The U.S. Criminal Justice System - Essay Example

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This paper "The U.S. Criminal Justice System" focuses on the evolution of the U.S criminal justice system and the variations across the states in an effort to understand the reasons and factors why the United States has been reluctant in adopting the unified justice system…
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The U.S. Criminal Justice System
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Download file to see previous pages The U.S criminal justice system has evolved as an assortment of various structures and components which operate independently. Like the systems in other countries, the U.S criminal justice is an interaction of three major components; the law enforcement agencies, the court systems and the correctional system (Carlson and Garrett, 2006). Each of the systems operates as an independent entity with little association among the various agencies. The American system majorly owes its roots from the England during the colonization era. During the colonial era, issues of crime were majorly handled by vigilante groups and private citizens. In absence of a governing system with regard to administration of justice, the British colonialists introduced several English legal traditions in America without replacing the private system and the customs adapted from other parts of the world. However, this informal system became obsolete due to the increasing population and urban growth paving way for elites under the premise of enlightenment to challenge the existing criminal justice system which was primarily based on capital punishment and torture among other inhumane acts. In the wake of the enlightenment era, there was a move towards a more defined system with written rules and punishment. The central dogma for the justice system advocated by the enlightenment group was the need to have a system which would make people more aware of illegal actions and their respective consequences.  There was also need for equality and uniformity to be applied in the administration of justice. The American Revolution set the stage for the U.S to establish its own criminal justice system free from interference by the British. A rapid transformation of the criminal justice system was witnessed in the nineteenth century marked by increase in urban law enforcers and correctional system. However, the increased level of crime despite the transformations paved way for professionalism in the criminal justice system in an effort to understand the root causes of crime and effective control measures (Matthews et al, 2007).
The increased professionalism led to implementation of more effective policies and processes in the justice system. This led to heightened efforts in empowering the various law enforcement agencies, courts and correctional systems at federal, state and county levels. As a result, the U.S system has remained as a complex assortment of highly fragmented organizations which interact with each other indifferent ways. Though there have been calls for transformation of the U.S criminal justice towards a unified system, such efforts have been met with opposition from various stakeholders like politicians and other beneficiaries hence majority of the states have retained the fragmented system. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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