Community justice involves all crime prevention variants and justice activities that explicitly include the public in their processes and set the public quality of life as a goal enhancement. Community justice involves community defense, community courts, and restorative justice sanctioning system. Community policing is a strategy that encourages community members to partner with police officers in preventing and managing crimes based on the community’s needs (Crepelle et al., 2022). There are important factors that will influence community-based justice in the African world and shape community policing present and in the future. Education has helped to influence community justice in Africa. Miller & Blumstein (2020)says that, initially Africa was seen to be illiterate and uninformed when it came to justice and crime control. Education has taught individuals how to understand and address problems that can undermine the rule of law. Education also has encouraged individuals to engage in community justice and shaped many youths to engage in criminal justice as a future professional activity. Moreover, education has unlighted most people in Africa since they can now know and understand their rights; hence they know criminal justice.
Technology has been fundamental and a driving force that has influenced criminal justice and shaping community policing in Africa. Law enforcers use technology to combat crimes, protect human life, and keep the community safe. Technology has facilitated quick data collection through the use of big data. The data collected helps legal experts, for instance, use fingerprints to identify suspects more quickly. Data also helps law enforcers to recognize trends in crimes and take the necessary action immediately. Additionally, technology has helped sophisticated design objects that have helped reduce crime. The police use drones to view aerial scenes and observe their jurisdiction area. Also, the use of the Global Positioning System has helped law enforcement reach crime scenes easily and relocate criminals more easily. Police officers can easily detect gunfire through technology and instantly access the location maps and the number of shooters (Miller & Blumstein, 2020). All these technological enhancements have propelled criminal justice in Africa both presently and in the future.
Restructuring the criminal justice system in Africa has played a significant role in influencing better criminal justice in Africa. The system is chronologically constituted to ensure that criminal justice is achieved equally and fairly. The components of the system include law enforcement, courts, and correction facilities. Law enforcement investigates crimes, collects important evidence, and takes criminal reports while, the court system determines whether the criminal offenders are guilty or innocent of the given crime(Novak, 2022). On the other hand, correction facilities supervise criminal offenders convicted of a crime and are serving sentences in prison. Therefore, the restructuring of criminal justice has ensured better criminal justice in Africa.
Funding the criminal justice system has promoted criminal justice in Africa. Criminal justice was initially not recognized much as an important aspect of the country’s constituent; hence, fewer funds were allocated to the criminal justice system. Enough funding has facilitated community policing, and law enforcement officers can easily gather enough evidence before detaining law offenders.
Conclusively, education, technology, restructuring of criminal justice, and funding of the criminal system have played a significant role in criminal justice and in shaping community policing both in the current and the future.
Crepelle, A., Fegley, T., Murtazashvili, I., & Murtazashvili, J. B. (2022). Community policing on American Indian reservations: a preliminary investigation. Journal of Institutional Economics, 1-18.
Miller, J. M., & Blumstein, A. (2020). Crime, justice & the COVID-19 pandemic: Toward a national research agenda. American journal of criminal justice, 45(4), 515-524.
Novak, M. (2022). Digital Evidence In Appeals Of Criminal Cases Before The US Courts Of Appeal: A Review Of Decisions And Examination Of The Legal Landscape From 2016–2020. Journal of Digital Forensics, Security and Law, 17(1), 3.