The Components of Criminal Justice

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Kenzie Mullins

There are three main components of understanding the components of criminal justice. They are law enforcement, courts, and corrections. First is law enforcement, it broadly refers to any system by which some members of society act in an organized manner to promote adherence to the law by punishing people who violate the rules governing that society. However, the term may encompass entities such as courts and prisons, it is most frequently applied to those who directly engage in patrols or surveillance to dissuade and discover criminal activity, and those who investigate crimes and apprehend offenders. Next are courts. It’s a tribunal, often a governmental institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law. The third and final component of the criminal justice system is corrections. The role of this component is to uphold and administer sentences handed down by judges. The corrections system, which is tightly intertwined with the previous two components, is very important and quite large. The corrections component includes jails, prisons, correctional officers, probation officers and parole officers.

Criminal procedures are safeguards against the indiscriminate application of criminal laws and the wanton treatment of suspected criminals. Specifically, they are designed to enforce the constitutional rights of criminal suspects and defendants, beginning with initial police contact and continuing through arrest, investigation, trial, sentencing, and appeals. The U.S. Supreme Court, pursuant to its authority under the Rules Enabling Act, first promulgated the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which Congress, in turn, passed. The Federal Rules outline the procedure for conducting federal criminal trials. Similarly, states have their own codes of criminal procedure of which many closely model...
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