Reflective Essay On Criminal Justice

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Belize continues to receive international criticism and attention with the recent spree of violent crimes. The effectiveness of the criminal justice system continues to be targeted by media, families and victims of these crimes. However, the reality of justice in Belize is a slow, painstaking, and emotional process that leaves many families dissatisfied. Belize’s criminal justice system is lacking any restorative approaches to finding closure for victims. “Let the punishment fit the crime” is the approach our criminal justice system has been implementing for decades. The effectiveness of it is questionable and a recidivism rate of 23 percent is testament to it. Fines, custodial sentences, restitution, or probation are possible remedies available to judges while presiding over cases. These punishments may deter the occurrence of a crime, but the offender may seldom understand what where the impacts of his actions. My experience with crime in Belize has been one which I believe the Criminal Justice System failed miserably. Learning about restorative justice and the positive effects it has on victims and offenders has made me realize its faults. My crime story occurred 10 years ago in the heart of Belize City. It was a normal Friday evening and I had gotten time to do some personal errands in Belize City. I grew up in Orange Walk and had always heard traumatizing stories of persons being assaulted in Belize. I was of the notion that my physical characteristics and my
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