Components of the Criminal Justice System,
and the Criminal Justice Process
January 11, 2015
The components of the criminal justice system are the Police, courts, corrections. Think of this as a joint task force where all operations work systemically, or hand in hand through the police first by protecting the public, investigating crimes that occur, enforce laws, maintain public order and discipline throughout their jurisdiction, and protect the peoples rights. Courts are there to process individuals found by police that have committed a criminal act or broke the law. Courts conduct fair trials, protect the rights of all people, issue sentence, and will conduct a check on the exercise of power to other justice agencies. The last is the correctional system. Corrections carry out the sentence set forth by the courts. Provides a safe place for the convicted to serve their time while placing effort into the rehabilitation of their populous.
The criminal justice process consists of an investigation and arrest, pretrial activities, trial, sentencing, and lastly, corrections. Investigation and arrest is when evidence is collected and a recreation of what happened is developed. Warrant and booking are two steps done after the investigation. A warrant is issued by the court and provides protection to the LEO as he/she conducts their duties to arrest the known criminal or multiple criminals. Booking is the last step before entering a systems correctional facility. During the booking process information is collected to identify the person detained, where the incident occurred, the time of the crime, and the arresting authority. The next component in the criminal justice process are pretrial activity’s. There are four major events that take place during this time. They are first appearance, a preliminary hearing, information or indictment, and arraignment. The first appearance happens within 48 hours of his or her arrest. At this time the suspect will be brought before a judge where they will advise them of their official charges from the arrest, give them their rights and provide them with the opportunity of bail if found fitting. It is then moved on to the preliminary hearing
where a decision is made on whether there is enough significant evidence to continue forward with the judicial process. Information or indictment is an additional and optional procedure that a prosecutor can seek to continue a case based on accusations found during the preliminary hearing. It is moved through a grand jury in some states and the evidence is reviewed and a decision is made on if the case should be moved to trial or not. An arraignment is the last step prior to trial. This is when the accused stand before the judge and is given a formal reading of their crime in question. They are given their rights and the option to provide the court a plea of not guilty, guilty, or no contest. Once this step is complete the case moves on to trial. Trial involves the examination of all issues at hand and laws are discussed through the process to determine if the suspect should be convicted or acquitted. Sentencing now takes place if the offender is found guilty. The judge at this time will issue a fine for their actions, placed on probation or incarcerated. Those found to be guilty of multiple charges are will serve consecutive or concurrent sentences. Consecutive is one sentence served after another. Concurrent is all sentences served at the same time. Corrections stage begins once a sentence has been issued by the court. This is when they are moved to confinement or treatment facility’s. Not every person is sentenced to prison. Some have their sentences suspended and are placed on probation. Others who have already served time could be freed based on parole.
References: University of Phoenix. (2011). CJi Interactive [Multimedia]. Retrieved from University of Phoenix,
CJS200 Foundations of The Criminal Justice System website.
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