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The criminal justice system is made up of many components but the three major components are the police, correctional agencies, and criminal courts. Within the judicial system, the police are the first step. They are the first responders to any crime scene which goes into the investigation process. The investigation process will then lead to possible arrests; the criminal is then booked and processed. They are given a court date and from that point the case is in the criminal courts domain.
From that point the criminal courts then conduct a fair and impartial trial. The criminal courts are there to protect the rights of anyone facing processing by the justice system. The suspect is then found guilty or not guilty. If the defendant is found guilty they are then transferred from the county jail, where they were being held, to a state prison or correctional facility. The final step within the judicial system is the correctional agencies.
However, appeals may be filed and the criminal will go through the court system again.
Correctional facilities have different levels: minimum security and maximum security. The severity of the crime will determine which one of the facilities the criminal will end up in. The structure of the government relates to the criminal justice system in many ways. Like the criminal justice system, the government is also made up of different agencies that must work in harmony to serve a purpose. It also relates to the criminal justice system because the government is who makes the laws.
Those laws vary from state to state in terms of penalties for misdemeanors, felonies, infractions, etc. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Under our form of government, each State and the Federal Government has its own criminal justice system” (BJS, 2012). After the laws are made, it is then the responsibility of the criminal justice agencies to enforce them. Although it seems that all of the mentioned entities work separate and alone, which in some cases they do, they are all working for the same purpose, reason, and results.
Bureau of Justice Statistics, BJS, The Structure of the justice system Retrieved from: http://www.bjs.gov/content/justsys.cfm
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