Components of Criminal Justice Police, Courts and Corrections

Criminal justice system is a lay down of legal as well as social organizations for putting into effect the criminal law according to the defined laid down procedural rules and regulations. The criminal justice system in the United States is made up of separate entities which include the federal, military, as well as state criminal justice systems. Every state has separate criminal justice system for juveniles and adults (Robinson, 2005).

Components of Criminal Justice  Police, Courts and Corrections
One of the defining functions of the government is maintenance of internal order. The police in the United States, just like other nations, have been created for the purpose of maintaining law and order. American policing is so distinct from other countries. One of its distinguishing features is its responsiveness to the demands of the citizens. Operations of the American police are largely determined by requests from individuals. The second basic of police operation is public accountability. The United States government has insisted on the need to make the police force accountable through multiple institutions. The third base of police operation is openness to evaluation. The police force in the United States believes that policy must be founded on precise factual information. The American police force is distinctively open to public examination. Almost all activities of the police can be accessed by scholars, politicians, consultants as well as members of the public (Gaines and Miller, 2008).

The political agreement concerning opposition to racial profiling in drug outlawing has led to development of efforts aimed at identifying and eliminating the practice. It is claimed by some critics that profiling does very little in apprehending criminals due to the fact that it is foundation of racial group differences in regard to criminality is flawed. Critics argue that racial profiling is responsible of the widespread investigation as well as mistreatment of innocent people. Racial profiling and efforts to ferret out in drug outlawing should be abandoned. Policy analysis should focus on race related consequences of the war on drugs regardless of whether an officer takes part in racial profiling. Due to the high level of imprisonment of the disadvantaged minority groups, the outcomes would remain significant even in cases where no innocent person is investigated (Robinson, 2005).

Within democratic nations the police are in a unique position. A great deal of power is bestowed on them and they can undertake any action that disrupts personal freedom. They are given the power to detain, power to search, power to arrest, as well as power to muse force. Nearly all police department have experienced some form of corruption be it organized or major scandals. Misconducts in policing are set in such a way as to acquire financial gains, personal gains or career progression for officers in trade for selectively pursuing an arrest or investigation. Soliciting as accepting of bribes are the most common types of corruption in the police force. They are done so that illegal activities may not be brought to books. Police officers may also break the code of conduct so as to secure conviction of offenders. Though rare, police officers may engage in criminal activities (Gaines and Miller, 2008).

The judicial system in the United States is unique in that it is made up of two distinct court systems the state court system and the federal court system. Though these courts are charged with the mandate of hearing specific types of cases, they are not independent of each other, and they interact regularly. Vindication of legal rights as well as finding solutions for legal disputes is the main objectives of these courts. The main duty of the American court system is to develop, affirm, put into effect, and implement the law.

The main ideals of the court system in the United States is to uphold fairness, constitutional rights, follow the established precedent and balance the interest of the defendants against the government  in any trial. Federal judges are not allowed to be in charge of cases in which they may have bias to a person involved. Geographic jurisdiction ensures that the courts exercise their authority on people residing only in designated areas. Under the principle of federalism, crime is regarded as a local as well as state issue. The U.S. government has the principle mandate of defining as well as taking legal action on crimes (Robinson, n.d.).

The main members of the court rooms work group are the defense attorney, the judge and the prosecutor. Every constituent of the court room workgroup carries out its function and has its own objectives. The objective of the entire court room work group is however the same to get rid of cases. If power was to be equally distributed in the court process, the defense attorneys would have an added advantage of having greater share of resources needed to make sure that their clients are charged fairly through the criminal justice system. However, due to imbalance of power, more power is bestowed on the prosecutors who also have a greater share of resources.

Pretrial phase encompasses all the undertakings from the time a person is arrested, booked up to the time heshe is tried. The major decisions involved in this phase include whether to bail or not as well as the way a case should be disposed off. The money paid to court in exchange for release up to the time a case is terminated is referred to as bail, and is given based on assumption that innocent people should not be detained in opposition to will until the date of trial. Bail can however be denied and held in preventive detention if the person implicated is a great risk to the public security. There are various problems associated with bail. These include prejudice against minority as well as the poor. It may be inflated in some cases. Bail may also promote guilty pleas. The risk of conviction can be increased by preventive detention and lastly bails may often be needless. The agreement made by the prosecution and defense to admit guilt and a sentence is referred to as plea bargaining. It is made voluntarily without being forced and with total understanding by defendant. Plea bargaining occurs due to the court load, understaffed courts and imbalance of power. This practice is however rejected by many as it does not establish innocence or guilt (Gaines and Miller, 2008).

It is the right of all U.S. citizens to a just attorney. One of the main importances of the public attorneys is that they promote fairness by encouraging their clients not to plead guilty. Many people however prefer private attorneys because in many cases, they get their clients released. They also do all they can to ensure that their clients are sentenced to prison less. Public attorneys on the other hand fight hard to make sure that their clients get shorter sentences. Conviction rates for both public and private attorneys are however almost the same.

According to Robinson (2005), though the U.S. court system is popular for its maintenance of law and order, it is faced by numerous challenges. One of them is that not all cases culminate in a trial. Criminal trials in a number of cases are also dropped without giving a tangible reason. Work overload is the other challenge that faces the court system in the United States.

The authenticity of the criminal justice system is founded upon both its efficiency and its fairness. The ability to detect and investigate crime, identify criminals and administer the suitable sanctions to those implicated is used to judge the effectiveness of the court system. Fairness of the court system is determined by the efforts it makes to rectify imbalance of resources between the defendants and the state during investigatory, pre-trial, trial as well as appellate phases. Wrongful convictions undercut the two determinants of legitimacy of the criminal justice system. Wrongful conviction leads to punishment of a person for a wrong heshe did not commit while the actual perpetrator of the offense goes without charge (Rosen, 1992).

There are four types of sentences existing in the courts, given according to the magnitude of the case discharges, fines, communal sentences, and imprisonment.  Appropriate punishment for a particular crime is determined by the courts. One form of punishment is imprisonment. Monetary fines may be used together with imprisonment or alone. House arrest and probation are the other forms of punishment. People are punished in order to reduce crime as well as instill a law abiding behavior in a person. Punishment however has got its problems. It dose not help understand a person. Punishment also does not produce restitution or teach a person any preferable conduct. It also diminishes the sense of self worth for an individual (Criminal justice system, n.d.).

The type of punishment that a particular crime deserves is given by the judge. The judge tries hisher best to offer the fairest punishment for a crime. Punishment works because if a criminal is imprisoned, it removes himher from the community thereby reducing the level of crime ensuring public security.

The criminal justice system in the United States is made up of separate entities which include the federal, military, as well as state criminal justice systems. The government of the United States developed the law enforcement agency in order to carry out the role of marinating internal order. The police force in the U.S. is distinctively characterized by its responsiveness to the requests of the people. Courts in the criminal justice system are very important as they help dispose of cases.


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