Introduction There are three core components of the criminal justice system. The three consist of the law enforcement agencies, the criminal courts, and the correctional agencies. Within the criminal justice system, these three components function cohesively under the legislation and uphold social control within society. Consequently, the system deters crime and punishes individuals who violate laws by serving them with criminal penalties and correctional efforts.
However, the criminal justice process consists of a series of procedures starting with an investigation and possibly concluding with the discharge of a convicted criminal from a correctional facility. During the system’s process many determining factors and rules are at the center of the progress. Components of the Criminal Justice System Law Enforcement Agencies The first component of the criminal justice system is the law enforcement agencies. These agencies consist of multiple levels which are city, county, state, and federal levels. Their duties involve the enforcement of the legislation of each jurisdiction.
When a crime is committed, it is their obligation to investigate the crime and apprehend the offender or offenders who are responsible. Reduction and prevention programs are developed and executed by these agencies in order to maintain public order and ensure community safety. Two other essential services they provide are emergency support and protecting the basic rights for every American. Criminal Courts The criminal courts are the next component of the criminal justice system. One of the courts obligations is to conduct fair and impartial trials.
Once an offender is apprehended by law enforcement, then the courts decide on the criminal cases and ensure due process. After they determine if the offender is guilty or innocent, if guilty, then the courts will impose sentences for correction efforts. The criminal courts are also required to provide fairness during the process, protect rights of an individual who is going through the process, and perform checks and balances with other justice system agencies. Correctional Agencies Last, the third and final core component of the criminal justice system is the correctional agencies.
These particular agencies carry out sentences imposed by the courts. While the offender is imprisoned, they provide safe housing facilities and supervision. Moreover, during that period of time the correctional agencies rehabilitate, reintegrate, and reform prisoners to be more productive citizens when they are released back into society. The Consensus Model The consensus model is a notion that implies that the criminal justice system’s components operate as one in order to accomplish a common goal called justice for every American.
This model explains the duties of every criminal justice component, such as arrest, prosecution, and sentencing. The processes are predictable and declare a smooth transition through the system. The Conflict Model Nonetheless, the conflict model is a perspective that provides an alternative approach toward the criminal justice system. It proclaims that the objectives and aspiring goals of various agencies will more than likely conflict. Ultimately, these conflicts will clash and disintegrate the efforts of the criminal justice system. Components of the Criminal Justice Process.
Investigation and Arrest When a crime is carried out, the first step in the criminal justice process is the investigation. Law enforcement agents execute standardizes procedures by gathering evidence from the scene where the crime took place or circumstantial evidence from various sources to link up a sequence of activities. Once all of the evidence is collected, law enforcement agents will request a warrant from a judge to proceed in apprehending the suspect or suspects who participated. Next the agents will search and find the offender(s) and arrest them so they can face prosecution.
Booking a defendant follows the arrest and fingerprints, pictures are taken, and personal information is collected. Pretrial Activities Furthermore, the suspects’ first appearance is sometimes within hours of the arrest. They are taken in front of a magistrate judge who will tell them their rights, the charges they face, and sometimes allowing them the opportunity for bail. If the defendant does not have the adequate resources to acquire an attorney, then an appointed lawyer will be assigned to represent them in their case. Adjudication.
The United States Constitution’s Sixth Amendment states that every individual charged with a crime has the right to a trial by a jury. However, petty offenses do not meet the criteria of the Sixth Amendment. Offenses that require imprisonment of only six months or less are considered petty. Thus, offenses with more serious ramifications and requires more incarcerated time will demand a jury trial for evidence to be presented and examined. Nevertheless, if the evidence is unconvincing and portrays a reasonable doubt, then the jury will announce a not guilty verdict.
On the other hand, if the evidence is very convincing, then the jury will deliberate and find the defendant guilty. Sentencing After the adjudication process and a guilty verdict is announce, the next component of the criminal justice process the sentencing phase. This is when the judge presiding over the case will impose some sort of penalty for the crime committed. The penalty may consist of several types of punishments. It could be a fine, supervised probation, a prison term, a combination of them, or ultimately death by lethal injection. Many convicts appeal the verdicts and sentences which are handed down.
However, the appeals process can be tedious and could take a substantial amount of time to conclude. Corrections Subsequently, following the investigation, arrest, pretrial, adjudication, and sentencing the rehabilitation process begins called corrections. In other words, correcting the mistakes and irrational thinking that landed the offender in this position. When the convict has entered the correctional system, they are categorized according to specific rules and regulations in order to be placed in a confined facility and rehabilitation programs.
How the structure of the government correlates to the Criminal Justice System The structure of the government is vital to the criminal justice system because elected government officials tweak and maintain the legislation the system abides by. Therefore, if the government structure is weak or unstable then the criminal justice system will be as well and will contain flaws or fragmented facets. Conclusion All of the components that make up the criminal justice system and its process are essential to the overall success of the system.
Once a crime has been committed, it is critical for all of these components to do its duties in order for justice to prevail. If one facet does not appropriately serves its purpose, then the system will fail in providing justice for the victims who rights were violated under the U. S. Constitution. Although there are some instances of the system having dysfunctional moments, overall it is still a sufficient system that is continuing to be a working progress. References Schmalleger, F. (2011). Criminal Justice Today: An Introductory Text for the 21st Century, Eleventh Edition, Prentice Hall.