Ideally, the law has morals. However, that is not how it always is. Laws can be unjust. For example, some laws prevented people of different races from marrying. These are anti-miscegenation laws. They made interracial relations a crime. That means the police could arrest someone for it. Ultimately, the Supreme Court struck down these laws. They are unconstitutional because they discriminated against people based on race.
Today, laws are still unjust, resulting in the trickle-down effect. For example, crack cocaine triggers a sentence a lot easier than powder cocaine. African American communities have historically used this type of cocaine, making it more likely for the court to incarcerate them for this crime. While legislation is tackling this issue, it is still a problem. Here is more on the trickle-down effect and how incarceration hurts.
Criminal justice system
The criminal justice system is those that create policies around crime. It involves the police, courts and prisons. Local, state and federal governments all have criminal justice systems.
Right now, legislators are debating what crime classification sends someone to prison. Legislators also have to decide how long they will go to prison. The main motivator behind their decisions is deterring future crime. This applies to others and the individual who committed the crime.
If and how long someone needs to go to prison for a crime is a hot topic. For youth, incarceration can encourage future criminal activities. Therefore, it is often ineffective. Plus, it reduces the chances of an individual going to school again and earning a decent living. Therefore, many minors go to diversion programs.
Laws define crimes. Due to the trickle-down effect, these can be immoral and contribute to other social problems.