Australia’s Criminal Justice System

Please choose and respond to ONE of the following questions. • TOPIC 1 Police and Policing  Question: Is the increasing pluralisation of policing a positive element of the Australian CJS – is more actually better? In your response, you are advised to examine whether the community needs more police and/or more varied forms of policing and what this means for crime, the CJS and the community. Your discussion should consider: • The nature and extent of the pluralisation of policing in Australia • Benefits and/or limitations of pluralisation • Possible issues with ensuring accountability, due process and the provision of justice. Your response must be supported with reference to academic and other reputable research regarding police and policing, key issues and recent developments in Victoria and/or Australia.• TOPIC 2 Imprisonment  Question: Prison is ineffective because most people come out worse than they went in. Critically discuss and respond to this statement in the Australian context.  In responding to this topic, you should consider: • What does imprisonment achieve that other modes of punishment do not? • What would be the consequences of abolishing the prison system? • Are there better alternatives? Your response must be supported with reference to academic and other reputable research regarding the viability of the prison system, the role of and need for prisons as a form of punishment. Your response should focus upon Victoria, but your discussion may extend to other jurisdictions within Australia.• TOPIC 3 Innovative forms of Justice and Community Corrections Question: If not prison, then what? Australia’s criminal justice resources/efforts should be focused on other innovative justice methods and ‘what works’ to reduce recidivism. Critically discuss. In your response, you are advised to discuss this statement with reference to innovative forms of justice, community corrections and/or crime prevention initiatives. Your paper must be supported with reference to academic and other reputable research. In responding to this topic, you should consider: • The evidence/support for the innovative form(s) you choose (i.e. do they ‘work’?). • What would be the implications for how we ‘do justice’ in Victoria and/or Australia? • What social/political/cultural (or other) factors would have to change to enable the use of innovative forms of justice? Your response should focus on Victoria, but may extend to practices in other jurisdictions in Australia. Reference to overseas’ examples is permitted, though the focus must be on how it affects the Australian CJS.• TOPIC 4 The Criminal Trial Process Question: The due process right of ‘trial by jury’ is no longer a relevant principle within the Australian CJS so should be discarded. Critically discuss and respond to this statement. In your response, you should consider: • The value of jury trials in the modern age. We know jurors can be influenced by, for example, social media, general media discourse, crime dramas and unrealistic expectations derived from the ‘CSI Effect’. • Whether it is still possible for juries to be objective and unbiased in their deliberations; and • Whether specific changes are now required to address issues with jury decision-making. Your response must be supported with reference to academic and other reputable research, and should focus upon Victoria, but your discussion may extend to other jurisdictions within Australia.

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