Criminal Justice institutes exist in diverse forms across various democratic and non democratic systems. Just like any other responsible body, it is expected to build the efficiency and capability of Justice Systems that is rigid around the framework of rules while being sensitive to the needs of vulnerable groups such as women, children, and juvenile including prisoners within the country.
Criminal Justice provides assistance to victims and witnesses of crimes, improving access to justice and restorative justice. Preventing gender-based violence, promoting justice for children along with many more are prime focuses of the idea. However, loopholes of miscommunications haven’t abandoned criminal justice, but they have only cost citizens their life and safety.
Besides their efforts, nations face problems in maintaining criminal justice. A constitutional one would be people’s inaccessibility to justice. For instance, in South Africa, where 50% of the population lies below the poverty line, affording a private lawyer is a major challenge to equal access to justice. In concern to offenders and criminals, there is a trend of pre-trial detention and prolong the period of unjust arrest. At times, discoveries are made about accused people spending their lives in prisons without having had a trial. Coming to infrastructure, overcrowded jails with no proper facilities are general scenarios. A prison meant for 6000 prisoners is stuffed with about 13,000 of them. This adds to the gross violation of basic Human Rights of prisoners.
History has seen Criminal Justice at a loss in front of racial, gender based discrimination. In a case, a same-sex couple was imprisoned for 14 years for alleged ‘unnatural sexual behavior’. In fact, this has given way to the brutal treatment of prisoners as seen in cases of national and religious rivalry. According to the 10th Edition of World Prisoner Population List, lives of more than 10.2 million people are hung on penal institution throughout the world mostly as pretrial or sentenced prisoners. And almost half of them are in U.S, Russia and China.
These limitations of criminal justice demean the power of Human Rights. This generates distrust among human and almost propagate violence in a legal manner. Though uncalled for, they still tend to continue on the basis of lack of strong policies that define the rights of criminals. In response to this, the UNODC is preparing a Thematic Program on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Reforms, which aim to restore strength to Criminal Justice across the globe. To prevent a backfire of agitation from people, more needs are to be done in the hope of keeping humanity alive.