political and moral concepts

Justice is one of the most important political and moral concepts in defining how society interacts and the desirable course of action. The word justice comes from the Latin word just, which signifies law or right. An individual who is just, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is someone who does what is morally right. The dictionary goes on to characterize such a person as someone who gives everyone their due and suggests the term fair as a synonym. However, the concept of justice extends beyond this description. It comprises elements of moral virtue character, desirable quality of political society, and social and ethical decision making. Many definitions of justice typically point out that it is the direct opposite of injustice. According to Aristotle, justice is the ultimate good. Since he gave this definition, the concept has been regarded to be the pre-eminent logical value in the traditions of western philosophy. Another philosopher Plato defined justice as a virtue that establishes logical order (Pomerleau, n.p). Plato's definition further suggested that each part of the justice system should be capable of performing its role and not interfere with the proper functioning of the rest of the elements.
Augustine saw justice as a concept that compels people to give their due while Aquinas defined it as the rational mean between different types of injustice incorporating equal distributions and reciprocal transactions. On the other hand, Hobbes understood justice to be an artificial virtue which is necessary for a civil society and as a function that requires voluntary agreements of the social contract. To Hume, the concept is meant to serve the public utility through protecting property (Pomerleau, n.p). An alternative definition of justice is that it is a virtue that directs people to respect the freedom of others, their dignity, and autonomy through non-interference of their voluntary actions on the condition that their actions do not violate their rights of others. Mill explained the concept as a standard terminology for the most critical utilities in the society which are conducive to establishing and protecting human liberty. On his part, Rawls defined justice as a combination of equal freedom in regards to duties and rights of everyone in the society, and socioeconomic inequalities needing moral justification regarding benefits and equal opportunity for all (Pomerleau, n.p).
Another way of approaching the concept is through considering justice to be fundamentally possible but not necessarily a characteristic of social order that regulates the relationship between individuals in the society. As such, justice becomes a dependent, among people given the fact that they are considered just when their actions are in line with the norms considered to foster social order. From this the question of what makes social order arises. Essentially, social order is a satiation actions within a certain society are regulated and results in satisfaction from which members of the community retrieve happiness. However, if justice constitutes social happiness, it is next to impossible to achieve. The same was concluded in famous English philosopher Jeremy Bentham analysis of the same. Bentham developed a formula that suggested that it was impossible to achieve happiness through social justice not for one individual but in among the greatest number of people (Kelsen, p.4). From this perspective, it becomes logical why is easy to not the failing in any justice system in the world.
Take for example the American Criminal Justice System. This system is comprised of a set of agencies and processes put in place by the nation's government to control crime and criminal activities while at the same time imposing penalties on the individuals who violate the laws. In the United States, there is no single criminal justice system; rather it is made up of similar and independent systems. The manner in which a system works in one location might be entirely different from how it functions in another. Its functionality depends on the jurisdiction which can be county, city, state, federal or tribute military or government installation. This independence allows for states to have different agencies, laws, and mechanisms of handling the criminal justice system ("The Criminal Justice System," n.p). Despite these differences, the systems share similar components. First is the law enforcement which is comprised of officers who report crimes that are committed in their jurisdiction. These individuals are tasked with the responsibility of investigating criminal activities and gather and protect evidence. They are also responsible for arresting offenders and giving testimonies during court proceedings.
Secondly, there is the prosecution. Prosecutors have the responsibility of receiving evidence from law-enforcement officers and later represent the federal or state government during the trial. Their duty is to review the case from its first step when it enters the system to when the sentence is executed. The fact that they are lawyers by profession, they are tasked with presenting reviewed evidence in court, interview the witnesses and make the decision of whether or not to offer a plea bargain ("The Criminal Justice System," n.p). The third component of the criminal justice system is the defense attorneys. The third element is the courts. The institution is tasked with overseeing legal proceedings under the management of judges who in their part are responsible for making sure the operations are conducted by the law. Courts can set trial dates, reject or accept plea agreements, sentence, or release the accused among other responsibilities. Lastly, the American criminal justice system is comprised of the corrections wing. This component's role is to punish and correct the behaviors of convicted offenders. It is usually run by correction officers who supervise prisoners during their jail and prison sentences and when they are released into the community. Their duty also includes presenting an extensive report on how the accused behaves in a bid to help judges decide the terms and conditions of their conviction ("The Criminal Justice System," n.p).
Despite this meticulous arrangement and clear allocation of duties among the five arms of the American criminal justice system, it has on several occasions failed to meet its primary purpose in the society which is to deliver justice to all. In a circumstance where the law or one or several arms of the justice system gets something wrong, the harm affects many lives, and in most instances the effect is profound. This has resulted in a significant lack of confidence and satisfaction among the nation's populace. Previous studies have indicated that the citizens are more dissatisfied with the criminal justice system than any other government institution including medical, banking, information and technology, public schools, and organized labor. This displeasure which goes against the main components that define justice is mainly attributed to the disparities in the way the system functions. A good example of this is the age gaps in its delivery of justice. Research shows that young first-time offenders are usually handed brief sentences. Note that these offenders have been found to be the most likely to commit further crimes over the next one or two decades. At the same time, middle aged criminals and three-strike offenders are handed more severe punishments including life sentences for offenses such as psychological, demographic, and biological reasons that are less likely to commit again.
The fundamental failure of such a system is that it concentrates more on offenders who are less likely to continue their criminal lives while releasing hardened repeat and yet to be rehabilitated offenders back to the society. Studies on the criminal patterns in the country indicate that over ninety percent of violent crimes are committed by individuals aged below thirty years. On the other hand, felonies are committed by people below the age of fifty. In other words, people aged fifty and above are most likely to obey the law despite the nature of their previous antisocial behaviors. Essentially, this means that the American increasingly expensive correctional system with convicts who would otherwise be described as toothless, diabetic and increasingly demented old persons who present little to no threat to the rights of others to the mainstream society. Meanwhile, the streets are filled with violent offenders who make it insecure and potentially lethal to walk at night.
Another example of disparities existing the American justice system is based on race. Although the American society has different perspectives on the effectiveness and fairness of its criminal justice system a larger percentage can agree that there is a racial imbalance in the manner justice is delivered. For instance, the Caucasian population has high confidence in the police while the African American populace expresses great dissatisfaction with the law enforcement agency. Research and recent happenings in the country show evidence of racial victimization and punishment. Thirty-one percent of black persons in the country faces the risk of being victimized through personal crimes unlike their white counterparts and at the same time twice likely to be victims of violent crimes (Sherman, 23). Additionally, the rate of arrest for robbery among African Americans is five times higher than Caucasians. In the case of murder and rape, the stakes are four and five times greater in favor to the whites. Although this might be as a result of other factors, it is impossible to exonerate the failing criminal justice system from such figures.
In conclusion, although it is impossible to give a single definition of what justice entails based on the fact that different backgrounds and philosophical understandings prescribe alternate explanations, the American justice system does not ultimately meet the main prerequisite of the concepts. The general understanding of justice is that the law should work to protect the rights of all while punishing those of break it and prevent potential harm to law abiding citizens. If the American system was established based on these principles, it fails on a number of occasions.

Works Cited
Blinder, Martin. "Crime, Punishment, and the American Criminal Justice System." Journal Of The American Academy Of Psychiatry And The Law Online, vol 43, no. 1, 2015, pp. 2-4.
Kelsen, Hans. What Is Justice? Justice, Law and Politics in the Mirror of Science. 4th ed., London, Lawbook Exchange, Limited, 2013.
Pomerleau, Wayne P. "Justice, Western Theories Of | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy." Iep.Utm.Edu, http://www.iep.utm.edu/justwest/.
Sherman, Lawrence. "Trust and Confidence in the Criminal Justice." NIJ Journal, vol 248, no. 1, 2017, pp. 23-31.
"The Criminal Justice System." Victimsofcrime.Org, 2007, https://victimsofcrime.org/help-for-crime-victims/get-help-bulletins-for-crime-victims/the-criminal-justice-system.

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