Generally, members of PFI are attempting to study some event or any number of future state-of-affairs by analysis and opinion on current events and/or experience specifically relating to the criminal justice system, police specifically. That said, I suggest that the direction of the CJ system, in particular policing, is in something of a response cycle that is not conducive to the overall needs and goals of the future criminal justice system in the US or the world. The system has some serious challenges headed its way.
The state-of-affairs in the USA is a by-product of our fragmented system, purposely set up under our federalist model of government, where “power” is limited and purposely weakened. The US, arguably, one of the largest CJ systems in the world, utilizes more of a cooperative, carrot-stick, mechanism as a system wide change model. Two examples of this process in the US are the COPs money tied to adopting Community Oriented Policing as a core philosophy and the block grant system for distribution of federal dollars.
The challenge for the US, specifically local law enforcement, is to deal with the complexities that will accompany any number of futures where demands are going up in several areas such as food, water, electricity and fuel. These are all international, national and local issues that will have to be addressed at multiple levels. We have some idea what an apocalyptic event looks like – tsunamis, nuclear power plant melt-downs, pandemics, and super storms. Yet, we have yet to deal with civil unrest in the streets because people have limited water, rolling brownouts, limited food and fuel rationing.
Chief G. M. Cox, Ph.D.