There are three main components of understanding the components of criminal justice. They are law enforcement, courts, and corrections. First is law enforcement, it broadly refers to any system by which some members of society act in an organized manner to promote adherence to the law by punishing people who violate the rules governing that society. However, the term may encompass entities such as courts and prisons, it is most frequently applied to those who directly engage in patrols or surveillance to dissuade and discover criminal activity, and those who investigate crimes and apprehend offenders.
Next are courts. It’s a tribunal, often a governmental institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law. The third and final component of the criminal justice system is corrections. The role of this component is to uphold and administer sentences handed down by judges. The corrections system, which is tightly intertwined with the previous two components, is very important and quite large. The corrections component includes jails, prisons, correctional officers, probation officers and parole officers.
Criminal procedures are safeguards against the indiscriminate application of criminal laws and the wanton treatment of suspected criminals. Specifically, they are designed to enforce the constitutional rights of criminal suspects and defendants, beginning with initial police contact and continuing through arrest, investigation, trial, sentencing, and appeals. The U.S. Supreme Court, pursuant to its authority under the Rules Enabling Act, first promulgated the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which Congress, in turn, passed. The Federal Rules outline the procedure for conducting federal criminal trials. Similarly, states have their own codes of criminal procedure of which many closely model the Federal Rules.
The Federal Rules incorporate and expound upon all guarantees included within the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights. A few of the rights guaranteed to criminal defendants by the Constitution include the guarantees of due process and equal protection under the laws, the right to have legal counsel present, the right to confront witnesses, the right to a jury trial, and the right to not testify against oneself. While state constitutions and procedural rules may increase the protection afforded to criminal defendants, they may not offer less protection than that guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
According to Freedictionary, policing is to regulate, control, or keep in order with or as if with a law enforcement agency and to make (a military area, for example) neat in appearance: policed the barracks. On the other hand, community policing is a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies, which support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques, to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime.
Corrections are a euphemism. It’s a less distasteful word chosen to represent jails and prisons. For many professionals involved in the justice system, though, the word represents a hope that the people they deal with can learn from their mistakes and return to society as productive citizens. The history of corrections is full of various interpretations of the purposes of removing criminals from society–a debate that continues in today’s theories of corrections. Penology comes from the Latin word poena, “punishment” and the suffix -logy, “study of”. It is a section of criminology that deals with the philosophy and practice of various societies in their attempts to repress criminal activities, and satisfy public opinion via an appropriate treatment regime for persons convicted of criminal offenses.
Ethical issues in criminal justice have been addressed on both a philosophical and historical level. Ethical issues have existed in relation to government, policing and international politics for centuries. The standard code of ethics that law enforcement personnel and public servants are asked to uphold can often be translated subjectively by individuals, resulting in the possibility of ethically questionable conduct. Ethical issues regarding brutality, corruption and off-duty behavior have become an increasing challenge in criminal justice.
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