Criminal Justice in 19
The foundation of criminal justice began as a private group, consisting of Noblemen and Churches.
However, since it was a
private ordeal, they only prosecuted individuals who harmed them personally.
As for other people who were harmed, often times
“blood-feuds” were inducements to settle the claims.
As monarchical government became popular in the 11
century, the criminal
justice system altered dramatically.
Soon, a frankpledge system formed which forced those who had outlawry to forfeit goods to the
king, which became a new source of royal revenue.
At this point in time, the frankpledge system was basically units of ten households
that were bound together and held responsible for one another’s conduct.
The chief pledge was a parish constable, and this was an
unpaid position. In addition, the chief pledges also had to manage their normal duties for their own livelihood.
Throughout the 18
and early 19
century, law enforcement authorities consisted of parish constables and magistrates, and large towns began
incorporating night watchmen.
As growth and mobility in population grew, this system became threatened.
began a system of pay to encourage people to work as watchmen, one of the first forms of modern day police.
Around 1782, there
was a strong demand for professional public police, which began to gain popularity.
In the early 19
century, there were numerous
amounts of police units and each began to strengthen in quantity.
During this era, magistrates essentially held all responsibility of
judicial duties, such as settling cases, preliminary investigations, and granting warrants, and containing public order, for example
restoring peace during a riot.
However, there were many flaws of this system.
First off, magistrates and enforcers were unpaid, so they lacked incentive to
engage in crime enforcement and prevention.
Also, malfeasance was very common throughout police at the local level.
accusations by those harmed were drained by general taxes imposed by government, which forced these individuals to weigh out the
costs and benefits of reporting any crimes.
Thirdly, the main idea of police had shifted from crime prevention to law enforcement.
Because of these flaws, the current system began to breakdown, which was clearly evident in the late 18