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Leadership and Law: CJS of the State of Minnesota Research Paper

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Updated: Sep 16th, 2022

Introduction

The performance of the criminal justice system of Minnesota State has been greatly affected by racial disparity. Minnesota, like any other state in the United States, consists of citizens from different racial backgrounds. Some of the minority groups in the state include American Indians, African Americans, and Latinos among many others. Racial disparity in the criminal justice system is not a new problem, it is an issue that has existed for a long time but has not been addressed amicably; consequently, it keeps reoccurring (Johnson & Heilman, 2001). The American Indians have always complained about being mistreated as soon as they get away from the law enforcement agencies; however, their grievances are yet to be solved. The only way to solve the problem of racial disparity and reduce crime and costs simultaneously in the criminal justice system in this state is to implement the suggestions outlined in the American Indian Policy Center’s research recommendations (Clark, 1997).

As the head of the criminal justice administration (CJA) of the state of Minnesota, I intend to evaluate and implement the recommendations and strategies that are proposed in the report written by Tracy Becker, an American Indian Policy Center researcher. I also intend to develop ways that might assist in reducing crime and costs in the state simultaneously. All these are plans intended to reduce racial disparity and improve the criminal justice system in the state of Minnesota (Waller, 2006).

Work of Head of Criminal Justice Administration of Minnesota

The position of the head of the criminal justice system requires an individual with good leadership qualities. Good leadership qualities are essential in uniting and guiding a group of people towards achieving a common goal. My work as the head of the criminal justice administration of the state of Minnesota is to unite the different racial groups that live in it. My work entails improving the performance of the criminal justice system by expelling racial disparity, reducing crime, and lowering the costs incurred within the judiciary (Clark, 1997).

It is evident that the problems that are experienced in the criminal justice system of Minnesota are a result of a lack of proper strategies to address the grievances of American Indians. My first responsibility as the head of administration of the criminal justice will be to collaborate with the human rights of the American Indians to develop ways to protect them. Together with the human rights personnel, I will set legal strategies for protecting the life, tribal lands, language, and culture of the American Indians (Waller, 2006).

Communication is another factor that counts in leadership and is required to make people have a sense of belonging. Currently, there is a movement within the American Indians that mobilizes its members to shun the leadership of any other tribe apart from theirs. This issue has gotten serious as the group feels that they are being marginalized in a country they consider their own. The best way to deal with this is to involve the American Indians in a discussion in which they may have the chance to talk out their problems and find ways of addressing them within the criminal justice system (Waller, 2006).

The main objective of the criminal justice system in the state is to provide good leadership on the legal matters that address the plights of the citizens. The administration should provide legal education, information, and other types of assistance to American Indians to keep them properly informed on issues that relate to injustice. This can help expel the notion that the group is marginalized and that its members are racially discriminated against by the Minnesota criminal justice system (Waller, 2006).

Solutions to Problems Facing Minnesota Criminal Justice System

The main problems facing the Minnesota criminal justice system are racial discrimination against minority tribes, such as American Indians, and high crime rates. The most effective way to deal with these problems is by implementing the recommendations outlined by the American Indian Policy Center. The implementation of these recommendations is likely to bring down the crime rate and racial discrimination as well as the costs involved (Clark, 1997).

The first strategy is to transform the current criminal justice system into one that represents the interests of all the citizens of Minnesota, including the ones from the minority tribes. This strategy will be carried out in three ways; firstly, the criminal justice system will develop programs that encourage American Indian students to take up careers that will enable them to acquire jobs in the CJS. Secondly, the CJS will develop a system that promotes the employment of American Indians on its premises. Thirdly, the CJS will establish an independent firm to frequently carry out the recruitment process within the system. Most independent firms are not discriminatory; they can help to employ the American Indians at all levels of the CJS (American Indian Policy Center, 2002).

The second way of reducing crimes and racial discrimination in the CJS of Minnesota is to establish educational facilities to teach the social workers who handle the cases involving American Indians. The CJS should spend money on the establishment of schools where social workers can be trained. This strategy is intended at ensuring that social workers who handle American Indians do not mislead them. They should make them understand that the CJS offers its services to every citizen of the state without racial discrimination. The strategy is also likely to enhance their cultural suitability among the American Indians as well as their understanding of the services offered by the CJS (Johnson & Heilman, 2001).

Another strategy for improving the CJS of Minnesota is to employ a well-trained workforce that understands the cultures of the American Indians. This strategy is likely to improve the understanding of the American Indians on aspects such as treaties, sovereignty, trust responsibility, and public law. Most American Indians engage in criminal activities as a result of ignorance. If their understanding of the law is enhanced, they will stop committing some of the crimes that they do without their knowledge (Johnson & Heilman, 2001).

Fourthly, the criminal justice administration will employ a workforce whose mandate will be to look into cultural, environmental, and social factors that make the American Indians commit criminal offenses. Some American Indians commit crimes as a result of their fight to protect their culture and the land that they believe is theirs (American Indian Policy Center, 2002). The workforce should be responsible for educating and convincing the American Indians to drop some of their traditional cultures, which make them commit crimes. The social institutions in the state should also be involved in this strategy as they are in a better position of educating the American Indians to change their social setting to conform to the laws of the CJS (Johnson & Heilman, 2001).

Lastly, the criminal justice administration should establish a strong community policy that enables the criminal justice enforcing agencies to work collaboratively with the American Indians to reduce crime. There are some American Indians who adhere to the state laws and do not give much importance to their tribal cultures and traditions. This category mostly comprises well-educated individuals who understand the importance of obeying the law. The CJA can work with these individuals to educate the community regarding their unlearned tribemates. This strategy does not involve any cost, but it is very effective (Waller, 2006).

Conclusion

In conclusion, the criminal justice system of Minnesota State faces a lot of problems. The main problem that affects the system is racial discrimination against American Indians and other minority groups. The problems have become so serious that they greatly affect the transparency of the CJS in handling criminal cases. Most of the American Indians engage in criminal activities while trying to promote and protect their cultures and traditional values. The American Indians feel that the CJS is gradually marginalizing their community. The most effective way to address the problem of racial disparity and the rise of criminal activities within the CJS of Minnesota is to implement the recommendation outlined in the American Indian Policy Center. The criminal justice administration may also improve the CJS of Minnesota by establishing a community policy in which the law enforcement agencies work together with the American Indians to reduce crime.

References

American Indian Policy Center. (2002). Recommendations. Web.

Clark, D. (1997). Concepts of leadership. Web.

Johnson, T. L., & Heilman, C. W. (2001). An embarrassment to all Minnesotans: Racial disparity in the criminal justice system. Web.

Waller, I. (2006). Less law, more order: The truth about reducing crime. Westport, CN: Praeger.

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