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Unformatted text preview: Text Pgs: 12-28 The Flow of Decision Making in the Criminal Justice System o The processing of cases in the criminal justice system invoices a series of decisions by police officers, prosecutors, judges, probation officers, wardens and parole board members. At each stage in the process, they decide whether a case will move on to the next stage or be dropped from the system. At each step, officials have the discretion to decide what happens next. Steps in the Decision Making Process: 1. Investigation: the process begins when the police believe that a crime has been committed. The police normally depend on a member of the community to report the offense. 2. Arrest: the physical taking of a person into custody on the grounds that there is reason to believe that he or she has committed a criminal offense. Police may use only reasonable physical force in making an arrest. The purpose of the arrest is to hold the accused for a court proceeding. a. under some conditions, arrests may be made on the basis of a warrant: a court order authorizing police officers to take certain actions, for example, to arrest suspects or to search a premises. Most arrests are made without warrants, and in some states, police officers may issue a summons or citation that orders a person to appear in court on a certain date. 3. Booking: after an arrest is made, the suspect is usually transported to a police station for booking, in which a record is made of the arrest. A suspect may be fingerprinted, photographed, questioned, and placed in a line up. 4. Charging: Prosecuting attorneys are the key link between the police and the courts. The decision to charge is crucial because it sets in motion the adjudication of the case. 5. Initial Appearance: Within a reasonable time after the arrest, the suspect must be brought before a judge. The suspect is given formal notice of the charge(s) for which they are being held, advised of their rights, and, if approved by the judge, given a chance to post bail....
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- Fall '08