Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts U.S. Aid for Foreign Justice and Police

U.S. Aid for Foreign Justice and Police


The fundamental objective of the United States in its efforts to reform justice systems abroad has been to develop effective institutions of criminal justice that can support transitions to democratic government. Unfortunately, the United States has not been doing this as well as it might, Iraq being the most dramatic case. These efforts lack coherent Congressional oversight and strategic vision, neglect improving the normative quality of local justice systems and developing the capacity to manage by results, and subordinate local reform to the security needs of foreign countries. To remedy these shortcomings, the United States needs to develop and coordinate justice assistance programs that are context specific, recruit and deploy justice specialists from all sectors and levels of the American justice system, incorporate a developmental perspective in justice assistance programs, and formulate programs that are based on proven “best practices.”

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