Author Professor Subject Date The Criminal Justice System The Criminal Justice System is a complex organization that consists of different institutions and agencies that have different functions and roles. Most of the time, these entities interact or work with each other towards a goal…
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It is further concerned with other activities such as the disposition of offenders and treatment of juveniles found to have committed a criminal act. The criminal justice system also includes public institutions and key players such as the police, prosecutors, courts, corrections, crime victims and so on (“Criminal Justice System”). Purpose According to Frase and Weidner, the criminal justice system has the primary purpose of enforcing laws in line with the defined rules and limitations. The authors furthered that the “system” refers to “something highly rational – carefully planned, coordinated, and regulated” (Frase & Weidner). On the other hand, Drakeford and Friedman reiterated that controlling crime and assuring due process are the two main purposes of the criminal justice system (5). Key Players’ Functions The criminal justice system is composed of four institutions, namely, police, prosecution, courts, and corrections, and these interact with each other towards a balanced action for justice. In simpler terms, the police are responsible for enforcing the law; the courts are responsible for hearing the legality of the crime, and; corrections house the convicted offenders. The following section lists the specific responsibilities of these key players. Police. According to Stevens, the police have intended and unintended functions that include the following: morals enforcement, class control, riot control, order maintenance, safety, service, and crime fighting. Other specific functions include the following: To subdue conduct that is considered threatening. To protect or help a person who is harmed. To uphold security in the community. To help people who are unable to help themselves such as the handicap, the mentally ill, the old and the young, and others. To help in resolving conflict between groups and individuals. To oversee the movement of vehicles and people. To recognize problems that can become serious problems (Stevens). Prosecutor. The main function of the prosecutor in a trial is to convince the jury that the defendant is guilty of the crime. Other functions include, but not limited to, the following: To ensure that the guilty person is convicted. To charge suspect with a crime. To represent the government during a trial. To assist in selecting jurors. To call on witnesses to prove the defendant’s guilt. To cross-examine the witnesses presented by the defense (Read). Court. The court consists of the prosecutors, judges and other stakeholders, each of which has roles to fulfill. The prosecuting office must present evidence to the court regarding the guilt of the offender. The prosecutor is usually involved during the initial investigation, pretrial hearings and during the trial. During the preliminary hearing, several factors such as the severity of the offense, will determine the next step. The lack of probable cause can lead to the dismissal of the case. Otherwise the case may be brought to the grand jury. If there is sufficient evidence, the grand jury then decides to try the offender (Drakeford & Friedman, 8-9). Corrections. Drakeford and Friedman stated that corrections have several purposes, one of which is to punish the offenders. This is based on the belief that punishment deters offenders from criminal behavior. Another purpose of the corrections is to protect the society from these offenders. The third purpose is to rehabilitate the offenders (10). Interaction of Key Players The key players in the criminal justice system,
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