Law Enforcement Agencies
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1. Paramilitary style of law enforcement agencies is something that has been developing for a long period of time. For decades, American law enforcement agencies were changing and becoming more and more militarized (Kraska, & Kappeler, 1997). There were various reasons for that. First of all, as the country was developing, the same happened to the law agencies in it. They became more organized and disciplined. Then, as America established its international position as the world policeman, it was expected from the law enforcement agencies to live up to that reputation. Due to many international conflicts America participated in, the law enforcement agencies started representing law and order within the state as a guarantee that the conflicts, which are taking place abroad, will never happen in the United States. All of these factors contributed to the paramilitary style being widespread and considered normal in law enforcement agencies.
Nevertheless, despite all of these causes, now, it is a good opportunity for law enforcement agencies to change the style they are using to function. I believe that paramilitary style is outdated, so law enforcement agencies have to go for a different style. Law enforcement agencies have to become more of a parliamentarian type with less militarization and force, but with more discussion and communication. Police has to become more of a peacemaker instead of a militant just as the Bible says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). Since existing law enforcement agencies look so militant, citizens get a wrong idea of them. They view these agencies as those, which establish law and order through force and harsh discipline. This is the reason why many citizens have negative stereotypes and attitudes toward them. As a result, the level of trust in society drops, and the same happens to the level of cooperation. Tomy mind, parliamentarian style will work the best in a new era with people willing to communicate and feel free and safe, but at the same time realizing that they have a possibility to cooperate, help, or even advise law enforcement agencies. Therefore, I disagree with paramilitary style currently spread.
2. Plea bargaining is widely used nowadays, and it is a procedure that is considered being effective in the United States (Uhlman & Walker, 1979). Whenever speaking about plea bargaining, many people do not really understand what this term means. Some tend to misjudge it and think it is some sort of a deal to escape jail, and therefore – justice. Nevertheless, it is not true. Plea bargaining means that an accused person gets less serious charge in exchange for some resolution. For instance, it has many benefits for both sides because it usually speeds up the case and lowers the costs, which is also very beneficial for the court itself (Palermo, 1998). I would also like to say that plea bargain does not save those who committed crimes from punishment. For instance, the charges against a person could be dropped if there was not enough evidence, but with the plea bargain, a person already agrees with the accusations and eliminates this possibility.
I believe that with plea bargain, the justice is still being served. It gives the ability to reach a just agreement without spending a lot of time on the case, and saves the money of taxpayers as well as allows other cases to proceed. After all, both the attorney and the prosecutors have an experience in the legal field, so they know the possible sentences for an accused person as well as the possibilities when it comes to plea bargain. Thus, the latter serves as a practical compromise, which does not leave a person without punishment, but saves resources, and also serves as a back-up in case a person could be freed of all charges. After aall, just as it was mentioned before, plea bargain guarantees the person to get punishment while during a normal trial he or she may get clear of all accusations even though there is no exact proof that a person is innocent. From this perspective, plea bargain does not only serve the justice, but also strengthens its importance and spreads its implementation. It also connects with a Christian recommendation that says, “Seek justice, correct oppression” (Isaiah 1:17).
3. When it comes to religious rights, it is very difficult to determine the right behavior (Beckford, 1998). From one perspective, I think that penal institutions have nothing to do with religion. After all, since the church and state are separated, the same applies to penal institutions, so there should be no exceptions in this case. If giving a certain prisoner an opportunity to have special meals because of his or her religion, it may cause dissatisfaction of other prisoners. They may say that it is unjust that this particular prisoner is getting a special treatment.
On the other hand, the regulations of this issue vary from state to state, so it is difficult to determine the right answer from legal side. In my opinion, an administrator of a penal institution has to compromise. For instance, if a prisoner proves his or her religiousness (meaning that he or she is not pretending to be religious for some preferences); does not ask for things which would put other prisoners in a disadvantaged position, or break the rules of the penal institution, then, there should be no objections for a prisoner to have some religious preferences. For example, if a prisoner has to fast, it would be possible to provide him or her with an opportunity to eat at night instead of eating during a day like other prisoners. He or she may also be provided with clothes that cover more body if it is something that is required by the religion.