The Criminal Justice System

Topics: Prison, Criminal justice, Crime Pages: 5 (557 words) Published: October 17, 2011
The Criminal Justice System –

The aggregate of all operating and administration or

technical support agencies that performs criminal justice

functions. The criminal justice system consists of three

* The Police
* Criminal Courts * Correctional Agencies
The role of the justice system is to respond in the name of

society when crimes are committed. The three components

agencies all work together to ensure that justice is carried out.

None of these three components operates independently of the

others. If someone is arrested by the police, their guilt or

innocence is determined by the courts, and any potential

punishment after conviction is handled by the corrections

system. The consensus model assumes that these three

components of the justice system work together to achieve

justice. The conflict model assumes that system's components

function primarily to serve their own interests, making justice

a product of conflict among the police, courts, and correctional

agencies. This model also, often pressures for success,

promotion, pay increases, and general accountability detached

the efforts of the system as a whole, leading to a criminal

justice non-system.  Both models let us know that these

agencies have a variety of functions at all levels. The local,

state and federal level are linked closely for the term system to

have in mind as a purpose.

The core components of the criminal justice system and their functions
 The Police  

* Enforce the law
* Investigate crimes
* Apprehend offenders
* Reduce & prevent crime
* Maintain public order
* Ensure community safety
* Provide emergency & related community services
* Protect the fundamental rights & freedoms of individuals

Criminal Courts  
♦ Conduct fair & impartial trials   ♦ Decide criminal cases ♦ Ensure due process ♦ Determine guilt or innocence ♦ Uphold the law ♦ Requires fairness throughout the justice process  ♦ Protect the rights & freedoms of anyone facing processing by the justice system   ♦ Provide a check on the exercise of power by other justice system agencies
Correctional Agencies

♦ Carry out sentences imposed by the courts
♦ Provide safe and humane custody and supervision of offenders ♦ Protect the community
♦ Rehabilitate, reform & reintegrate convicted offenders back into the community ♦ Respect the legal and human rights of the convicted    

Depending on state laws, each state divides responsibilities

among its cities and various agencies in each jurisdiction. Each

city has a local sheriff, which is the chief law enforcer of each

county. It’s main responsibility includes:

1. Serving warrants
2. Providing bailiffs to the courts
3. Administering the local jail  
Local law enforcement officers mostly deal with misdemea-

nor violations. Individuals who commit misdemeanors are

arrested and placed in a local jail. The state law enforcement

performs specialized activities such...

References: Criminal Justice Today; Frank Schmalleger
 Vermont Department of Corrections

Human Resources Development Unit
A Vermont Government Website
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