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Criminal Justice System

Criminal Justice System

Risk Principle

The risk principlestipulates that higher intensity services should be reserved for higher risk cases. This is predicated on observations that higher risk cases respond better to more intensive services than to less intensive services, while lower risk offenders fare as well or better with minimal intervention (module 8, slide 16).

Risk principle in the reduction of crime argues that the higher intensive services are supposed to be set aside for higher risk. The principle is guided by the argument that complex cases are easily handled as compared to the less intensive cases. In this context, petty offenders do better with little supervision and intervention depending on the risk principle. The less intensive offenders have relatives they can rely on as they go through community correctional program.

Net Widening

This net widening/broadening effect refers to the unintentional phenomenon of increasing the reach of the criminal justice system to draw in people who would otherwise not normally have been charged with an offence. Rather than reserving the criminal justice system for the more serious, high risk repeat offenders, alternative measures (community based options) widen the ambit of the criminal justice system (module 2, pp5).

Net widening is defined as an unintentional circumstance that leads to increased reach to the justice system leading to drawing in people who would not have been charged with an offence. Criminal justice systems are supposed to be set aside for the serious offence though the community-based widens the responsibilities of the criminal justice systems. Net widening has far reaching effects on the Aboriginals and young people brought about by the uneven distribution of the effects. The detrimental effects are felt when innocent young people are brought to power during search of a disappeared criminal.

Dual Relationships

Dual relationships, as the name implies, occurs when a professional engages in multiple or overlapping relationships with their client, with an associated violation of professional boundaries. Common examples of dual relationships can be seen where medical practitioners have sexual relationships with their patients, and, increasingly it would seem, teachers have sexual or intimate relationships with their students (module 10, slide 20.

A dual relationship refers to the presence of an overlapping relationship with a client thus violating the professional boundaries. Dual relationship is indicative to the existence of multiple relationships between professional and his/her clients thus violating the professional ethics and ethos that dictates the boundaries between professionals and clients. The dual relationship is formed under the foundations of sexual and financial deals.

Risk Control

Risk control/assessment concentrates on the likelihood of a particular offender re-offending and makes use of standardised assessment and actuarial tools to quantify risk. From this assessment of risk, mitigation strategies can be applied to reduce the potential of re-offending (electronic bracelets, curfews, etc.) Module 2, slide5

Risk control involves an assessment of risk in order to put external limits or constraints on behaviour. Constraints include curfews, urine analysis, home detention, reporting requirements and attendance at treatment programs. Risk control is design to remove the chances that may lead to happening of potential risks.

Risk Reduction

Risk management involves an assessment of risk in order to put external limits or constraints on behaviour. Constraints, as discussed in modules 3 and 4, can include curfews, urine analysis, home detention, reporting. Module 7, slide 14.

Risk reduction is the act of imposing external constraints on the actions of the offender to minimize the impacts of the offence. The measures taken by the criminal justice panel to counteract the reoccurrence of offence and the effects of the offence to the community reduce the risks. The practice explains the strategies employed by the correctional services in the bid to manage potential risks.

Injunctive Measures module 1 slide 4


(banning legal conduct)

Travel (e.g., from jurisdiction, to specific criminogenic spots)

Association (e.g., with other offenders)

Possession of weapons

Use of alcohol

Professional activity (e.g., disbarment)

Injunctive measures that is banning of the legal conducts such as travel from jurisdiction to specific criminogenic spots, use of alcohol, driving, professional activity and possession of weapons. The action is put in place if the offender has been found to have misused the weapons such as gun and careless driving.

Responsivity Principle

The responsivity principleasserts that the styles and modes of service should be matched to the learning styles of offenders. This increases the potential for treatment gain, ultimately mitigating recidivism (module 8, slide 16).

The services involve learning of the offender’s trends in causing risks thus setting up responsivity principle. The retention and consideration of the principle is essential in mitigating recidivism. The principle allows the correctional officers to intervene and guide the offenders in the bid to solve the criminogenic need making the correctional process successful.


Decarceration can simply be defined as the reduction in prisoner numbers by the introduction of other options – principally community based. The trend in the use of prisons and community based options is ostensibly a product of the philosophical position that prisons should be an option of last resort, and should only be exercised when there is an overwhelming requirement for the protection of the community. In accordance with his philosophy, there has been pressure applied to develop a broader range of sentencing options that can be applied to keep offenders out of prison. (Module 2, slide 5).

Decarceration refers to the attempts made by the criminal systems explore options to reduce the population in the correctional services through decarceration process. The practice entails handling offenders outside prison but under monitoring of the criminal services. Community turns into prisoning of the offenders in the case of risks impacting the society. However, the process of decarceration is based on the factors such as cost of keeping the offenders and the positive impacts on handling them in community such as taking them to vocational training to become useful members in the community.

Needs Principle

The needs principlestates that the target of the service should be matched to the criminogenic needs of the offender. Criminogenic needs are a subset of risk. They are characterised by their potential for change; they are case characteristic in that, when altered, they reduce the likelihood of recidivism (module 8, slide 16).

In accordance to the need principle, the criminogenic of the offender should match the services offered in the criminal justice systems. In this view point, the services are concerned with understanding the needs of the offenders as an alternative to counter the risks through the need principle. The elasticity of the services involve setting of priorities such as acting to create jobs for the unemployed people who may engage in crimes.

Law and Order Campaigns

The delivery of correctional programs does not take place in a vacuum, rather it takes place in a highly charged political environment were media and community interest is great. Since the late sixties, politicians of all persuasions have used the public’s anxieties and fears of being the victim of crime to promote their political party as the one having the answers. This has spawned the term “law and order campaigns” to describe the process where differing sides of politics attempt to outbid each other in the range and punitiveness of approaches to dealing with the problem of crime. Adherents to ‘law and order’ have a fundamental belief in the efficacy of harsh penalties as deterrents combined with incarceration as the best method to reduce crime .Module 1.3, slide 4

The law and order campaigns occur when two opposing political teams try to outwit the other as they work towards reduction of crime. The teams advocate for tighter penalties to the offenders in collaboration with incarceration. The political parties pledge to the electorate that they would work towards exercising the rule of law and follow procedures to enforce law and order.