Criminal Justice

Posted: November 30th, 2013












Criminal Justice




Review Articles

A review article is an effort by any writer(s) to examine the present state of research based on a particular topic. The writer explores all that pertains to that topic and arranges it in a manner befitting the format that is needed. A discussion from previously published research is done rather than reporting on new concepts. Review articles are most commonly found in databases and indexes, which may refer to them as literature reviews. A review article is disassociated from a peer-reviewed literature. A sample of two review articles follows, with each answering basic questions pertaining to each peer-reviewed journal article.

Where do they belong? Giving Victims a Place in the Criminal Justice Process

In history, an active participatory task was given to any victim in criminal justice progression. They could not only initiate the process but also prosecute the offenders. Familiar law nations sidelined victims on a gradual basis and their role was reduced to witnesses by the 20th Century. The rise of monarchial structures saw the power bestowed on victims decline from the 13th Century and introduction to social and community concerns was made to common law. Personal rights were enforced distinctly and the position of a victim as private prosecutor was displaced. Nobody really knows why this transformation occurred but common belief was that it gave the king more power and money.

An historic overview shows that it is neither the accused nor their lawyers who pushed victims out of the system. Rather the state caused this shutdown, not the accused. The victim’s plight was first developed by Margery Fry who sensitized on their financial needs. In the 1970s, researchers started digging into crimes against women and many nations introduced a Bill of Rights for sufferers (Wemmers, 2009). Services are provided to victims through these laws but procedural rights are still withheld back. In 1974, the Victim Impact Statement was ushered in California to express in court how their victimization affected them. However, their input is only applied at the end of a justice procedure instead of inclusion from the early stages.

Restorative justice came in place to recognize the harm incurred and involves active participation by both offenders and victims. As per Judith Herman’s interview of 22 victims of violence, she concluded that the community’s validation was the most important thing to victims. Abolitionism, an act to bring down the conventional unlawful justice structure, brought diversions to criminal cases out of the criminal system. It fully discloses the victim to the crook. A second approach is an add-on, where restorative justice plans are implanted into the criminal fairness program, as is the case in Belgium and mediation programs in Canada’s prisons. A third method would be to integrate values instead of practices into the system. For instance, respect for victim’s dignity and participation as shown in the International Criminal Court in Hague. In conclusion, excluding victims would not help address their plight; including them will. Recognition that crime influences victims in addition to society and that victims have a place in the justice system, is needed.

Differences in Attitudes toward Gays and Lesbians among Criminal Justice and Non-Criminal Justice Majors

Anti-gay offenses have had a significant share and increase in modern years. Research done by National Criminal Justice Reference Service reports 8000 incidents in year 2000 and a shift upwards in these crimes by 9% during the period 1991 to 2000. Police have received a lot of criticism for misconceptions and harassment of lesbians and gays. Attorneys, judges, correctional institutions and the community are also found to blame. Criminal justice graduates should be put on the forefront to educate the masses as well as have contact with the gay and lesbian persons. Research by criminal justice majors thus proves to be important to give more attention to lesbians and gays (Ventura et al, 2004).

Attitudes of criminal justice learners towards homosexuals have bore little attention. Olivero and Murataya carried out a survey on 254 students to check on levels of homophobia in various disciplines. The results showed that scholars majoring in Law and Justice Program had elevated levels of homophobia than in students focusing on other fields. Gender plays a big role in these views with males having a worse attitude against gays than females. A research was done on multivariate and bivariate tests to find out the impact of focusing on criminal justice while controlling other effects such as age, gender and religious attendance. Undergraduate classes were the target with 54% male and 46% female.

Criminal Justice students were highly likely to have significantly more pessimistic attitudes than students were in other studies. Religious service attendant, Republicans, older people and males were also more homophobic according to earlier research. A lack of challenge on the views held by criminal justice majors regarding homosexuals may be a reason for the findings. In addition, exclusion of lesbians and gays issues in textbooks covering criminal justice. Workshops, panel presentations, course lectures and open discussions might also reduce these views. Negative opinions toward homosexuals ought to be challenged. Criminal justice learning should desire to promote a higher understanding and less prejudice. Professionals working in justice posts should defend the freedom of homosexuals as community members.






Ventura, L., Lambert, E., Bryant, M., Pasupuleti, S. (2004).Differences in Attitudes toward gays and lesbians among criminal justice and non-criminal justice majors. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 12, 271-281.

Wemmers, J. (2009). Where do they belong? Giving victims a place in the criminal justice process. Common Law Forum. 20(4), 395-416.

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