By C. Jeff Oakes
Throughout America today and in much of the world, governments and society are grappling with criminal justice and crime in ways never imagined only 20 years ago. For instance, 20 years ago the term “cyber crime” did not exist; today it is not only common, cyber crime is one of the most pressing issues facing police agencies globally.
The President of the U.S., the government of the U.K., Europe, and most other Western Nations have developed special task forces designed to combat the growing kinds of cyber crime.
Just 20 years ago, we seldom heard of terrorism as we do today–indeed, a growing concern for nearly every nation are either attacks by terrorist cells or concerns that such cells could cause their nation to become a target of international sanctions.
Just 20 years ago, the drug trade was enormous and shipments into various nations were often protected with expensive and powerful gun boats and swift aircraft. Today, these shipments are protected by entire armies, navy’s, and jets with firepower to rival many nations. In fact, according to the recent Forbe’s list of Billionaires, one man left off the list is a top drug lord in South America–the only reason he was left off the list was because Forbe’s could not figure out exactly how much he is worth.
On one side of this issue are those who believe the Drug War should continue unabated regardless of the cost and on the other side are those who dare suggest legalization. So this issue alone has become a pressing, divisive one in most places.
Human Trafficking as been a problem for many years, but during the last 20 years the rates of incidence of abductions and coercive tactics to press many women and children into the sex slavery trade has grown by alarming rates.
With increased concern over the environment, many nations began creating strict laws concerning industrial pollution controls and protections of the waters, air, and wildlife. However, this only added another lucrative service that international organized crime now has added to their menu of goods. Illegal dumpers will ensure that the toxic waste that would have cost millions can be eliminated for a fraction of that cost.
Corruption in politics and business have always been a problem but after the problems with the banking and housing industries in 2008-9, some governments are seeking ways to curtail the so-called white collar crime. Still other countries do nothing but legitimize these criminal behaviors. Global markets are expected to take another plunge unless those in charge correct this deficiency.
Police forces worldwide are becoming increasingly violent and abusive while decrying that the public does not respect their work–the public asks, “Why should we, when the police do not appear to respect us.”
The Principles of Sir Robert Peel seem to have become victims to justice gone awry. Rape, murder, and other violent crimes rise and fall, ebb and wane worldwide, but one thing is certain–in an age wherein DNA can either convict or exonerate, both law-makers and judges must learn to work together to develop better systems for convicting those guilty and releasing those innocent. Every year, more numbers are added to the list of those wrongfully convicted while still more truly guilty go unpunished.
Justice, it seems, is sorely lacking in much of the world–Law certainly does not ensure justice for criminals, nor does it even ensure justice for the innocent. The purpose of this site is to explore the concepts that allow society to either live according to justice and keep their communities free of crime, or live according to the whims of ignorant law-makers and only increase crime.
Many today are beginning to recognize that Criminal Justice and Law are not the same. Today there are more people concerned with crime, law, and justice than at any other time in modern history (as indicated by University enrollments into Criminal Justice related fields and Law schools). At the same time, many of those entering these fields are doing so because they want to make a difference. Many are entering criminal justice because they do not see justice being done. Many are entering law because they believe the laws need an overhaul.
Through this site, we will explore many topics related to criminal justice law such as issues in juvenile justice, problems in police departments, the often ineffectual nature of laws passed by legislators with good intentions (and some with less-than-so), the social implications of certain laws such as the Drug War, racial profiling and racial disparities in the criminal justice system, and many more.
In the articles posted to this site, you will find scholarly research into these issues along with stats, figures, charts, and graphs which may prove useful if you are studying criminal justice or law. In the blog, you will find critical social commentary regarding various issues related to criminal justice and law.
To be clear about this, the pages are for sound, factual research into the issues pertaining to criminal justice law in both the United States and worldwide–the blog is reserved for opinions, so take these for what they are. We hope you find the navigation friendly and return often. Be sure to bookmark us, sign up for updates, and link to us using your favorite social media.
You can also browse a “store” which we have set up in conjunction with Amazon. This store contains things which criminal justice professionals and students will find both useful and fun. Of course, it is not a store exactly for this is a non-commercial website. Instead, it is just a section we have developed with direct links to Amazon. In exchange, Amazon has graciously agreed to provide us with a modest advertising fee. Thus, when you purchase through this site, you are helping support it and we thank you.
We hope you find this website entertaining, enlightening, and very useful.