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The United States is the country where domestic violence and homegrown extremism turn out to be a serious criminal problem. Though numerous criminal laws are developed at local, state, and federal levels in regards to the US Constitution, it seems they are not enough to promote an effective and properly working criminal justice system in the country. Each level of the system has its peculiarities and mechanisms with the help of which safety of citizens can be promoted, and law enforcement leads to successful results.
Still, the acts of domestic terrorism continue happening in the United States, and, in most cases, this terror is a part of right-wing extremism with Whites, not Muslims, as the main American terrorists (Ruiz-Grossman, 2017). Today, it is not enough to recognize the problem of domestic terrorism and discuss it at different levels. In this paper, in addition to the discussion of the US criminal justice system, a solution on how to train leaders who may influence criminal justice policies will be developed regarding recent criminal cases, studies, and conclusions offered through the media.
Domestic Terrorism and Homegrown Extremism
The threat of terrorism is real for the United States, as well as for other Western countries, and results from radicalization when leaders try to deepen their influences and make fast instead of rational decisions (Hafez & Mullins, 2015). Since the events of 9/11, it was decided to pay much attention to the strategies which protect the US population and involve as many possible law enforcement agencies. Domestic terrorism is not only a serious threat to the national security that has a form of physical violence, but a collection of tactics in terms of which isolation, the destruction of self-confidence, and the development of fear are possible (Pain, 2014).
Extremism is another crucial concept in the criminal justice system of the United States that includes all possible actions and ideologies that contradict the already established rules, morals, and standards. Tierney (2017) explains homegrown extremism as a situation close to terrorism when a person or a group of people are radicalized in order to commit violence at their home or visit other countries to be foreign fighters. In other words, homegrown extremists are the people who believe that violence is the best solution to support their ideologies against their own countries. Regarding the nature of such cases of terrorism, it is very difficult for local authorities and agencies to deal with potential terrorists due to their location, cultures, roots, and driven ideologies.
Law Enforcement Agencies
To learn what kind of work has to be done to deal with domestic terrorism and homegrown extremism, the nature and the role of law enforcement agencies have to be considered. In the United States, these agencies include all governmental organizations which aim at enforcing laws according to which any anti-government violent activities of native citizens (not radicalized Muslims) have to be investigated, analyzed, and prevented if it is possible (Kurzman & Schanzer, 2015).
Active campaigns have to be regularly developed because of some new reasons, conditions, and outcomes may be observed and become a serious threat to one group of people or even the whole country. There are more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the USA, and their work differs considerably from the work of numerous police departments which pursue the same goal that is to protect the US population and tourists (Weitzer, 2015).
Each agency has its own approach to solving domestic terroristic cases. Some people demonstrate successful and effective approaches, and some agencies are in need of additional research and opinions. To comprehend how it is possible to train criminal justice leaders in order to reduce the cases of domestic terrorism and homegrown extremism in America, their work at different (local, state, and federal) levels has to be thoroughly studied.
Federal, State, and Local Levels of the Criminal Justice System
The American criminal justice system is a collection of certain federal, state, and local agencies that aim at law enforcement in order to solve existing crime problems. For example, law enforcement at the federal law introduces the possibility to follow all human trafficking charges in the country or develop the activities of such agencies like the FBI. The state-level of law enforcement includes the work of police forces or highway patrols which aim at controlling driving and promoting appropriate social behavior.
The protection of citizens is the goal of state agencies. Finally, in the criminal justice system, the role of local law enforcement agencies has to be underlined. These organizations know the possibilities of a certain region and learn what resources can be used to meet the goals established by the representatives of agencies at higher levels. Local authorities support the idea of communication between ordinary citizens and the representatives of federal or state agencies to follow social order, solve criminal problems, and prevent domestic terrorism and extremism of native citizens.
The US modern criminal justice system is not perfect due to the existing number of crimes and deaths caused by domestic terrorism and extremism. Therefore, it is necessary to know how to and if it is even possible to train criminal justice leaders to influence the system, promote safety, and develop new strategies. First, it is obligatory to recognize the need for change. People have to understand that improvements have to be developed at federal, state, and local levels simultaneously.
At the same time, it is wrong to impose something new without telling people what should be changed and why. Regarding such conclusions, the improvements should begin with education. People should have the possibility to learn more about domestic terrorism and homegrown extremism to be ready to offer their ideas and help their leaders improve the criminal justice system. Still, people must realize that police staff can make mistakes as well.
Therefore, people should have a feeling of protection against everything. Leaders, in their turn, should provide citizens with confidence and care. A special prosecutors’ system has to be developed. Leaders, as well as ordinary people, should have access to statistical data. It helps to observe the facts and make conclusions if there are some changes in time. Finally, cultural diversity should not be a challenge or a reason for judgments in American society. Leaders have to understand that criminal threats may have various (mostly unexpected) roots.
In general, there is a hope that the existing criminal justice system may be improved in the United States as soon as leaders start cooperating with ordinary citizens and promote safety and support. People should know that there are agencies that take care of their rights, freedoms, and protection. Law enforcement may be changed in case the need for such change is proved. Recent studies, news, and discussions prove that people have already understood their possibilities and roles in the field of criminal justice. It is high time to take some steps and try if improvements are possible.
Hafez, M., & Mullins, C. (2015). The radicalization puzzle: A theoretical synthesis of empirical approaches to homegrown extremism. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 38(11), 958-975.
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Kurzman, C., & Schanzer, D. (2015). Law enforcement assessment of the violent extremism threat. Web.
Pain, R. (2014). Everyday terrorism: Connecting domestic violence and global terrorism. Progress in Human Geography, 38(4), 531-550.
Ruiz-Grossman, S. (2017). Most of America’s terrorists are white, and not Muslim. Huffpost. Web.
Tierney, M. (2017). Combating homegrown extremism: Assessing common critiques and new approaches for CVE in North America. Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism, 12(1), 66-73.
Weitzer, R. (2015). American policing under fire: Misconduct and reform. Society, 52(5), pp. 475-480.