The UK criminal justice system is shared between England and Wales. In the system, a criminal case is tried based on a document called indictment where the defendant is indicted on criminal charges by the prosecutor. The prosecutor does this on behalf of the Crown and after the police are through with putting most of the evidence together. The jury decides the facts on which the law applies and comes to a verdict regarding the guilt or innocence of the defendant. The prosecution, on the other hand, has to ensure that a criminal case has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt to make the defendant guilty of his/her crimes (UK Law Online, 1998).
If the case is not that serious, it presides at the magistrates’ level. Here, the defendant has a chance to appeal in the Crown Court in case of dissatisfaction with the decision. This system has in the modern era suffered serious problems arising from issues that will determine the course of this paper. The paper will try to determine whether the system can be just and efficient. The UK criminal system has various concerns that have not gone right thus impeding the delivery of justice efficiently (McKenzie, 1998).
The modern system is characterized by systems and processes that have impacted negatively on the victims and the public. Accordingly, the public confidence has eroded since defense lawyers are cunning, plus judges and court staff who sit unconcerned as well as the bullying of witnesses by the defendants and the court itself.
The other problem in the system is wrongful convictions due to the problem of fake prosecution experts, overconfident eyewitnesses as well as overzealous prosecutors. In addition, the regular tendency of the society starting from public figures to the public to convict the accused before trial puts pressure on the system to deliver in favor of public opinion. Public opinion should not guide a system, but in its jurisdiction, the system must not lose the confidence of the public. Therefore, it is the work of the system is to maintain balance without giving in to the demands of the public.
The system’s other problem is the inclusion of cases that are not designed for the system. In this regard, the mentally ill, the homeless, and the problem of teenagers can not be solved using the criminal justice system. As a result, the criminal justice system has led to full jailhouses. In this case, the politicians and the system itself issues information that creates fear and panic among the public concerning crime. The system, as a result of the inefficient processes and the full jail houses, has not changed the occurrence of crime in the UK society. The system has led to repeat crime and the reoccurrence of the same issues cyclically due to the lack of enough facilities.
The criminal system instead of correcting those issues found in the convicted seems to be perpetuating the problem further hence rendering the system inefficient. This means that the UK system does not help criminals in a way that would help them acquire the needed skills and attitudes for the transitions in the world of work. The system has been moving under the forces of the public, the political, the media demand for justice and control of crime. In other words, there exists a gap between actual requirements in dealing with crime and the way it is addressed. Therefore, the answer lies in ensuring control over the fear among the public as the first step.
The first strategy is to deal with the source of information that instills public fear. These are institutions, people in high places, and the police themselves. There is a tendency to increased negativity since the rate of increase in social welfare has dropped below the rate of economic growth. In the process, the masses have gained the ant for security that does not emanate from economic concerns and thus the rise of such concerns. The media and politicians have capitalized on this issue and hence have rallied the public to demand such justice that seems to style and suit their needs. Therefore, it is paramount to note that the criminal system’s wrongful jailing and convictions can be stopped by making policies that let the media and influential institutions stand back from instilling fear among the public (Risman, 2012).
The next measure that can be taken is to involve the criminal justice system’s policymakers and stakeholders. This is especially in forums that focus on key strategies training. It is through observation of power relationships that the criminal justice system has gone down to this level. Lawyers, policemen, and the whole human resource working in the system must be learning how to maintain a ground that espouses the dictates of the law.
The law provides courses and recourses to be followed in each case. Therefore, it is a breach of ethics and injustice when criminals receive the punishment that is detrimental to them. The institution of torture or the incarceration of masses of criminals and noncriminals brings more danger to society than averting it. Therefore, this would present a chance for these persons to determine the future of the system in the most professional and undisturbed way devoid of high-handedness.
The public can also choose to join forces to change the course. This is due to the cultural and political dimension related to individuals being afraid of crime within the criminal justice system. The public acts as the most powerful directly and indirectly in demanding the style of the criminal justice system. Therefore, the establishment of checks that hinder how the public can influence such processes is needed. This is achievable when the government chooses to desist from measures that seek to make it popular in a conscious manner.
In this case, the government should through international participation and regulations come up with strategies that ensure that the criminal system does not go to levels that are controlled by public opinion. This can be achievable by maintaining regional or international standards that require different ways of punishing criminals. This could be followed by external scrutiny exchange programs meant to improve the quality and efficiency of the system (Farall, Jackson, and Gray, 2009).
The government should install processes that check the influence of the media on issues related to crime. It has been observed that sensationalizing crime stokes emotions that arouse the public to call for specific concerns. The government has a role to play in modifying the media and communication process in the UK by recognizing this issue. The government could drop ambitions to become popular as stated above. In such situations, the government can place measures that control and assess the information flowing to the public concerning crime. There is the need also for international linking on protocols that give light on the amount of power that media has towards sensitive issues in society. The government tames itself and the most powerful institution all over the world by regulating the media.
It has been observed that the criminal system in the UK extends solutions to issues that are related to other definitions. Experts should be involved when the criminal system deals with issues of mental health and behavior that borders psychological disorders. The solution to such criminal cases must lie in the great effort that first seeks to understand their conditions. After this, then the necessary corrective measures can be offered. Wrong verdicts form another major issue in the UK criminal justice system which requires double assessment. By double assessment, it simply means that an independent organization and processes are mandatory.
These processes could be installed or empowered to take reviews and assess the verdicts given by the courts from the lowest to the highest. This independence is important in that the processes can not interfere with one another. This would allow no influence of the processes in determining the appropriateness of verdicts issued and hence giving justice a chance to reign by advocating for the repeal of such verdicts.
In conclusion, this paper observes that the process of cleaning the criminal system to present delivery of justice that is efficient and just must first be guided by understanding the root causes of the problem. Therefore, it is very critical to understand the issues found in policymaking to guide the processes recommended by this paper. If these ideas are put in place, then the system could appear more just and indeed deliver justice through an efficient process.
Farall, S, Jackson J and Gray, E 2009. Social order and the fear of crime in contemporary times: Clarendon studies in criminology, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
McKenzie, K I 1998, Law, power, and justice in England and Wales: Law, power, and justice in comparative perspective, Greenwood Publishing Group, Westport, Conn.
Risman, B 2012, What is wrong with the Criminal Justice System? Web.
UK Law Online, 1998, The Court System. Web.