The American criminal justice system is a system of the legislative practices and organizations that is used by the government and directed to maintain the social control, control and deter crime and also sanction those people who violate the country’s laws. The agencies which are charged with these responsibilities include the courts, police, and the corrections that administer punishment for those people who are found guilty. Structure The criminal justice system refers to a collection of the local public agencies and also the state and the federal agencies.
The basic frame work of the criminal justice system is basically provided by the judicial, executive and also the legislative government branches. The government’s legislature of both the state and the federal fixes sentences, defines crimes and also provides funding for the agencies in the criminal justice system . The judiciary on the other hand makes and pronounces judgments on the guilty persons who are charged with the crimes in the trial courts whereas the appellate courts further interprets the law in accordance to the principles of the constitution.
The federal and the appellate courts reviews the decisions that are made by the legislature and they also decide on whether these decisions should fall within the boundaries of the federal law, the state law and the country’s constitution. (Garland, 2002) Similarly the judicial reviews further give the courts the power to evaluate the legislative acts in reference to their conformity to the constitution. The appellate court may strike down a law if at all it is in conflict with the constitution. In the executive branch the power is given to the president, the mayors and the governors.
In issues that are related to the criminal justice system the executive has the power to appoint the head of agencies, the judges, the director of corrections departments and also the police chiefs. The elected officials can also lead the efforts to improve on the criminal justice by either mobilizing the public’s opinion or even putting forth the legislative agendas. The major components of the criminal justice system are; the police, the courts, and the corrections which deter and prevent crimes as well as apprehend the offenders. (Garland, 2002) Functions
The criminal justice system serves several purposes which benefits the society in various ways. 1. Maintaining law and order The criminal justice systems provide criminal laws that present the predictability as they also let people know what to expect from others. 2. Resolving various disputes The criminal justice system through the criminal law makes it very possible to resolve disputes and conflicts between any quarrelling citizens and they also provide a peaceful and an orderly way of handling the public’s grievances (Garland, 2002) 4. Protecting individuals and also properties
The criminal justice system protects the citizens from the criminals who would harm them physically or even take their personal possessions. In America the criminal justice system property is very important and many criminal laws are intended to punish the thieves. 5. Provision of the smooth functioning of the society Most importantly the criminal justice system enables the government to collect taxes control the rate of pollution in the country as well as accomplish other tasks that are socially beneficial. (Garland, 2002) 6. Safeguarding the civil liberties
The criminal justice system plays an important role in protecting the citizen’s individual Concept of the innocent until proven guilty In the judicial system there is a presumption of innocence until proven guilty and it gives the accused the legal rights in the criminal trials. It states that no person should be considered guilty until they are finally convicted by a court. In the contemporary society many people believe that this concept of guilt is very unfair and even at times very immoral since it allows the strategic targeting of a particular individual and it is often difficult to firmly establish the proof of innocence.
This concept may also not be a reality in the contemporary criminal justice system since the modern practices are aimed at curing the social ills which may run against the presumption of the innocence. Similarly some law dispositions against the racial discrimination and the sexual harassment show a guilt presumption and such dispositions were initially meant to ease the problem of proof on the victim. The in practice harassment or discriminatory practices are also very hard to prove.
(Garland, 2002) Strengths and weaknesses The criminal justice system has weaknesses as well as strengths. To begin with the strengths the judicial system has very many individuals within the state agencies who work with the homeless and the less fortunate in the society. The system also has very effective advocates and expatriates who ensure that the right protocol is followed in all criminal cases and they also ensure that justice prevails in the criminal cases.
The system also gets a lot of support from the government especially from the legislature and the executive and this further helps the criminal system to efficiently administer justice equally to all citizens. The judicial systems have a very strong local advocacy which runs very effectively. The judicial system has some weaknesses and they include the lack of financial and political independence since the government largely controls and has the final authority over all the finances in the system.
There is also the issue of insecurity on the employees in the judicial system since they are always involved in handling various criminals and they highly risk their lives. The system also lacks the support from the public and this further stagnates its purported growth (Garland, 2002) Conclusion In conclusion the judicial system pursues criminal justice like all the other forms of justice with a lot of fairness and it is always a true reflection of the society’s morals. Reference: Garland, D. (2002): Of Crimes and Criminals. The Oxford Handbook of Criminology, 3rd edition. Oxford University Press.