The Australian Criminal Justice System Essay

The Australian Criminal Justice System Essay

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The major goal of the Australian prison at the beginning of the 20th century was the removal of lawbreakers from their activities in society (King, 2001). The Australian legal system relies on deterrence (Carl et al, 2011, p. 119), that is, a system that has two key assumptions: (i) specific punishments imposed on offenders will ‘deter’ or prevent them from committing further crimes (ii) the fear of punishment will prevent others from committing similar crimes (Carl et al, 2011, p. 119). However it is not always the case that deterrence is successful as people commit crime without concern for punishment, thinking that they will get away with the crime committed (Jacob, 2011). Economists argue that crime is a result of individuals making choices between using their scarce resources of time and effort in legitimate or in illegitimate activities (Jacob, 2011). But as will be discussed, there are major flaws in the Australian criminal justice system with issues focussing on three main concerns: (i) lenient sentencing in the criminal justice system particularly with white-collar and blue-collar crimes (i) recidivism and lack of support for offenders (iii) public safety concerns. This essay will examine issues with the Australian prison system, and explore the punishment of shaming and if it is an effective method in preventing general and specific deterrence using sociological frameworks and theories.
Carl et al. (2011, p. 119) suggests that there are two primary models as to how laws were created (i) the consensus (ii) conflict models. While the consensus model of law suggests that laws arise when people witness behaviours that they do not approve of, therefore agreeing to make that behaviour illegal (Carl et al., 2011, p. 119). The c...


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...role (Russell, 2015).
Although, there are concerns that treatment programs in prisons aren’t as successful causing recidivism to occur as offenders are continuing to commit crime when released from prison (Lievore, 2004) particularly in Bayley’s case stated earlier. However, Tully, Chou & Browne, (2013) had conducted a study using a systematic review on the effectiveness of sex offender risk assessment tools and concluded that it is possible to predict sexual offender recidivism. However, it could be suggested the Australian criminal justice system had let down Meagher and her family (Lievore, 2004). Had the prison system properly assessed Bayley’s mental state (Small, 1992) while taking into account his violent past sex offences, it would’ve been clear that Bayley was unable to reintegrate back into society and therefore a risk to the general public (Miller, 2013).

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