Washington Law Review


Society asks a great deal of the criminal justice system. It asks for protection, punishment, rehabilitation, and humanity; it simultaneously asks that the system operate accurately, efficiently and fairly. Recently, societal concern has been sharply focused on the criminal justice system and most particularly on its correctional and sentencing aspects. The rising crime rate is blamed on the failure of the system to deal properly with offenders. This assumes too great a potency in the criminal justice system however; many other factors in society have a far greater impact on the incidence of crime and violence. The criminal justice system, even operating at its best, cannot cure enough of society's ills to solve the problem of crime. It is nevertheless true that parts of the criminal justice system can and should be improved so as to slow the rising crime rate, or perhaps even effect a reduction of the present incidence of crime. To help with this endeavor, this article will propose improvements in the present system and highlight the need for them by examining Washington's failure to accomplish its self-imposed goals in the area of corrections.

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