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Criminal Justice System Research Paper Example

criminal justice research topics
criminal justice topics
criminal justice research paper topics
criminal justice essay topics
criminal justice paper topics
Legal professionals define crime as any action or unlawful act that is illegal in a given state and that is punishable by the state or country legal institutions (Maravall & Przeworski, 2003).The action or activity has to be declared a crime by the country’s law. Many crimes are universally accepted as crime such as theft, robbery, murder and rape. It is common in many countries’ laws to categorize crime into criminal codes depending on the type of crime.
The society employs various models to determine what can be considered as a crime. The first is the consensus model where majority of societal members view the act in question as a crime. A society is usually bound by common beliefs, morals and values. If an act generally goes against this established values and morals that are accepted by the majority, then it constitutes a crime (Maravall & Przeworski, 2003).If a person goes against these set values is viewed as a threat to society and thus should be punished. An example of a crime considered through the consensus model is alcohol drinking, though accepted in secular societies, it constitutes as a crime if you happen to be in most Muslim societies since Muslims abhor drinking.
The conflict model is the other model that determines what is to be considered a crime. This is usually determined by the group of people in power usually parliamentarians, religious groups and economists. Each class or segment in the society is always at a conflict in their quest to control the societies shared resources. The segment or class with power influences the law and what is considered a crime in the land.
Government structures in the CJS
All governments set up criminal justice systems that are meant to promote the rule of law and punish law breakers. The first institution is the legislature. This can be either state, federal or county legislatures that are tasked with legislating laws that define crime acts in the land, determine the type of punishment for the different types and categories of crimes. The legislature also passes and allocates funds for the other institutions that are tasked with enforcing law in the land (Lloyd, 2010).
The other department that is found in the CJS system is the police department. These agencies enforce the law of the land and also to prevent and controlling crime in their area of service. They apprehend criminals and pass them to the law courts. In the courts persons accused are tried before a judging panel and sentenced if proven guilty.it punishes perpetrators while giving justice to the aggrieved. If sentenced perpetrators are sent to correctional facilities .
Crime theories
         The biology/ genetics theory traces criminal behavior as inheritable from a parent with criminal DNA passing such a behavior to the children. As indicated above laws are made by groups of people in power. If they categorize a certain action as a crime they label the segment participating in the action as a criminal under the Labeling theory (Maravall & Przeworski, 2003).
According to the Social Control Theory people engage in crime if there is absence of control institutions such as churches, families and other social institutions. The Strain theory states that since resources in a given society are limited, the disadvantaged may engage in crime as they try to get theirshare of scarce resources.The social dis-organizational theory states that the environment a person is brought up may influence one into crime. This describes why crime is prevalent in most ghettos (Mathieu,2007). The Social learning theory states that people may learn of crime from the people they associate with and become criminals themselves. The rational choice theory states that people engage in crime by making their own personal decisions with intent to benefit from the criminal act.
Components of the Criminal Justice System and Criminal Justice Process
The first component is the Law enforcement which is tasked with reporting crime in their locations investigates arrest and give testimony in a court of law. The Prosecution comprises of state officials who collect evidence and determine whether to file for charges or drop the case. Defense attorneys represent the accused and they act on behalf of the defendants. The courts evaluate evidence and sentence the guilty party according to the crime. The correctional facilities punish offenders while at the same time try to rehabilitate them to quit their criminal ways.
Goals of the criminal justice system
The Criminal Justice system is tasked with prevention of crime by apprehending and destroying networks that plan on engaging in crime. It also educates the population on the law and what is a crime to prevent them from engaging in criminal activities. The CJS also controls crime by apprehending and punishing people who engage in crime. The CJS is also tasked with ensuring justice for victims of criminal activities (Keith, 2012).
Conclusion and Views
       Though the criminal justice system is identified by many as a ‘system’ I beg to differ on this. A system generally functions harmoniously with little differences among the various components. This means that a suspect apprehended by police is as good as guilty and the probability of punishment is high. Criminal justice comprises of independent institutions which act independently. They also receive funding independently as separate bodies and not as a whole system. The only thing that conjoins them is that they aim to maintain law and order to ensure stability
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Keith, J. (2012). City Limits: Crime, Consumerism and the Urban Experience. New York: Routledge.
Lloyd, O. (2010). Delinquency and Opportunity.San Francisco: Free Press.
Maravall, J. M., & Przeworski, A. (2003). Democracy and the rule of law. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Mathieu, D. (2007). “Surveillance and Criminal Statistics: Historical Foundations of Governmentality.” Chicago: JAI Press.