Why Do We Need a Criminal Justice System?

Topics: Crime, Criminal justice, Sociology Pages: 5 (1328 words) Published: July 6, 2011
Why do we need a criminal justice system?

Essentially this paper aims to support the notion the Australian criminal justice system forms the backbone of law and order in society today, rather society wouldn’t function in an orderly or just manner, as we know it today without such a system. Six main arguments are raised, supporting the notion of the importance of a criminal justice system (hereafter referred to as ‘criminal justice system’ or ‘the system’) in Australian society today. Firstly we look at the criminal justice system and the framework or assemblage of arms involved in its operation. Second, the goals of the system and how these have changed over time to the needs of today’s society. Third, how the system implies social order and securing social control. Fourth, the framework and the measures implied through the system, such as the crime prevention measures. Fifth, the pivotal role public confidence in the system plays on the success of system as a whole (briefly touch on policing and government expenditure and . Lastly, briefly raise the pathological, biological and sociology factors associated with criminal behavior. It is concluded that there is a clear and definite need for a criminal justice system; the system proves crucial in promoting social order, crime reduction, and rehabilitation.

Firstly, the conjecture of correlative words used to describe the criminal justice system, in the first instance ‘criminal’ which implies perceptions of crime or criminality can be summated through what is widely viewed as acceptable practices and behavior in the wider society or community as a whole. For one to be found guilty of a criminal offence, one must have carried out a prohibited offence under the laws of that state known as ‘actus reus’ a further element is the criminal had a mental intention to carry through with the crime or been in present mind when the crime took place, known as actus reus.

In Crime and Justice: A Guide To Criminology, Daly, Israel & Goldsmith (2006) provided a useful descriptive of the term ‘justice’ as, both crime reduction and symbolism are essential to contemporary notions of doing justice. The state responds to crime to secure benefits to the wider society such as crime prevention and crime reduction. As second is symbolic or non utilitarian: the state must redrew imbalances caused by those people who take illegal advantage of another or diminish their human dignity.

‘System’ which can be described as a set of logical and sequential steps which when followed achieves a certain outcome. The Macquarie dictionary defines system an assemblage or combination of things or parts forming a complex or unitary whole, an ordered and comprehensive assemblage of facts, principles, doctrines or the like in a particular field or knowledge or thought.

This terminology loosely signifies the aims, which are many and varied of the criminal justice system in Australia. Similarly the components or framework which make up the system, are an assemblage of state based arms of law enforcing agencies, primarily investigative, adjudicative, correctional and regulatory bodies. These collective agencies with similar, but differing goals work collectively to attain and maintain social order and social control.

Secondly, goals traditionally were to control crime through apprehending and punishing offenders, whereas today the focus has shifted to a proactive approach of preventing criminal behavior or crime prevention, for instance the creation and implementation of proactive programs and strategies to prevent crime before it occurs, and to address and diminish the fear of crime. A further illustration is seen through youth programs, drug rehabilitation programs etc, as well as rehabilitation of offenders through parole programs, educating prisoners and providing a methodical approach to deter offenders re-offending. In brief, the many goals are loosely linked products of influences...
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