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Criminal Justice in 19th Century Write Up

Criminal Justice in 19th Century Write Up - 1 Criminal...

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1 Criminal Justice in 19 th Century 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 th 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 th and early 19 th 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. Metropolitan parishes 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 th 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. Secondly, 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.
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