Independent Thoughts on Criminal Justice: Introduction

I. Introduction: We need to heal the relationship between civilians and police. As usual, "conservatives" and "liberals" refuse to understand the issue in a way that promotes positive solutions. They end up being as they usually are, two opposing forces who accuse each other of treasonous acts. This is frustrating. I want our police to be respected, protected, efficient, and adaptable. But I also know that a free country like the United States is founded on principles which include never fully trusting any arm of government, and that includes law enforcement. Too many "conservatives" regard the police as an infallible authority figure. Too many "liberals" want to "fix" the police in all sorts of ways, none of which truly addresses the root of the problem. Both sides want me to pick a side. As usual, I don't. I have my own thoughts. My friends, first let me be clear. I do not condone violence against police, nor do I blame the average cop walking the streets doing his/her job. However, I also don't blame people who feel that laws and police practices need to be changed. Here's the actual problem: A number of ineffective and blatantly unjust laws--and a racist, classist, bloated criminal justice system--have produced a myriad of serious negative effects. These effects include: erosion of the overall respect for the police; too many arrests; institutionalized greed and corruption; subjecting cops to increased violence; and civil unrest. And here's the simple solution--that's not so simple due to crooked lawyers and lobbyists:

Fix the laws, fix the system, and the result will be less tension between police and communities, more focus on violent crimes, and less overall danger to our police. Our criminal justice system has been in need of repair for decades, and only recently has this issue been given the national attention it sorely deserves. In the following sections, I plan to discuss why criminal justice reform is now a trending issue, and what types of concessions and solutions are necessary to improve our criminal justice system.

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