The criminal justice system is a vital component of the executive government that is involved with the practices of institutions such as police departments, court system and the correctional facilities. The criminal justice system is held with ensuring that social controls are upheld, it is responsible for coming up with controls that are meant to deter and mitigate the occurrence of crimes in the society (Cole & Smith, 2006). This is the arm in the government that is involved with coming up with measures that are expected to sanction criminals and other violators of law in the country. It issues verdicts and rehabilitation efforts that are meant to reverse the moral decay of the offenders. In the United States, there is no single unit that can be held absolutely responsible for upholding the rule of law in the vast country with diverse cultural basis. This is due to the diversity that exists in the counties which results in state and federal sections of the criminal justice system. Any criminal justice system in the world is composed of three fundamental sectors that is; the policing sector, the courts and the correction component. The three are interdependent and their smooth operation in ensuring that the rule of law is upheld in the country is governed by the states supreme statutory mandate, the constitution (Gaines & Miller, 2008).
The court section of the criminal justice system
According to Cole & Smith (2006), courts are involved with the settling of disputes and the administration of justice in the country. The court system in the United States is unique and special as compared to other countries in the world. The court system in United States has two levels, that is the state level courts and the federal level courts in the country. The co-existence of this two courts and their harmonious execution of state’s mandate to ensure that the rule of law is upheld is the concept of fundamentalism that exists in the country (Gaines & Miller, 2008).
In order that the goals why any state criminal justice system should have a court system can be understood by the reader, there is a need for a brief explanation of how a court works in any established court system in the globe. According to Siegel (2009), the court process involves the accusation of a person as having committed an offence. The accused is called the defendant and the accuser is the plaintiff. The case involves a legal argument in which the account of what exactly happened is narrated. A judge or a panel of judges then makes ruling as to whether the defendant is guilty or not.
This brief analysis of how the courts system works in the country makes it easier to identify the goals of the court system. The most paramount obligation of the court system in the world is ensuring that justice is served in all situations. Any court system should always ensure that judgment made by a judge is just and it should never be impartial. All the parties that were entangled in the legal battle are held and the court personnel are all accountable for their actions. The accountability of the actions of the court personnel is enabled by having a jury that is held liable with finding the accused guilty or not guilty. It should be noted that the American court system never decides as to whether a person is innocent or not, but it gives verdict based on the evidence presented in a court of law. In order that courts never pass any judgement that is partial and unaccounted for, the rule of law should always have precedence in all cases, despite the sensitivity of the people involved. It is the obligation of the court to ensure that justice is always served and that everyone is subject to the laws of their respective countries. The court system in the country is held liable with ensuring all people in the country are treated equally and this is upheld at all times (Siegel, 2009).
Courts that are in the country are held liable with maintaining trust of the public in the court system. The confidence in the court system in any country is fundamental and very crucial. Therefore, it should be upheld with utmost integrity because the public depends on this system to ensure that justice is administered and if given a chance to doubt the credibility of the system, it can diminish the faith of the public in its ability to serve the interests of the public. The court does not serve to benefit itself, but to benefit each and every member of the society (Siegel, 2009).
The court system in any country is held liable with maintenance of the precarious equilibrium that arises in the society due to the inequalities that exist and the inherent in human beings to be in conflict because they hold different opinions. The court acts as the focal point in the society as it is the only place that both the accuser and accused come to settle their disputes or their differences. The court is expected to discern this case, dissect all the material facts that are presented and in coming up with the verdict it is expected to maintain the unstable equilibrium in the society. It is expected to apply the laws of the country in all its activities. Therefore, the effectiveness of this system’s application of the laws of the country will dictate the level of confidence the citizens have with the system. The more successful the system is in maintaining the rule of law, the more confidence the public have for the system and the more the system is able to maintain the unstable equilibrium (Cole & Smith, 2006).
The correctional facilities in the criminal justice system
Correction facilities are also referred to as prisons. Correction facility refers to the areas that offenders are confined (Barkan & Bryjak, 2011). According to Hess, Orthmann & Cho, (2010), it should be noted that the confinement of offenders in the US is only for serious offenders. The confinement deprives the inmates their physical liberty to move about freely. The incarceration of the inmates is meant to reduce the levels of people who are a threat to the tranquillity of the society peaceful co-existence.
The existence of the correction facilities in the country and the rest of the world mean that these facilities play a very crucial role in ensuring the well-being of the society is undisturbed. The following are the goals of the correctional facilities in the country: the retribution of the criminal offenders, secondly the deterrence of the offenders from repeating acts that will jeopardise the safety of the society at large, thirdly the facilities are held liable with ensuring that the inmates are rehabilitated and the correction facility should ensure that the inmates are incapacitated or restitution. Retribution of offenders refers to the idea that punishment should be meted on the offender and the intensity of the punishment depends greatly on the graveness of their offence. The punishment meted on the offender is not a consequential factor as a result of committing the offence whereby the proponent of consequential demand that a punishment should be given to the offender. In this case, the punishment act as a deterrent to the rest of the society members who would wish to follow suit and commit criminal offences that are similar to those of the offender at hand. This objective etched from the rule that states an eye for any eye and a tooth for a tooth (Cole & Smith, 2006).
The deterrent goal of the correction facilities is meant to convince the inmates never to repeat the crime they committed by subjecting them to very harsh conditions such as hard labour. The proponent of this argument state graveness of the punishment that is subjected to the inmates in the correctional facilities is meant to detract potential offenders from indulging in criminal activities whose consequences are more dire compared to the benefits that they will reap if they commit the crime and the long arm of the law catches up with them (Cole & Smith, 2006).
The correction facilities are meant to rehabilitate, help the inmates’ reform and basically correct them. This is the cardinal obligation of this institution in the criminal justice system. This objective aims at rehabilitating the inmates by helping stop their criminal deeds. The process is expected to eliminate the defects and the deficiencies that are affecting the inmates so that they are in a position to mingle with the rest of the society more freely and interdependently when they are released from the correctional facilities. The correction or the rehabilitation process is meant to transform these inmates into productive members of the society who are going to contribute positively towards the betterment of the society’s well-being. This process incorporates things such as the acquisition of educational, work skills, deferred gratification for the good done, the ability to treat others and oneself with a lot of respect and self disciplined and not to indulge in compromising situations, (Barkan & Bryjak, 2011).
Restitution of inmates, entails making the inmates repay the society for their crimes that have distracted the tranquility of its existence. This employment is intended to benefit the community, as a result a number of the correctional facilities act as labor camps in a number of countries. The form of restitution that is being practiced today is community service. A community service is issued to people who commit petty crimes that don’t deserve incarceration as this would lead to overcrowding in prisons. Incapacitation on the other hand is involved with the incarceration of more horrendous criminals. Incapacitation can be defined as the art of legally making someone incapable of doing anything or making them illegible to do the same under the rule of law. Incapacitation of an inmate will absolutely restrain them from committing the same crimes they committed to the public ever again (Hess, Orthmann & Cho, 2010).
The policing in the criminal justice system
Policing is a very important component of the criminal justice system as it is the section that always has the first chance to interact with the offenders. The police officers investigate the suspected breach of the law by a person and make an arrest if necessary. Policing is a vital component of the country and its main goals are aligned in its mission of ensuring that public safety is enhanced and maintained always. The mission is differentiated into many other activities, but whose main concern is the maintenance of law and order engulfed in a number of goals as discussed below.
Law enforcing agents in the country are mandated with ensuring that they prevent and come up with strategies that will prevent events that are expected or suspected to threaten life and property of the residents within their jurisdiction. This role of crime prevention is cardinal and therefore, the duty of the police officers to come up with crime deterrent and mitigating strategies that will be cost effective and most importantly ensure that the society is safe (Barkan & Bryjak, 2011).
It is the subjectivity expected from police officers such that the society expects them to help or come up with ways that will save a person who is in danger of physical harm. In the law enforcement agencies, the code of ethics that is expected to guide to the agents in carrying out their mandate, it states that the main objective of any police officer is to serve mankind by safeguarding life at whatever cost (Hess, Orthmann & Cho, 2010).
It is expected that all agents of the policing unit are expected to assist all those incapable of helping themselves. It is the duty of the agent to ensure that they are not exploited or deceive because of their venerability. It is the objective of the policing unit to facilitate the move of people and property freely and easily within the country. The policing department is expected to come up with strategies and programs that will maintain the confidence of the public in the ability of the force to tackle the issue of crime in the society. This objective is realizable if the policing unit combines its effort with the community to curb crime. This can be achieved if the police force identifies that community policing is a dominant force that deters crime in neighborhoods and they should aid this unit technical support where and whenever deemed necessary. Close coordination and collaboration between the police and the community boasts the confidence of the public to the ability of the force to maintain its safety (Barkan & Bryjak, 2011).
In conclusion, it is evident that the criminal justice system is a very crucial component of the government in any country. It can be asserted that this system plays a crucial role in maintaining social order. It is evident that the policing lays the leading role in making sure social order is maintained through the prevention of crime and arresting criminals. The court system plays its role of ensuring that impartial justice of the defendant and plaintiff prevails through fair judgments. Lastly, the correctional facilities are mandated with rehabilitating the inmates so that they can fit back into the society and live harmoniously with the rest of the society members.
Barkan, S., E. & Bryjak, G., J. (2011). Fundamentals of Criminal Justice: A Sociological View. New York: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Cole, G., F. & Smith, C., E. (2006). The American System of Criminal Justice. Upper Sadde River: Cengage Learning.
Gaines, L., K. & Miller, R., L. (2008). Criminal Justice in Action: The Core. Upper Sadde River: Cengage Learning.
Hess, K., M., Orthmann, C., H. & Cho, H., L. (2010). Police Operations: Theory and Practice. Upper Sadde River: Cengage Learning.
Siegel, L., J. (2009). Introduction to Criminal Justice. Upper Sadde River: Cengage Learning.