Criminal justice is a set of practices and institutions that several governmental bodies have used to direct m and uphold the control of the society through prevention and curb the criminal tendencies through establishment of penalties and moves towards rehabilitation. However those bodies or parties that are accused of criminal offences are given protection by the same laws against any abuse be it from the executive or the investigatory powers (Walker, 19).
Generally the criminal justices are geared towards the achievement of creating a crime free society in the sense that every person who go against the law is put to justice. Also they look forward to raising the confidence in the public that the laid structures are good for everybody and can apply to people equally. Criminal justice also aims at increasing the security of the citizens of the society. It is therefore in line worth saying that criminal justice is geared towards the equality in the society as far as justice is concerned. (Walker, 240).
In enforcing or rather ensuring that law is in place, the judiciary, the executive and the legislature work hand in hand. The legislature makes the laws while the judiciary ensures that those who don’t meet the expectations are put to justice through the use of various arms of law and order like the police.
This paper is concentrates on the criminal justice systems of the U.S. the criminal justice as a system is composed of three main parts. These are the law enforcement i.e. the police, the adjudication i.e. the courts and the corrections department which is made up of the prisons, jails, the parole and the probation. These bodies are work hand in hand to make sure that rule of law is maintained.
Policing involves keeping watch on the public to ensure law and order in the society is not breached. So once the law is broken it is the police whom he or she first meets. This is to make investigations on the law breaching and arrest. When situations surrounding a person are connecting him or her to the alleged breaking of the law, the police or rather the law enforcement agencies are empowered to apply force and any other means of that the law recognizes to effect order. (Perri, 45)
Generally the police are entitled to keep law and order in the society. They thus make that the criminal law is in place and works to protect each and every individual in the society. In the U.S.A the FBI (the federal bureau of investigations) was established in the year 1908. The FBI is in charge to make investigations and ensure that the law is followed to the latter in the U.S.
After the police, the courts come to being. The courts at their own capacity acts as a arena where disputes are solved and justice prevails. In courts, there exists people who act as critics, these are the courtroom. These people are both professional and non professionals and they include the defense attorney, the prosecutor and the judge. The judge who is sometimes refer to as the magistrate is either or appointed and has knowledge in the in the law. His or her gives an objective administration to the legal undertakings in the court and finally gives a decision to rule. In the U.S this function is performed by adversarial system, whereby the parties involved are given chances to air their account of events and defend themselves before the court. Upon hearing both accounts, the party who sounds to sound and compelling in his or her argument will carry the day.
The prosecutor or the district attorney who is a lawyer by profession presents the charges that a person faces. He or she gives the court an explanation on the offense of the accused. He or she also gives evidence against the accused.
The defense attorneys give counsels to the accused concerning the legal process, the outcomes and the possible strategies to employ in the cases. After this the accused makes a decision whether to testify or not. The defense attorneys also stand in for the accused to represent his or her interest and can as well challenge the evidence that before them. (Neocleous, 190)
In the U.S every accused is given a defense attorney that is paid by the government especially when it involves life and liberty.
The innocence or the guilt of the accused is decided by a third party who is very independent. This function is performed by the judge or a panel of judges. However, in the U.S. guilt or the innocence of the accused is determined by the state, the court level and the consensus between the two parties who disputed.
Despite this process, there are some cases that do not necessarily need trials. The accused may plead guilty in prior. This may result into reduced sentence
Walker,S. A Critical History of Police Reform. Lexington, MT: Lexington Books.1977.
Walker,S. Contemporary Criminal Justice Paradigm. Foundation Survey Washington D.C. 1992.
Neocleous, M. Fabricating Social Order. London: Pluto Press.2004.
Perri, F. S. and Lichten, T. G. Criminal Investigative Analysis, Forensic Psychology.2009.
Brodeur, J.P. High Policing and Low Policing. Toronto: Canadian Scholars' Press.1989.