Criminal Justice Trends Essay

1657 words - 7 pages - tyreswindbound ✓ Expert Reviewed

The criminal justice system is a group of institutions that work together to protect a society, prevent and control crime, and maintain justice; enforcing the laws regulated by society. As the years have gone by and society has evolved; so have the criminal justice system and its methods to accomplish its role in society. This short analysis will evaluate the main facts that have been affecting the criminal justice system for decades and have influenced the evolution the justice system is enduring in a changing society (Muraski, 2009). Amongst the changes in the system, we will discuss the effect the changes have had on the citizens and how their perceptions have evolved as well.
In the criminal justice system three major agencies can be identified, they are; the police, the courts, and the correctional institution. The police responsibilities are of that of keeping the peace, apprehension of criminals, combat and prevention of crime, and social services. Once officers have been involved and it is determined that a crime or any other infraction has been committed, then the case will move into the jurisdiction of the courts. The court system will then be responsible for the adjudication of the subject where then the correctional system will impose whatever punishment or treatment was deemed by the courts. Once the corrections systems have received an inmate, the punishment phase will commence, whether it is imprisonment, probation, or community based correction. The previously mentioned are the three mayor agencies that process a citizen who has committed a crime against the state law, as you can see, the process is similar to that of an assembly line one might find in a factory. All agencies are linked together as one for the simple fact that a decision made from the first agency can and may impact the process throughout the other agencies. Specific characteristics that interlink these three agencies are discretion, resource dependence, sequential tasks, and filtering (Cole, 2008). All phases of the justice system reflect the freedom to make a decision according to the own judgment of the agent that is working with a case at the moment. The abuse of discretion leads to the most notable issue that affects the accuracy and effectiveness of the system, discrimination. Even thought discretion is one of the most important characteristic of the system because the American criminal justice does not have the tools to treat each individual case the same way, on the other hand the system can’t afford to have every single case leading to an investigation. American criminal justice to be effective needs accuracy due to the resource dependence of each agency has on another. Every decision made between all these agencies is sequential. To have a case seen in court, an arrest has to be made by a police officer, then and prosecutors and judges have the responsibility of adjudication, then correction implement the punishment according to the prior...

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