August 8, 2012
The Criminal Justice System
The word crime is defined as conduct in violation of the criminal laws of a state, the federal government, or a local jurisdiction for which there is no legally acceptable justification or excuse (Schmallager, 2011, p. 7). In other words crime is an action taken that violates local, state, or federal laws that is not legally justified or excused. Crime is related to the law because crime is in itself defined by the laws of the city, state, and country that we live. An example would be that it is illegal or a crime to smoke in any public area in the city of Burbank while in the city of Los Angeles it is perfectly alright to smoke on a public sidewalk. The most common models of how society determines which acts are criminal are legalistic, political, sociological and psychological. The Legalistic perspective of crime is actions that are against the law. The Political perspective of crime is actions that go against powerful groups and the status quo. The sociological perspective of crime is an antisocial act that needs to be repressed to maintain society. The psychological perspective of crime is when an individual cannot respond effectively or appropriately to demands of their environment. One of these perspectives cannot help define crime on its own because all of them have distinguishable flaws. The three components of the criminal justice system are the police, the courts, and corrections. The police enforce the law, investigate crime, apprehend offenders, maintain public order, and more. The courts conduct fair and impartial trials, decide criminal cases, ensure due process, uphold the law, and more. Corrections carries out sentences imposed by the courts, provides safe and humane custody and supervision of offenders, protects the community, and more. These three components or agencies work together to ensure justice and enforce the law. The police apprehend a criminal...