The Criminal Justice System

Topics: Crime, Criminal law, Criminal justice Pages: 5 (1002 words) Published: September 22, 2014


Criminal Justice System
Ariel Parrett
CJA/204
7/7/14
Lisa Corprew

Criminal Justice System
The criminal justice system is a complex structure that has grown throughout time. However, what exactly is crime? Are there different reasoning behind why crimes are committed? What goals and process does the system follow to help lower these crimes? Many people have ideas and concepts as to what the system does. One of those concepts is, “the protection of the innocent, the fair treatment of offenders, and the fair play by the agencies of law enforcement, including courts and correctional institutions.” (Schmalleger, 2011, p.14). However, does everything actually run as smoothly as they think? Is the system really even a system at all? Crime

As defined crime is a “conduct in violation of the criminal laws or the state, the federal government, or a local jurisdiction, for which there is no legally acceptable justification or excuse.” (Unversity, 2014). This means crime an act against a law. However, there are many factors contributing to whether an act is a crime or not. For example, certain drugs are illegal in some states where in others they are perfectly legal. Some people may think playing music too loud is a crime, but in many areas, this is not the case; it can just be annoying. Theories Behind Crime

Studying human behavior and patterns can lead to some great theories as to why people commit crimes, as well as statistics and trends. Figuring out why the crimes are committed will help the criminal justice system lower the crime rates. It could be sociological, social process, biological, psychological, or just classical.

Someone can be affected by their surroundings, whether it is the community, they live in or peer pressure. In addition, someone’s genetics can have an influence on his or her behaviors. That person could suffer from a mental illness that causes irrational behaviors. There are also the individuals that just want to do it on their own free will (Schmalleger, 2011, p. 80). Components of the System

There are three main components of a criminal justice system the police, the criminal courts, and the correctional agencies. Every component has their own functions that show how they contrite to the main cause of crime fighting. When they all perform their duties, they form the criminal justice system.

The police are the law enforces. They are the first defense when it comes to trying to prevent crime. Their job is to keep the community safe. If a crime does occur, they are the ones that investigate the crime. After doing their investigations they apprehend the potential offenders (Schmalleger, 2011, p. 17). By doing their jobs they help keep crimes from occurring which eventually lowers the crime rates.

After a suspect is apprehended, they go through the criminal courts. In here, fair and impartial trials are conducted (Schmalleger, 2011, p. 17). The courts follow the due process and decide whether the individual is innocent or guilty, and if found guilty they are given their sentencing (Schmalleger, 2011, p. 17). Criminal courts are put in place to uphold the law, but to also respect each individual that comes through their doors.

Finally, after the hearings are done in the courtroom, the guilty parties are detained in correctional agencies (Schmalleger, 2011, p.17). Here is where people carry out their sentences. These places are a good way to help rehabilitate the individuals. Under constant supervisions, not only does it keep the offenders safe but also the community. Goals of the system

There are five main goals the criminal justice seeks for; they are deterrence, retribution, incapacitation, rehabilitation, and restoration. Deterrence is defined as when they try to prevent crimes from happening through fear (University, 2014). There are two main types of deterrence, specific and general. Specific deterrence, is when an individual is caught committing...

References: Schmalleger, F. (2011). Criminal Justice Today (11th ed.). :Prentice Hall.
University of Phoenix. (2014). CJI Interactive [multimedia]. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, CJA204-BSDS1D1O10.
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