Though the United States’ there are many differences from coast to coast, but there is one thing people expect to be the same, which is they want every criminal justice practitioner to treat them the same. There are many important needs that the population want and rightfully deserve to have. The most important in my eyes are practitioners that have a very good knowledge in ethics. Practitioners need a vast knowledge with ethics because if you are enforcing the law you need to be knowledgeable it is a main key elements in criminal justice because you are dealing with people all the time, no matter what your job is. Every criminal justice practitioner is held to the highest moral code due to the nature of the job, you are enforcing the law weather you are a judge, bailiff, police officer or probation officer. I would hope all practitioners have a good ethical code but this isn’t a perfect world, there are those out there that have their own set of moral standards. Honesty within practitioners is another key need because the population must trust practitioners to keep them safe. If you don’t trust somebody how can they fully keep you safe? Furthermore corruption seems to be on the incline especially within politics; corruption can take down not only single officers but can take down departments as a whole.
It is absolutely expected that they are treated with impartial judgment because like the practitioner they are human and they might be different but they still deserve to be treated with equality. To me the most important need is to be helped by practitioners that are fully educated and have all the important skills that are needed; such as critical thinking, strong communication skills, strong attention to detail and also those who are in very good physical shape. These skills are all important because without them in place there would be under trained practitioners out in the field that would have no clue what was going on. Criminal justice professionals address the population’s needs in many ways, not only is the criminal justice system in place to protect their well being, but it is also in place to make sure people with more money than most cannot in turn use that as power over less wealthy people. They are also expected to again be honest, trustworthy and reliable. Criminal justice practitioners are constantly adapting to the times be current with technology advancements and have the highest possible education background.
Culture awareness is a major population need reason being is if a practitioner does not be careful with how they handle individuals within the community that are different they could insult someone they don’t fully understand and that can make an already hostile situation even worse. I have found reports that those who are a different race would refuse to talk to officers that were for example white if they were of Hispanic race because they felt like the officer would take advantage of them being a different race and not fully being familiar with the English language they were susceptible to being talked into accepting something they did not actually do. That is why every single criminal justice professional has to have a balanced moral code, one that does not have them preying on the foreign population or elderly. Criminal justices professionals need to stand up to wrongdoers and not necessarily be heroes but be someone that their community can look too keep them safe. Keeping up with current events I believe is something that is very important not only to all criminal justice professionals but to even the population.
The reason I say it is important to a professional is because look at the Boston marathon if some professionals would not have been paying attention to the news and what was going on in other cities around the nation there could have been a lot more incidents like marathon. It is important for the population to keep up with current events because again with the Boston marathon bombing the entire city was put on lockdown and were told to watch out for anything suspicious, someone realized their boat looked weird and there was the suspect hiding inside of the boat, had everyone went about their business the suspect may have been able to get away without anyone knowing. I believe that normal people with little to no knowledge of the criminal justice field, when they hear someone is looking to get into the field they laugh and say yeah ok that’s a real job. Many do not understand that it takes a lot of dedication to get into the criminal justice field, not everyone in the world is cut out for it. Becoming a practitioner is not something that comes easy, you have to want it and you have to be willing to work for it. The countless training programs that are required for certain jobs are quite stunning.
Schooling alone is vital to become a practitioner of course it isn’t recommended that you have a degree but there is a higher chance you will get the job over somebody who doesn’t have a degree. Reason being is most agencies want to know that they have the best of the best working for them, individuals that they know can be trusted to complete their job correctly but also can be depended upon when needed. The normal population doesn’t seem to have a clue with what kind of background and knowledge you need to become a criminal justice practitioner, I know for myself I had no clue until starting with class I have learned it takes a lot of time and dedication. I believe if some people would be a little more educated with what criminal justice professionals have to go through to become a professional that they might have a little more respect for them, I know there are a couple of professions I could use some educating on to further my appreciation for the profession.
Overall the perception of criminal justice professionals around the area I live in is negative especially when it comes to police officers. I have been in cars with friends and the first thing they say when they see a cop is oh look he has nothing better to do so he will follow the teenager-early twenty’s people. My first response has always been the same even if we were to get pulled over what difference does it make especially if we aren’t breaking any laws. The seldom encounters I have ever had with any type of police officer I have had no problems, I treat them with respect say yes sir no sir, because that is what I would expect if I were an officer. If someone gives you attitude it immediately makes the situation a lot different and makes you think if they are hiding something. Yes I do believe that perception can be altered by actual encounters with professionals that can be either positive or negative, simply because the person may get what the results they were looking for. It could go the other way and get negative results and that immediately makes the professional a terrible person simply because they did their job.
The media displays professionals in both good and bad light, such as the Rodney King incident that defiantly made the LAPD look terrible, it’s a perception that has stuck with that department to this day. The media has made the Boston police and FBI look like heroes after the whole bombing incident, which rightfully so they did an excellent job and had they not a lot more casualties would have happened. Television shows make criminal justice professionals look like they have some laid back job which anyone can do their job and that the crime scenes themselves talk to the detectives and say here are the clues go get the bad guy. Those shows as we have discussed in class are the furthest from the truth, it is not such a simple job it takes time a dedication to get the CSI jobs. Growing up in a town of one hundred and seventy thousand people with little to no crime my friends and I always thought cops were the coolest and we wanted to become cops, in cities like Chicago, New York and Los Angeles I can guarantee kids have a different outlook on police because there is always crime going on and if a parent happens to be a drug dealer they will influence their child into thinking that the police are the bad guys.
There are already programs in place that I feel could help shed some of the negative stereotypes that are displayed against criminal justice professionals. I think that the DARE program helps kids at a young age not only learn about the negative effects of drugs and alcohol but it gets them familiar with a police officer, it shows them that the police are not the bad guys they are the good guys that will help keep the bad guys away. I think that certain departments could do a little better with deciding which practitioners they hire, there is a nice thing called Facebook that people post all kinds of stupid and embarrassing things on, departments can go on and find applicants and see what they say in their normal lives and also see what kind of pictures they have on their profiles. That is the best way to get a feel for if the applicant is going to be professional and are they going to represent the department with class and integrity. Around my town for example the local police department can shed a bit of their bad perception by not laying off of drunk drivers because that wouldn’t be the answer but if someone blew a .03 I think they could let them go, I may be one hundred percent wrong with this example but just a thought. I do believe that in different parts of the country it will be really hard or even impossible to completely get rid of the negative stereotypes but you will never know until you try.