Criminal Justice System Paper Analysis Paper

A crime is which one breaks the law, meaning an individual or a group partakes in an event to do something wrong and one is accused in which a crime was committed. A crime (1981-2005), according to The Free Dictionary is defined as “A violation of a law in which there is injury to the public or a member of the public and a term in jail or prison, and/or a fine as possible penalties.

There is some sentiment for excluding from the “crime” category crimes without victims, such as consensual acts, or violations in which only the perpetrator is hurt or involved such as personal use of illegal drugs.” The laws are structured in such to protect Americans against harm or harm’s way in the event of various crimes and to protect one’s property, animals, people, rights, etc… against one’s violence.

Laws are structured to maintain order in the United States; it would be chaotic without them. Regardless, of an individual’s relationship to one’s career or statute, when a crime is committed the law has standards and is structured in which the accused is to be punished or released.

The police, courts, and corrections are three components that make up the criminal justice system. Within the criminal justice system, there is a process which takes place. “Whether part of a system or a non-system, the agencies of criminal justice must process the cases that come before them” (Schmalleger, 2009, p.14). The process begins with an investigation of the crime that took place and leads to an arrest where the person is taken into custody with his or her rights read.

The suspect is booked which includes fingerprinting, pictures, belongings taken, searched, and personal information which is recorded. The suspect must wait in custody until his or her first appearance from a judicial officer, which will inform them of his/her charges, rights, sentencing, and bail if applicable. Suspects who committed a serious crime or they aren’t able to meet the financial demands wait in custody for a preliminary hearing. At a preliminary hearing,CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM PAPER 3

the prosecutor may offer a plea bargain or the judge will examine the case to see if there is probable cause. At the arraignment the accused enters a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. Filing information by the prosecutor is required in some states while others require an indictment by a grand jury. It is decided at that point to take the defendants case to trial or adjudication.

The defendant receives his or her sentencing (unless charges are dropped or time served), which may include a form of correction (e.g. probation, parole, house arrest) or time in a correctional facility (e.g. prison or jail) and court costs. The criminal justice system has government three government branches: legislative, judicial and executive.

The legislative branch “both state and federal, define crimes, fix sentences, and provide funding for criminal justice agencies.” The judicial branch “both state and federal appellate courts review legislative decisions and decide whether they fall within the boundaries of state law, federal law, and ultimately, the United States Constitution.” The executive branch “is given to the president, governors, and mayors as they have the power to appoint judges and heads of agencies, such as police chiefs and directors of departments of corrections” (The Structure of Criminal Justice. 3 Feb 2011).

The House of Representatives and Senate vote on the bills (which are proposed laws) and if passed it goes to the President to sign. When the President signs the bill it then becomes a law. Laws are not only to protect the innocent but protect the accused as well. Even though one is a suspect in a crime, one still has rights and laws to protect until proven guilty. According to Judicial and Statutory Definitions of Words and Phrases (1914), “The presumption of innocence is in fact a legal instrument created by the French cardinal and jurist Jean Lemoine to

CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM PAPER 4favor the accused based on the legal inference that most people are not criminals (Meaning, para. 2). Erica (2010), “The criminal justice system is comprised of agencies at the federal, state and local level. All three branches of the government—the legislature, the judiciary and the executive—work together to handle and prevent crime” (The Structure of the Criminal Justice System, para. 1). The government structure as it applies to the criminal justice system is that they must have a strong unity and support one another in working together to make the system works. This allows for a uniformed and civilized country to function and keep crime under control.


REFERENCESErica, T. (2010). eHow, Retrieved February 1, 2011 from Schmalleger, F. (2009). Criminal Justice Today (10th ed.). : Pearson Education, RetrievedJanuary 26, 2011 from… Crime. (1981-2005). In The Free Dictionary. Retrieved January 26, 2011 from

Judicial and Statutory Definitions of Words and Phrases. (1914). Wikipedia, Retrieved January 26, 2011 from The Structure of Criminal Justice. 3 Feb 2011. Retrieved February 3, 2011 from,articleId-9908.html