  1. Bourguignon, F., (1999). Crime, violence, and inequitable development. In: Boris Pleskovic and Joseph Stiglitz (editors). Annual World Bank Conference on
  2. Development Economics 1999/2000, Washington DC, World Bank, 2000, 199-220.
  3. Davis, R.C., Lurigio A. J., and Rosenbaum D (eds.) 1993. Drugs and the Community: Involving Community Residents in Combating the Sale of Illegal Drugs. Springfield, Illinois: Charles Thomas
  4. Gaviria, A., and Velez E., C., (2002). Who bears the burden of crime and violence in Colombia? In: World Bank. Colombia Poverty Report. Volume 2, Chapter 4, World Bank, Washington DC, p.146-61.
  5. Glaeser, E., L. (1999). An Overview of Crime and Punishment. The World Bank. Mimeo
  6. Harrell, A. and G. Peterson. (1992). Drugs, Crime, and Social Isolation: Barriers to Urban Opportunity.Washington, D.C.: The Urban Institute Press
  7. Hough, M. and M. Edmunds. 1997. Tackling Drug Markets: An Eclectic Approach. Paper read to the 6th International Seminar on Environmental Criminology and Crime Analysis, Oslo, Norway June.
  8. Londono, J., L., and Guerrero R., (1999). Violencia en América Latina – Epidemiología y Costos. Inter-American Development Bank, Documento de Trabajo R-375.
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  10. Moran, R. L. Fleming and S. Salisbury. 2002. Antidrug Sweep Begins in Phila. The Philadelphia Inquirer, pp. B1 and B3
  11. Rengert, G., F., Chakravorty S., Bole T., and Henderson K., 2000. Analysis of Illegal Drug Markets.” In Mangai Natarajan and Hough (eds.) Illegal Drug Markets: From Research to Prevention Policy. Monsey, New York: Criminal Justice Press
  12. Robinson J., and Rengert G., F., (2006), Illegal drug markets: The geographic perspective and crime propensity. Western Criminology Review 7(1), 20 – 32 (2006).
  13. Robinson, J. 2003. The Drug Free Zones, the Police, Locations, and Trends in Drug Sales in Portland, Oregon, 1990-1998. Dissertation submitted to Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.
  14. Schuerman, L. and S. Kobrin. 1986. Community Careers in Crime. In A. Reiss and M. Tonry (eds.) Communities and Crime. Chicago: University of Chicago Press
  15. Skogan. W. 1990. Disorder and Decline: Crime and the of Decay in American Neighborhoods. New York: Free Press.
  16. Soares, R., R. (2006). The Welfare Cost of Violence across Countries. Journal of Health Economics, 25(5), 821-846.
  17. Stevens, E. and Payne B. (1999). Applying Deterrence Theory in the Context of Corporate Wrongdoing: Criminal Justice, 27: 195-209
  18. Telep C., W., (Not Dated), Police intervention to reduce violent crime: A review of rigorous research.
  19. Wilson, J. and G. Kelling. 1982. The Police and Neighborhood Safety: Broken Windows. Atlantic Monthly, 127: 29-38.
  20. World Bank (2006). Crime, Violence and Economic Development in Brazil: Elements for Effective Public Policy. Report n. 36525, Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Sector Unit, Latin America and the Caribbean Region.
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