e by the state through the criminal justice system” (Davies, Croall and Tyrer, 2005) Legal systems in the civilized world – whether in civil or common law jurisdictions -- have, at least in theory, given primacy to the rights of the accused, understanding that ambiguity should be resolved in his or her favor. In practice however, we see how police officers routinely violate the human rights of those they apprehend. The implicit message is that these are criminals anyway – thugs, petty thieves, gangsters, punks, drug addicts, alcoholics – and they are doing society a favor by treating them brusquely.
Indeed if there is one thing that distinguishes (or should distinguish) crime control strategies in contemporary times from medieval times or less-than-modern societies, it is the regard for due process and the rights of the accused. Furthermore, crime control is attended by rehabilitation for the offender and helping him take steps towards reintegration.
In contemporary times, we see a departure, albeit gradual, from strong-arm tactics. It has, after all, been proven that there is a higher incidence of crime in states where the police force is known for their brutality. For example, in states like New York and Los Angeles where there is a relatively great number of cases filed against members of the police force for misconduct, the crime rate is astronomical. The strong-arm tactics of law enforcement officers have done little to quell the rising tide of crime and have in fact exacerbated it.
On the other hand, the desire to preserve society and prevent crime is equally valid. It would seem that society has been ill-equipped to come up with answers and solutions to address it definitively (Norrie, 1996). It is imperative however to disabuse oneself of the simplistic approach that is often used when analyzing crime rates. Many are wont to believe that a rise in crime rates signifies a social problem, and a decrease is something to be lauded. In fact, a rise in