During this paper I am going to be covering topics such as the courtroom work groups, the role of a prosecutor, the effects of the criminal justice funnel and the backlog of cases on the court system and the courtroom work group. Topics such as these are important to cover so that each individual has a complete understanding of the pros and cons of systems in the judicial system. What is a courtroom work group? “The professional courtroom actors, including judges, prosecuting attorneys, defense attorneys, public defenders, and others who earn a living serving the court. ” (Pg. 312) By Frank Schmalleger 2011.
From my understanding a courtroom work group is anyone who works as an employee of the court systems. This includes the bailiff, courtroom recorders, courtroom clerks and translators. During a daily basis the courtroom work group is expected to maintain interaction that serves the court and its many members. The courtroom work group is focused on bringing the case to a fair ending by communicating with each other even though there are different parties hoping for different outcomes.
The reason they are able to communicate so well is because even though they support different sides of the case, they are all focused on closing the case quickly. If I was able to make changes to the courtroom work group I would like to change the allotted time each judge spends on a single case. I feel it is important that citizens understand what the judge is telling them and they feel like they are being treated with care not just being rushed through the system. Frank Schmalleger said, “An attorney whose official duty is to conduct criminal proceedings on behalf of the state or the people against those accused of having committed criminal offences. ” (Pg. 315).
A prosecutor has too many duties for one person to take on so they hire assistant district attorneys who take over most of the court work. There are approximately 2,300 chief prosecutors assisted by 2,400 deputy attorneys. I believe that a prosecutor takes on a case by determining what the case fundamentals are and then deciding the amount of court work to assign each assistant attorney.
The effects of the criminal justice funnel are certain individuals not being allotted the proper amount of time needed for the judge to look in to their case before being sentenced. I feel that the criminal justice funnel is just a way to speed up the amount of time you spend in the court system. Because of the lack of judges and funds our judicial system has, we are forced to be put through a system that is impersonal and processed too quickly.
As of right now if every citizen going through the court system received as much time as they felt necessary, we would be in a permanent back log which means that one person could sit in prison awaiting trial for over a year when his case could have taken a substantially shorter amount of time with the criminal justice funnel. When members of the court work group are able to come to an agreement or plea-bargain, they are able to speed up the process and move on to the next case quicker and more effectively.
Some solutions to making the criminal justice funnel more successful would be to put more money in to the judicial system so that more judges could be hired and citizens feel that they are provided with a more personalized journey through the court system. If this was applied the amount of backlog would be substantially reduced because there would be more judges to handle cases each day. In conclusion, I believe that the court system is always going to be changing. There are always going to be people who are not pleased with the way the judicial system is ran. There are also many aspects which do need attention and would be able to be fixed if only the funds were available.