ccj - The Components of the Criminal Justice System and how...

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The Components of the Criminal Justice System and how they Work Together CCJ 3024 Thursday April 3, 2008 Brandon Geick B1434849 1
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America’s Criminal Justice System has evolved over the years from the 1801 night- watch system in Boston to the fully evolved 24-hour system of today. Like all large, encompassing agencies our Criminal Justice System has four main components: Law Enforcement; Prosecution; Judiciary; and Corrections. The idea behind these four components mimics our Nation’s ‘separation of power.’ The split between the Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches ensures a ‘checks and balances’ system. Each branch or component has particular powers themselves along with power over the other branches. In the Criminal Justice System the ‘power over the other branches’ comes in the form of a sequence of events. Law enforcement will apprehend and charge the offender while the Judiciary system oversees the prosecution and decides upon a proper correction method. Each stage verifies the accused is in fact guilty, assuming innocence until proven guilty. Unfortunately it is due to human nature the Criminal Justice System needs to be implemented. Early establishments did not need extensive corrections—probably due to their size. This is not the case in America. “The basic purpose of the Criminal Justice System is to deal with those who commit or are accused of committing acts against individuals and society that have been deemed to be crimes. Crimes are the reason for the system's existence” (Osceola 2000). This brings up law enforcement, the first component of the Criminal Justice System. The way in which law enforcement enforces these laws has changed over the years. A crime wave in the 70’s forced law enforcement to change from a previous reactive method to new proactive strategies. The new intent was to stop crimes before they were committed. This called upon a widespread acceptance of community policing in the 80’s (Gaines 105). 2
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“Law Enforcement is comprised of those agencies that enforce the criminal laws of society at the local, state or federal level” (Osceola 2000). These agencies consist of local sheriffs, highway patrol, FBI, Secret Service, DEA and the US Marshals. Each one of these agencies is responsible for their own jurisdiction and obligations. “The responsibilities of police include: enforce laws; provide services; prevent crime; and preserve the peace” (Gaines 116). “The primary role of the police is to enforce society’s laws” (Gaines 117). The law enforcement component of the Criminal Justice System is involved in seeking out and apprehending those who violate the law. The second component of the Criminal Justice System, prosecution, deals with the
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course CCJ 3000 taught by Professor Vail during the Spring '08 term at University of Central Florida.

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ccj - The Components of the Criminal Justice System and how...

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