Private Criminal Justice
Center for Interdisciplinary Law and Policy Studies Working Paper No. 62
97 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2007
This article charts the rise of a private criminal justice system in this country, provides a rough blueprint of what a fully functioning private criminal justice system will look like, and offers suggestions as to how to guide its development.
The past few decades have seen the rise of two very different alternatives to the traditional criminal justice system: private police and restorative justice programs. These two approaches arise out of very different causes - the first is an effort by private citizens to obtain greater and more responsive crime control, and the second is a movement aimed at addressing the psychological needs of victims and perpetrators of crimes. Each of these approaches represents a revolutionary paradigm shift as to how criminal justice is administered in this country - and yet each of these movements has been limited in its impact on the current criminal justice system. The privatization movement has been restricted to the law enforcement stage of the criminal justice system, while the restorative justice movement has been dependent upon state support. The article's thesis is that it is only a matter of time before these two movements combine, thereby creating a viable private alternative to the public criminal justice system.
The article begins by describing the failures of the public criminal justice system, and then examines the ways in which these failures have given rise to two alternatives to the traditional system of criminal justice: privatization of law enforcement and restorative justice. The article then analyzes each of these alternatives, and then combines the two in order to demonstrate what a private criminal justice system would look like in the near future. Finally, the article considers potential criticisms of a private criminal justice system and offers suggestions as to how to guide the development of this new system in light of these criticisms.
Keywords: Criminal, Privatize, Private Police, Restorative Justice
JEL Classification: K14, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation