As of date, U. S. A is witnessing a thirty –year low crime rate. This has not been achieved by accident. Minimizing crime connotes reducing number of criminal on the streets. This demands continuous, serious penalties that deter criminals to commit a crime. Thus, a consistent and tough Criminal Justice Policy [CJS] has assisted to minimize crimes now and has made Criminal Justice System not only fair but also far less arbitrary. [Mateja, 2004, p. 319]. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics [BJS] the rate of major crime in USA as listed in the following table have dramatically reduced from 1993 to 2002.
Thus, Department of Justice of USA is of the opinion that a severe penalty establishes that there are real punishments for lawless or predatory behavior. USA’s corrections and sentencing policy is based on the policies like considering every crime gravely, treating every criminal with just and every victim sympathetically. [Mateja, 2004, p. 320]. Criminal Justice System in USA consists the following; Police Criminal Courts Correctional institutions like prisons including juvenile justice agencies [Katel, 2008]. Criminal Justice system functions may be illustrated as follows: [Sigel, 2004].
It is to be noted that criminal justice is different from criminal law. Criminal law is one which deals with specific behaviors that are forbidden by and punishable under law. Likewise, criminology also differs from criminal justice as it deals with scientific study of the nonlegal features of crime and also with delinquency, including their reasons, prevention and correction. The origin of the criminal justice in the USA can be attributed in the latter half of the 20th century.
Further, the Supreme Court of the United States has slowly enlarged the privileges of the criminal defendants on the fundamentals of the U. S constitution’s due process clause. It is to be observed the gap between what was legally demanded and expected and actual performance of the Criminal Justice Agencies started to expand. U. S Department of Justice’s division namely Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, during 1979 offered grants for college study to thousands of criminal justice department employees mainly as an effort to improve the activities and awareness in this field. As the result, many colleges in USA have started to offer many criminal justice courses, programs both at undergraduate and graduate spheres.
Later, at the fag end of the twentieth century, these colleges started to offer not only bachelor’s degrees in the field of criminal justice but also some started to offer both master and doctoral degrees. Later, research studies on the criminal justice concentrated on evaluating the efficacy of particular criminal justice policies mainly in the area of fighting crimes. Some research studies focused on whether the arrest of a bodily abusive spouse resulted to stop future incidents of battering or whether prison rehabilitation plans minimized rates of recidivism.
American Criminal Justice System has strong fundamentals. Criminal justice system is designed in such a way, that cases are entirely and comparatively investigated by the police, defense lawyers and prosecutors, dynamically present their arguments and evidence and trial judges make sure that a fair proceeding. However, in many cases, systematic errors paved to wrongful convictions, with damaging and from time to time irreparable results, and this resulted in perpetration of more crimes by the actual offenders.