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Corruption Within The Criminal Justice System

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Corruption within the Criminal Justice System

I have always had a strong passion for the criminal justice system especially

policing. Even as a student at Jessie Jensen Elementary I remember picking police

officers for Career Day. However, my admiration for police officers has become pure

disappointment. Corruption has become a major issue within police departments.

Unfortunately more and more police officers are being lured into committing corrupt

acts. Although corruption with in the criminal justice system has always been around, it

is now more evident than ever.

Policing in the United States has been around since the early nineteenth century

(Siegal and Senna 154). Even in the early nineteenth century corruption with in the police

department was already a rising issue (Siegal and Senna 154). It is now becoming a major issue that continues to worsen. As we all know police officers are very closely involved with the citizens of our community, but I ask myself how close is to close? Police officers are now

betraying their badges with the help of corrupt local citizens by committing the corrupt act of

drug smuggling.

In St. Louis, Bruce Gales, owner of a towing company, and Sergeant Christopher

Cornell were indicted on multiple charges in the distribution of approximately 120

kilograms and about $ 2.4 million in drug proceeds (“Owner of Wellston Towing”)

Police officers should be setting the example for the citizens by not joining in and bringing more corruption to the police departments. Sergeant Cornell was misguided into crossing the line of crime which caused him to end up throwing his career away, and facing prison time. Sergeant Cornell punishment was only ten years in prison with the privilege of parole. That punishment was definitely not stiff enough especially for the crime he committed. Sergeant Cornell will only spend five out of those ten years in prison since he was awarded parole and will do the other five years out of prison. In order to stop the corruption within police department the legislature has to

create harsher penalties on police officers who decide to break the law so the police officers can learn their lesson. Making harsher penalties would stop the problem right where it begins. When police officers view the harsh penalties that are being put on their co-workers they will not even think about risking their careers by committing the same corrupt acts.

A reason for so much corruption within police department is that police

officers are taking advantage of their position as law enforcers in an informal manner. Police

officers assume that just because they have authority it gives them the right to do as they please. Some police officers walk around with their hands on their waist, this body language is a reflection on how police officers feel so powerful since they have a gun on one side of their waist and a pair of hand cuffs on the other side. Police officers then use there position to intimidate, or bring fear upon people. For instance in Ukraine three police officers, who held top position in the Kerch police department, were the main men for supplying drugs to strong criminal gangs (“Three policemen”). The most depressing thing was that these police men where actively involved in an organization that was against drug trafficking (“Three policemen”). When I read this article I was extremely disappointed I could not believe it, how could someone who is preaching against the stop of drug trafficking be the one who is involved in such act, especially a police officer. Police officers should use their position as an advantage to stop drug trafficking not to promote it or even worse be involved in it. Supplying drugs while being a law enforcer to strong criminal gangs is extremely unacceptable and should not be tolerated and as law enforcers you need to set an example of being a crime fighter. If police officers were to follow their motto “To Serve and Protect” thoroughly there would not be so much corruption.

In addition, it is not only in Ukraine were police officers are despicably using their status

to help smuggle drugs; in Chicago what has become a major issue as well: “Four veterans from the police department of Chicago were charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine” (“Four Chicago police officers”) The police men would use their positions as police officers as an advantage to run various searches on drug dealers, in an effort to recover illegal drugs, money, and weapons for their own benefit rather than for legitimate law enforcement purposes (“Four Chicago police officers”). It is obvious that police officers are using their jobs as law enforcers to obtain illegal items and are shamefully betraying their police departments. The policemen who were involved in this drug smuggle were veterans. When people think of veterans, whether it be a veteran of war or a veteran of a police department, we think of someone who has devoted many years, served and been loyal to the service. People have admiration for veterans and recognize them for being committed to the service as well as being faithful to every year they have been involved in it. Now the four veteran police officers from Chicago will be spending time in prison instead of adding more years to the service of policing. Those years that the veteran police officers were dedicated to the policing is now history, they could have helped lower crime rates in Chicago, but instead they are facing prison time.

So much corruption within police departments also affects the public view on

policing. Police officers play a huge role in the communities, especially in schools. I remember having the D.A.R.E program all through elementary along with Red Ribbon Week. These programs were presented by police officers and other officials who made students aware of the consequences drugs had on a person and the mental and physical effects they could bring upon a person. I remember always sitting in the first row of the bleachers



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