Week 1 Criminal Justice Issues 2
Week 1 Criminal Justice Issues
Writing a capstone project is not an easy task. A well-designed capstone project
requires extensive knowledge of criminal justice issues, their social implications, as well as
creativity and professionalism to develop a real-life solution. The most difficult task for me
was to choose a topic appropriate and suitable for developing and creating a project. The fact
is in that the current system of criminal justice is overfilled with issues and controversies.
From investigating the crime scene and up to presenting evidence in the court and sentencing
a person guilty of a crime – all aspects of criminal justice system are associated with some
kind of difficulties and problems (Pound, 2007). For example, when investigating the crime
scene and gathering digital evidence, forensic professionals frequently face the need to
balance privacy issues with the demands for security, safety, and criminal justice (Pound,
2007). In the same manner, when choosing the most appropriate form of sentencing, courts
and law officials are bound to weigh all pros and cons, as well as the rights and obligations of
defendants against specific forms of punishment (Pound, 2007). Also, our correctional system
poses a number of challenges, and as professionals we must be prepared to resolve them.
Because I am familiar with the issues of correctional justice, and because I see correctional
system as the key to a better crime situation, I chose to concentrate on the issues, which
correctional professionals face in their daily practice.
I believe that not corrections in their conventional form but treatment and
rehabilitation may give former criminals another chance to reintegrate with their community.
I chose to write on probation as a form of correctional approach. I view probation as a
promising trend, but at the same time, probation does not resolve all crime issues. Moreover,
probation has far-reaching social, cultural, and ethical implications, which require detailed
analysis and research (Gelsthorpe & Morgan, 2007). That is why I believe that my project
will help resolve at least one or two issues currently associated with probation.
Week 1 Criminal Justice Issues 3
The topic of my capstone project is “Probation: A Roadmap to a Better Correctional
Policy in the U.S.”. The major question to investigate and resolve is improving overall
efficiency of probation and positioning probation as the major element of the current
sentencing and correctional policy. The issues and questions to be discussed are as follows:
1. The current state of probation in the country.
2. The major law enforcement and criminal justice issues associated with probation.
3. Criminal justice theories and probation.
4. Probation and diversity
5. Probation and social justice.
6. Probation – psychology and ethics of corrections.
7. Developing a plan: Probation as the dominant principle of correctional policy in
All these aspects may be modified to fit the needs of the current project, but they all
require detailed analysis to identify the most problematic probation areas and to address them
in the final plan of the project. It is necessary to review probation through the prism of
criminal justice theories and principles, to understand what goals and objectives law
enforcement professionals pursue in probation. It is also important to investigate ethical and
psychological sides of probation. The fact is in that probation may release criminals from the
psychological burden of imprisonment, but is the psychological effect of probation
meaningful enough to give criminals a chance for community reintegration? Also, how
ethical is it to choose probation instead of imprisonment? Probation looks like a correctional
measure that meets diversity needs of criminals and defendants. This side of probation also
needs to be analyzed. In the light of this information, a general plan of improving the overall
efficiency of probation will be developed. It is interesting to predict whether probation as the
major correctional measure will work to improve the overall crime situation in the country.
Week 1 Criminal Justice Issues 4
Gelsthorpe, L. & Morgan, R. (2007). Handbook of probation. Willan Publishing.
Pound, R. (2007). Criminal justice in America. Transaction Publishers.