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Criminal Justice Notes

Criminal Justice Notes - Criminal Justice Notes Criminal...

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Criminal Justice Notes 8/30/07 Criminal Justice System Overview Goals Doing Justice Controlling Crime Preventing Crime Doing Justice Holding offenders accountable The rights of all people will be protected Like offenses will be treated alike Differences will be considered Controlling Crime Designed to control crime by: Arresting Prosecuting Convicting Punishing Preventing Crime Dependent on criminal justice officials and citizens American Justice Systems National (federal) State (local) It is possible to be charged with a federal crime and not a state crime Criminal Justice System Comprised of 3 interrelated units Police Courts Corrections Police Four major duties Keeping the peace (order maintenance) Catching violators and fighting crime Preventing crime Providing social services Courts Dual Court System Federal Court System 9 th Circuit System, US Supreme Court State Court System Municipal Court, Superior Court, Appellate Court, Supreme Court Corrections
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Federal, State, and Private Institutions No “typical” correctional facility 1 in 34 Americans are under correctional supervision Criminal Justice System Characteristics Discretion Resource Dependence Depend on public support Sequential Tasks Filtering Criminal Justice System Decision-Making Process 13 separate steps in the process that apply to police, courts, and corrections Investigation Arrest Booking Charging Initial appearance Preliminary hearing/grand jury Indictment/information Arraignment Trial Sentencing (determinate or indeterminate) Appeal Corrections Release Criminal Justice Layered “Wedding Cake” Layer 1: Celebrated Cases Layer 2: Serious Felonies Layer 3: Trivial Felonies Layer 4: Misdemeanors Administration of Criminal Justice Crime control Due process Crime Control (assembly line) Assumes we are trying to repress crime Freedom is so important that crime must be stopped Focused on trying to efficiently catch, try, convict, and punish offenders Discretion is the basis for decision-making by police and lawyers Due Process (obstacle course) Relies on reliable information to form decisions Freedom is so important that on ones rights should be diminished Emphasize the adversarial process and rights of the accused Rule of law is key in the decision-making process Disparity and Discrimination
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Hispanics, blacks, and other minorities are subjected to the criminal justice system more frequently than whites Explaining Disparities People of color commit more crimes The criminal justice system is racist The criminal justice system expresses the racism of society People of color commit more crimes People of color are a “criminal class” Research disagrees
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