Inside the Criminal Justice System

Topics: Police, Criminal law, Lawyer Pages: 5 (1789 words) Published: January 22, 2012
Inside the Criminal Justice System
There are many facets to the Criminal Justice System. Each facet plays an important role in the evolution of Criminal Justice System. The Criminal Justice system starts with local police officers moves all the way up to the prosecution and judges that see the cases. Each individual within the Criminal Justice System plays an important role in moving potential offenders through the system in a very effective manner. This process is important, so the system works smoothly. If one part of the system does not understand another’s job, it can cause conflict within the system. Knowing one another’s job exempts some factors of causing hiccups in processing an individual through the Criminal Justice System. According to (Bureau of Labor and Statistics), “Police officers and detectives protect lives and property. Law enforcement officer’s duties depend on the size and type of their organizations .Police and detectives pursue and apprehend individuals who break the law and then issue citations or give warnings. A large proportion of their time is spent writing reports and maintaining records of incidents they encounter. Most police officers patrol their jurisdictions and investigate any suspicious activity they notice. They also respond to calls from individuals.” (Bureau of Labor and Statistics) Detectives on the other hand perform some duties an officer would, but also a whole lot more. As stated by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, “Detectives perform investigative duties such as gathering facts and collecting evidence. The daily activities of police and detectives vary with their occupational specialty—such as police officer, or detective—and whether they are working for a local, State, or Federal agency. Duties also differ substantially among various Federal agencies, which enforce different aspects of the law. Regardless of job duties or location, police officers and detectives at all levels must write reports and maintain meticulous records that will be needed if they testify in court.” (Bureau of Labor and Statistics) The police are the first people to interact with the criminal defendant by arresting that person after they have committed a crime. As indicated ( The Offices of the United States Attorneys) “The U.S. Attorneys are the chief federal law enforcement officers in their districts, responsible for federal criminal prosecutions and civil cases involving the United States Government. The Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys provides support and oversight for the 94 offices across the country. (The Lancaster County, PA Office of the District Attorney ), states that “The District Attorney's Office assists police departments in criminal investigations, and prosecutes criminal charges for the Commonwealth against those who are accused of breaking the law.  Upon receipt of a reported crime the District Attorney reviews the facts and evidence and decides whether or not to approve the charges and proceed with prosecution. After the District Attorney's Office approves the charges, the case will go to one of two kinds of courts: District Justice Preliminary Hearing, whereby a District Justice hears "court cases" and determines if there is prima facie merit to the case. If a prima facie determination is made the case is referred to the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas. The Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas, whereby a Judge or Jury has final authority to decide misdemeanor and felony cases, and attends to summary appeals. Above the County Courts are the Superior Court of Pennsylvania and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, each a successive step in the appellate process. They are courts of appeals, not trial courts as is the County Court Of Common Pleas. Most cases involving crimes committed by people less than 18 years of age go to Juvenile Court.” (The Lancaster County, PA Office of the District Attorney ) The criminal defendant usually talks with or hears from the district...

References: Bureau of labor and statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved October 8, 2011.
Caminsky, J (n.d.). Our Criminal Courts: The role of the Defense counsel. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
The Lancaster County, PA Office of the district attorney. (n.d.). Retrieved October 7, 2011.
The Offices of the United States Attorneys. (n.d.). Retrieved October 8, 2011.
The role of the Judge. (n.d.). Retrieved October 4, 2011.
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