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Corruption and Criminal Justice

Anne Wade

347 pages
Arcler Education Inc
This book introduces the student to the phenomenon of corruption in the criminal justice system. As most readers will find, corruption is a pervasive perversion of what ought to be in a functional democracy. That means that its tentacles are never far from any facet of society. It does have its victims and often those victims are the most vulnerable in society. The book tries to explain the systemic and individualized causes and manifestation of corruption. In doing so, it moves away from the culture of blame which seeks to appropriate responsibility for one department of the system without acknowledging the presence of contagion on all sides and in all forms. The book is divided into ten thematic chapters that seek to explain the origins and manifestations of corruption in the criminal justice system:(a) Chapter 1: This chapter postulates that the corruption of the system begins through detachment. This detachment follows the main departments or levels of government including the executive, legislature and judiciary. It also extends to the nearest and most relevant sections of the criminal justice system including the police, probation and the prison service. Detachment allows public officials to sanitize the full impact of their corrupt practices on the communities they are supposed to be serving. (b) Chapter 2: This chapter demonstrates how systemic corruption has supported and enhanced the blatant violation of all the basic human rights. It explores the contested themes of police brutality, bigotry, delayed justice, cover ups, malicious prosecutions and false imprisonment. Corruption allows the system to become desensitized to the horrors of the worst human rights violations. The abusers become the norm. (c) Chapter 3: This chapter considers one of the most egregious and overt forms of corruption in the judicial system. It tackles the various forms of bribery and misappropriation which cover a range of sub topics such as: petty bribery, embezzlement, influence peddling, extortion and links to organized crime. The basic thesis is that corruption allows for the worst abuses of office to occur without raising serious complaints from colleagues or the public at large. (d) Chapter 4: In this chapter, we explore the insidious and poisonous impact of political interference on the administration of justice. The chapter highlights some of the key areas of concern including arbitrary prosecutions, political prisoners, pardons and commutations, election of judicial officers and the violation of court orders. The thesis of the chapter is that political impunity upends the administration of criminal justice. (e) Chapter 5: In this chapter we critique the criminal justice systems that have not been able to overcome their colonial and post-colonial biases. Some of the areas that are explored include detached and inhuman officers; torture and persecution; cruel and unusual punishment; inappropriate laws; and punitive vs. rehabilitative justice. The chapter argues that the criminal justice system can only be effective if it is relevant to the needs of the contemporary population. (f) Chapter 6: This chapter examines the diverse and important role of civil society in identifying, highlighting and even dealing with corruption in the judicial system. The chapter analyses a number of dimensions including research, exposure, bail/remand reform, prosecutions, advocacy and training/development activities. The basic premise of the chapter is that civil society must be properly equipped before it can engage with and overcome corrupt systems. (g) Chapter 7: In this chapter we examine the themes of mob justice and vigilantism. The chapter analyses the general disillusionment with the system as well as the complicity of certain law enforcement officers. It also discusses the impact of weak systems and the lack of resources in the judicial system. The chapter looks at the growing incidence of vigilantism as well as the role of the media in crime and justice. The premise of the chapter is that society is so broken that the only recourse is for individuals to take the law into their own hands. (h) Chapter 8: In this chapter we examine the internationalization of the criminal justice system. It examines the criminal court, Interpol, records, immigration and supranational regulations. The chapter argues that the internationalization of the criminal justice system has not yet been able to create the kind of atmosphere that prevents rampant abuse. As a consequence, some countries have much more robust systems of operation than others. (i) Chapter 9: This chapter focuses on the issues of training and professionalism within the criminal justice system. It explains how an understanding of the law and the community can help to overcome some of the correlates of corruption. The chapter also examines the issues of public relations, pay/terms of service and human psychology to explain why corruption may arise within the institution. (j) Chapter 10: This chapter focuses on the reform agenda and its relation to the fight against corruption in the criminal justice system. The chapter covers the thematic issues of responsive policing, truth and reconciliation, post release management of offenders, human rights guarantees and a generalized overhaul of the system. This book is aimed at those undergraduate students that have an interest in the administration of criminal justice across the globe. It is an introductory book that covers some of the major themes that have characterized this aspect of community life.
Author Bio
Dr. Anne Wade has been a researcher and an instruction in the Criminal Justice field for 27 years. She is currently an Associate Professor at a Community College in North Carolina. She holds an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and a Ph.D. in Public Safety Leadership/Criminal Justice. Her research interests are in Criminology, Victimology, and the Human Services. She is married to Wesley Wade. She is an artist, writer, research, teacher, and trainer.