Criminal Justice System
University of Phoenix Ontario, CA
June 8, 2011
Criminal Justice System
Crime is a violation of the law that can lead to jail time, conviction, or fines. A crime is a criminal activity that leads to breaking the law. A crime can be numerous actions that include theft, robbery, murder, rape, and assault. According to Dictionary Reference crime is defined as an action or an instance of negligence that is deemed injurious to the public welfare or morals or to the interests of the state and that is legally prohibited (Dictionary Reference, 2011). According to University of California Press authorities employ various mechanisms to regulate (encouraging or discouraging) certain behaviors in general. Governing or administering agencies may for example codify rules into laws, police citizens and visitors to ensure that they comply with those laws, and implement other policies and practices which legislators or administrators have prescribed with the aim of discouraging or preventing crime. In addition, authorities provide remedies and sanctions, and collectively these constitute a criminal justice system (University of California Press, 2011). The relationship between law and crime is the structure of criminal law that relates to crime. Criminal law is the rules, guidelines, and laws that dictate what is acceptable and what is prohibited by the state. The state will impose consequences to people that break the laws that endangers the public’s safety or puts them in a harmful situation. The criminal justice system is implemented by every state and the federal government has their own criminal justice system. The criminal justice system for any state and the federal government can not violate the U.S. Constitution. The criminal justice system is made up of a basic structure that includes legislative, judicial, and executive branches of government. According to Cliff Notes legislature provides funding for criminal justice agencies. Trial courts adjudicate (make judgments on and pronounce) the guilt of persons charged with crimes, and
appellate courts interpret the law according to constitutional principles. Executive power is given to the president, governors, and mayors. On criminal justice matters, they have the power to appoint judges and heads of agencies, such as police chiefs and directors of departments of corrections. In addition, elected officials can lead efforts to improve criminal justice by putting forth legislative agendas and mobilizing public opinion (Cliff Notes, 2011). The criminal justice system has five basic elements that include police officers or peace officers, court system, lawyers, and defense attorneys. The five elements play an immense role in the criminal justice system and each individual element has a purpose. Prosecutors or lawyers have numerous tasks they have to perform to make the justice system function properly. Prosecutors or lawyers represent the city, state, or government throughout the entire process until there has been a decision made on the trial. According to the National Center for Victims of Crime prosecutors review the evidence and decide whether to file charges or drop the case. Prosecutors present evidence in court, question witnesses, and decide (at any point after charges have been filed) whether to negotiate plea bargains with defendants.(National Center for Victims of Crime, 2008). Law enforcement officers make the arrests, reports, investigations and may also testify in court. Peace Officers or Correction officer compile evidence and back ground information that is provided to the judge to assist his or her ruling on the case. Defense attorneys represent the person being accused of the crime and if the accused can not provide their own lawyer the court system will appoint one to them. The court system is supervised by the judge who makes the final ruling...