Criminaljustice is a system established by the government or other agenciesto control and mitigate crime within the community. Based on laws,the CriminalJustice Systemsanctions those who violate these laws through penalties. The systemsdiffer from place to place depending on the jurisdiction in charge.The main stakeholders in this system are the police and the courts,and together with the citizens, have different rights andresponsibilities. The criminal justice structure is important in anysociety to ensure that there are defined standards of behavior toprovide an environment that is conducive for effective performance ofdaily activities.
Thecriminal justice system was developed in the early 1900s andintroduced as an academic discipline. However, it is in the 1960sthat the rate of crime increased tremendously leading to amendment inthe system to enhance effectiveness. At the same time, scholars alsoobserved that crimes had a direct impact on the social welfare. Thisled to the incorporation of sociology, criminology and psychology toanalyze the issues surrounding crimes, their causes and the mosteffective punishment (Bohm & Haley, 2012).
Thecriminal justice system comprises of five major parts, namely: lawenforcement, defense attorneys, prosecution, the court system, andfinally the corrections. Law enforcement officers receive reports oncrimes and carry out investigations regarding the same to ensure thelegitimacy of the claim. The prosecution is a group of lawyersrepresenting the government and is responsible for filing or droppingcharges. This is done after investigation into the evidence providedis conducted to establish how to prosecute. Defense attorneys defendvictims accused by the state of involvement in a crime. In caseswhere the victim cannot afford an attorney, the law requires that thegovernment hires one for the victim. The court, through the judges,oversees procedures and eventually sentences the victims withreference to the laws. Correction applies to those who are foundguilty and is implemented by correction officers in form of jail orprison time, community service or detention. In special cases, thevictim also undergoes rehabilitation (Neubauer & Fradella, 2010).
Thelaw recognizes the rights of the victim. After the prosecutiondecides to press charges the victim first appears in court to getinformation on the charged offences, and their rights in relation tothe case. After the first court appearance, the judge may release thevictim or hold him in jail before the next trial. Release of thesuspect involves bond, bail or the victim’s promise to return forany further proceedings. The victim also has the right to request fora grand jury which involves participation of citizens in determiningprosecution. (Neubauer & Fradella, 2010)
Theadjudication process is the judicial process of deciding a case. Mostcases are resolved through plea conformitiesinwhich the defendant agrees to plead guilty of one or more chargesagainst them. This is in a bid to either dismiss one or more charges,or to recommend a lenient sentence. On the other hand trials are madebefore a judge or jury or both but this is determined by thetemperament of the case. Questioning of witnesses and investigationof the evidence are characteristic features in trials which determinethe sentence or probation (Neubauer & Fradella, 2010).
Formore effectiveness in the criminal justice system it is necessary toconstantly reform the policies and rights of the participantsinvolved and also to limit costs involved. This can be achievedthrough constant review of the rule of law in order to maintain orderin a dynamic society. The criminal justice system should also make aneffort in eradicating the delays involved in the system byeliminating some of the unnecessary procedures. By taking advantageof advanced technology, the system can also adapt new ways of recordkeeping in order easing the access of case files.
Bohm,R., & Haley, K. (2012). Introductionto Criminal Justice(7th ed.). McGraw-Hill
Neubauer,D., & Fradella, H. (2010). America`sCourts and the Criminal Justice System(10th ed.). Cengage Learning.