Why Do We as a Society Need a Criminal Justice System

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Why do we (as a society) need a criminal justice system?

As a society there is need for a criminal justice system, as it is essential to have laws throughout the population. We have these laws so people cannot use money or power to benefit themselves. The laws also establish that each person should understand their and everyone else’s rights and obligations within the community.

The criminal justice system, is a system of laws and rulings which protect community members and their property. Therefore, the laws determine which acts are criminal and how the offender is punished. (Sallmann, P. and Wills, J. 1984 Criminal Justice in Australia, Oxford University Press, Melbourne.)

The criminal justice system in Australia formed centuries ago, with new forms of punishments added along the way. From then till now Australian judges have interpreted, applied and developed these laws, the Australian parliaments have also added to them through legislation. (Sallmann, P. and Wills, J. 1984 Criminal Justice in Australia, Oxford University Press, Melbourne.)

Why we need a criminal justice system

There are three main divisions in criminal justice system, which exists of Police, Courts, and Corrections. Firstly, Police have the responsibility to investigate and apprehend criminals. Secondly, Courts are responsible for fair trial and sentencing. Thirdly, Corrections are responsible for imprisonment and supervision. The main purpose of this system is to manage public safety.

In Australia we have nine legal systems, comprising eight State or Territory systems and one federal system. Most of the administration of courts, the legal profession and legislation occurs in the States and Territories. Therefore, each State and Territory is responsible to carry out the laws and rulings for the criminal justice system.

(Attorney-General's Department (AGD) 1995, The Justice Statement, AGD, Canberra.)

The criminal justice system's goals are to ensure that legislation and the law is upheld at all

times. For example, protecting the innocent, punishing the guilty, preserving order and peace

and protecting victims from further anguish. Another goal the criminal justice system seems

to be focusing on is education for the public regarding crime and rehabilitation of offenders.

This method is achieved by deterring offenders or preventing crimes from spreading.

Therefore, the goals of the criminal justice system are to balance criminal activity and crime


There is an abundance of people, who think the criminal justice system is not really a system, and that it has always been flawed. It fails to deliver true justice and is expensive and

incompetent in determining cases. On the other hand there are many people who firmly

defend the system against such criticism, viewing it as only needing little change.

As always, the truth lies somewhere in between the two arguments. The criminal justice

system is subject to continual criticism. Many of its qualities, such as the wearing of gowns

and wigs, are seen to imitate a system which is outdated, hiding in old traditions and

procedures and out of touch with the society of today.

As a society we need to understand that the police alone can’t overcome all crimes therefore,

it can’t deal with every criminal. The criminal justice system introduced community based

programs and institutions to help build safer communities. Examples of these programs and

institutions are, Neighbourhood Watch and Community Corrections. Firstly, Neighbourhood

Watch is a community based program, which aims to minimise crime within the community.

This program requires both the community and the police working together to accomplish

this goal. (Neighbourhood Watch, http://www.nhw.com.au/Home)

Secondly, Community Corrections is an institution which manages and supervises offenders

on community based...
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