Criminal Justice System

What individuals call criminal activity has undoubtedly been with individuals since the first light of history, and crime control has long been a primary concern of politician and government leaders’ world wide. Still, the American experience with crime during the last half century has been especially influential in shaping the criminal justice system of today. This paper will explain the components of the criminal justice system, the criminal justice process, definition of crime and the relationship crime has to law, and the government structure as it applies to the criminal justice system.

The criminal justice consist of three core components Police, Courts, and Corrections; each of the components has its’ function and purpose. According to Frank Schmalleger (2009)“The police enforce the law, investigate crimes, apprehend offenders, reduce and prevent crimes, maintain public order, ensure community safety, provide emergency and related community service, and protect fundamental rights”(Criminal Justice Today.)

The courts conduct fair and impartial trials, decide criminal cases, ensure due process, determine guilt or innocence imposes sentences of the guilty, uphold the law, require fairness throughout the justice process, protect the rights and freedom of anyone facing processing by the justice system and provide a check on the exercise of power by other justice system agencies.

The corrections carry out sentences imposed by the courts, provide safe and human custody and supervision of offenders, protect the community, rehabilitate, reform, and reintegrate convicted offenders back into the community, and respect the legal and human rights of the convicted (Criminal Justice Today.)

The American justice process begins with investigation and arrest, once a crime has been revealed, evidence and information is collected at the scene. A follow-up investigation attempts to reform the chain of activities. Although a few offenders arrested at the scene of the crime, most are detained later. In such a cases, an arrest warrant is issued by a judge provides legal basis for an apprehension by police.

Once the person is taken into custody, the arrestee freedom is limited. Arrest is a serious step in the process of justice and involves an optional decision made by the police seeking to bring criminal sanction to bear. Once arrested and the officer read the arrestee his or her rights they are taken in for booking. Booking is an administration procedure, fingerprints are made, pictures are taken, and date of birth, personal information is taken, and height and weight is taken. Pretrial Activities are next which includes first appearance, then preliminary hearing which the judge will decide if the information gathered against the offender is probable cause.

If the judge finds probable cause the offender will then be indicted by a grand jury. The arraignment is next the accused will go before the judge and hear the indictment against him or her as it is read and ask “how do he or she plea guilty or not guilty?” Adjudication which is under the sixth amendment every criminal defendant has a right to a trial by jury. Sentencing is the second to last step, once the offender has been convicted it is the judge responsibility to enforce some type of punishment and order the offender to pay the cost of court if he or she is able.

The last step is correction; once an offender has been sentenced the correction stage begins. Correction is where the offender has to do time for the crime he or she has been convicted of.

Crime consists of any act that violates the law and causes punishment by the law officer and the criminal justice system. The relationship crime has to the law is once an offender commits a unlawful acts the law becomes involve and starts to investigates the crime the offender has committed. Crime is the reason the criminal justice system exist, because if there was no crime individuals would not need a law enforcer such as police officers. The government structure applies to the criminal justice system because of the constitutional laws. The criminal justice system has to follow the laws to be in accordance with the government.

In summation, the criminal justice system is made up three major components police, courts, and corrections. The components help keep criminals out of the communities and make sure justice is served for victims. The constitution has laws the criminal justice system has to follow to not violate any offenders.