The Criminal Justice System
The program also provides criminal justice practitioners with the opportunity Describe governmental structure and its relationship to the criminal justice system. Explore the definition and the components of the criminal justice system. Related Lessons; Related Courses . All of these agencies are police, but each are on a different governmental level in pursuit of the same objective. . justice system; Describe how the courts fit into the criminal justice system; Consider the role of. The phrase criminal justice system refers to a collection of federal, state, and is provided by the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of government.
The federal criminal justice system handles crimes committed on federal property or in more than one state.Criminal Justice System
System Components Most criminal justice systems have five components-law enforcement, prosecution, defense attorneys, courts, and corrections, each playing a key role in the criminal justice process.
Law enforcement officers take reports for crimes that happen in their areas.
Administration of Justice - AAS | EMCC
Officers investigate crimes and gather and protect evidence. Law enforcement officers may arrest offenders, give testimony during the court process, and conduct follow-up investigations if needed.
Prosecutors are lawyers who represent the state or federal government not the victim throughout the court process-from the first appearance of the accused in court until the accused is acquitted or sentenced.
Prosecutors review the evidence brought to them by law enforcement to decide whether to file charges or drop the case. Prosecutors present evidence in court, question witnesses, and decide at any point after charges have been filed whether to negotiate plea bargains with defendants. They have great discretion, or freedom, to make choices about how to prosecute the case. Victims may contact the prosecutor's office to find out which prosecutor is in charge of their case, to inform the prosecutor if the defense attorney has contacted the victim 2and to seek other information about the case.
Defense attorneys defend the accused against the government's case. They are ether hired by the defendant or for defendants who cannot afford an attorney they are assigned by the court.
The Structure of Criminal Justice
While the prosecutor represents the state, the defense attorney represents the defendant. Courts are run by judges, whose role is to make sure the law is followed and oversee what happens in court. They decide whether to release offenders before the trial.
Judges accept or reject plea agreements, oversee trials, and sentence convicted offenders. Correction officers supervise convicted offenders when they are in jail, in prison, or in the community on probation or parole. In some communities, corrections officers prepare pre-sentencing reports with extensive background information about the offender to help judges decide sentences.
The job of corrections officers is to make sure the facilities that hold offenders are secure and safe. They oversee the day-to-day custody of inmates. They also oversee the release processes for inmates and sometimes notify victims of changes in the offender's status.
How the Criminal Justice Process Works Below is a basic outline of the sequence of events in the criminal justice process, beginning when the crime is reported or observed. The process may vary according to the jurisdiction, the seriousness of the crime felony or misdemeanor3 whether the accused is a juvenile or an adult, and other factors. Not every case will include all these steps, and not all cases directly follow this sequence.
Many crimes are never prosecuted because they are not reported, because no suspects can be identified, or because the available evidence is not adequate for the prosecutor to build a case. Entry into the System Report: Law enforcement officers receive the crime report from victims, witnesses, or other parties or witness the crime themselves and make a report.
The purposes of correctional agencies are to punish, to rehabilitate, and to ensure public safety. The differences between federal and state justice systems Federal and state justice systems carry out the same functions enforcing laws, trying cases, and punishing offendersbut the laws and agencies of the two systems differ.
State legislatures make most criminal laws, which are enforced by state and local police. City and county prosecutors try persons accused of breaking state laws in state courts. At the federal level, Congress enacts criminal laws, and federal law enforcement agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, enforce these laws. To punish and rehabilitate those convicted of federal crimes, the Federal Bureau of Prisons provides programs and institutions.
The first line of defense against crime The administration of justice in the United States is mainly a state and local affair. Then, too, state, county, and city criminal justice agencies provide most of the protection from thieves, rapists, and murderers. Criminal justice as a nonsystem Critics say criminal justice is really not a system. The jury process is another area of frequent criticism, as there are few mechanisms to guard against poor judgment or incompetence on the part of the layman jurors.
Judges themselves are very subject to bias subject to things as ordinary as the length of time since their last break. Corrections Offenders are then turned over to the correctional authorities, from the court system after the accused has been found guilty. Like all other aspects of criminal justice, the administration of punishment has taken many different forms throughout history.
Early on, when civilizations lacked the resources necessary to construct and maintain prisons, exile and execution were the primary forms of punishment. Historically shame punishments and exile have also been used as forms of censure.
The most publicly visible form of punishment in the modern era is the prison. Prisons may serve as detention centers for prisoners after trial. For containment of the accused, jails are used. Early prisons were used primarily to sequester criminals and little thought was given to living conditions within their walls. In America, the Quaker movement is commonly credited with establishing the idea that prisons should be used to reform criminals.
This can also be seen as a critical moment in the debate regarding the purpose of punishment. Qur'anic education for offenders at the Central Jail Faisalabad in FaisalabadPakistan Punishment in the form of prison time may serve a variety of purposes. First, and most obviously, the incarceration of criminals removes them from the general population and inhibits their ability to perpetrate further crimes.
The Structure of Criminal Justice
A new goal of prison punishments is to offer criminals a chance to be rehabilitated. Many modern prisons offer schooling or job training to prisoners as a chance to learn a vocation and thereby earn a legitimate living when they are returned to society.
Religious institutions also have a presence in many prisons, with the goal of teaching ethics and instilling a sense of morality in the prisoners.
If a prisoner is released before his time is served, he is released as a parole.
This means that they are released, but the restrictions are greater than that of someone on probation. There are numerous other forms of punishment which are commonly used in conjunction with or in place of prison terms. Monetary fines are one of the oldest forms of punishment still used today.
These fines may be paid to the state or to the victims as a form of reparation.
Probation and house arrest are also sanctions which seek to limit a person's mobility and his or her opportunities to commit crimes without actually placing them in a prison setting. Furthermore, many jurisdictions may require some form of public or community service as a form of reparations for lesser offenses. In Corrections, the Department ensures court-ordered, pre-sentence chemical dependency assessments, related Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative specific examinations and treatment will occur for offenders sentenced to Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative in compliance with RCW 9.
Execution or capital punishment is still used around the world. Its use is one of the most heavily debated aspects of the criminal justice system. Some societies are willing to use executions as a form of political control, or for relatively minor misdeeds.
Other societies reserve execution for only the most sinister and brutal offenses. Others still have discontinued the practice entirely, believing the use of execution to be excessively cruel. It emerged as an academic discipline in the s, beginning with Berkeley police chief August Vollmer who established a criminal justice program at the University of California, Berkeley in Wilsonwho led efforts to professionalize policing and reduce corruption.
Throughout the s and s, crime rates soared and social issues took center stage in the public eye. A number of new laws and studies focused federal resources on researching new approaches to crime control.
The Warren Court the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Earl Warrenissued a series of rulings which redefined citizen's rights and substantially altered the powers and responsibilities of police and the courts. The Civil Rights Era offered significant legal and ethical challenges to the status quo.