The Future of Criminal Justice: Trends and Changes to Watch Out For

May 30, 2023 | Criminal


As technology continues to evolve, the criminal justice system– just like everything else– has undergone many changes in the past several years.

Improvements in technology have major implications for the criminal justice system. In fact, as advancements are made, the face of criminal justice as we know it could change forever.

We’ve analyzed some of the trends and changes that you can expect to see in the criminal justice system within the coming years.

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Technological Advancements

Technology has long played a significant role in the criminal justice system, and this trend is set to continue.

One of the most important areas where technology plays a major role is forensic science. DNA analysis, for example, has revolutionized criminal investigations, helping to exonerate the innocent and convict the guilty. Additionally, technology is being used to improve prison security and reduce recidivism rates through educational and vocational programs.

Criminal Justice Reform

There is growing momentum for criminal justice reform, driven by concerns about mass incarceration and demographical disparities in the criminal justice system.

Some jurisdictions are now exploring alternatives to traditional incarceration, such as diversion programs, restorative justice, and community supervision. These alternatives aim to reduce the number of people in prison while still ensuring public safety.

Decreasing Incarceration

A fairly large percentage of people sentenced to prison are determined guilty of parole and probation violations. In some states, new programs are in place to allow people on probation to receive education assistance to reduce the terms of their probation.

In Oklahoma, House Bill 4369 allows people on parole to earn credits that can decrease the length of their parole– thus decreasing the possibility of parole violations that could otherwise result in further prison time.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse

People are increasingly aware that there’s a major connection between mental health, substance abuse issues, and criminal behavior. 

As a result, many jurisdictions are now focusing on improving access to mental health and substance abuse treatment for those in the criminal justice system.

Diversion programs and problem-solving courts are also being developed in some areas to provide specialized treatment and support to those with mental health and substance abuse issues.

Additionally, some jurisdictions have put programs in place for certain offenders with low-level drug-related crimes. These programs include mental health treatment, vocational services, and housing assistance.

The increasing decriminalization of marijuana across the United States has also decreased the amount of marijuana-related drug crimes. (While recreational marijuana use is still illegal in the state of Arkansas, medical marijuana is currently legal). 

Restorative Justice

Restorative justice is a growing trend in criminal justice that focuses on repairing harm and restoring relationships between victims, offenders, and communities.

This approach emphasizes the importance of accountability, healing, and reconciliation, rather than simply punishment. Restorative justice programs have been successfully implemented in many jurisdictions and have exhibited promising results– with the potential to reduce recidivism.

A finger on the pulse of the criminal justice system

At Bobby Digby Law, we’re up-to-date on the current technologies, laws, and policies that are transforming the criminal justice system. We work with our clients accordingly, and we’ll never stop fighting for your rights in court– no matter what changes within the system.

If you’re on the hunt for experienced and informed legal representation, look no further than Bobby Digby Law. Reach out today to schedule a consultation.

Need Advise?

If you’re looking for a badass child custody lawyer in Arkansas, look no further! Just contact the Digby Law Firm and schedule your free consultation today.

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