Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice week 1 paper When you think about criminal justice, the first thing that comes to mind is the word, crime. Many people do not understand the actual definition of crime or its relationship to law. Society usually sees criminal justice as an officer making an arrest, when there is a lot more to it. Within criminal justice there is a government structure, choice theories, goals and three components that make up the criminal justice process. Many have posed the question of wanting to know if the criminal justice system is actually a system.

Using the three components and the process and goals I do believe that it is a system. What is crime? Crime is when a person has created an act or omission against the law. According to “Merriam-Webster ” (2012), “a grave offense especially against morality. ” defines crime. How does this relate the law? Have you heard of the old saying, you cannot have one without the other? Law can be defined as the set of regulations determined by a group of people who decide what is right and what is wrong. When those regulations are broken, it creates a crime. There are two models that help society determine what acts are criminal.

The consensus model is a diverse group of people, who come together and decide based on their beliefs. The conflict model, leaves it to those with the higher power. There are different theories on why crimes are committed. One theory would be classical theory, it suggests that crime is committed with individual will. For example; each individual has the will to say they are not going to rob that store or steal that truck. There is a theory that seconds guesses the classical theory and that is the social theory. The social process theory relates to crime being made because those individuals had failure in self direction.

For example; if a boy grew up in a home where gang relations were present, that is a failure of self direction because it is leading him to commit the same acts of crime. These two choice theories can have an impact on the components of criminal justice and its structure and process. The government structure applies the criminal justice system and its process components. The government structure includes legislation, judicial and executive branches. According to “Cliff Notes” (2012), “Legislatures, both state and federal, define crimes, fix sentences, and provide funding for criminal justice agencies. The judicial side of the government is the ones the over sees the trials of those who are suspected of committing the crime. The executive can apply to the criminal justice system by being the ones that appoint the leaders such as judges. That can help in grand jury and supreme court. These effect the three components of what makes the criminal justice system. The three components are the police/law enforcement, courts and corrections. The police and law enforcement are the enforcers, they take care of situations such as booking and warrants.

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Courts are the ones that submit the preliminary hearing, making sure that the individuals rights are being taken care of. The corrections are those who carry out the sentencing of those convicted. Corrections can be from probation officers to correctional officers for prisons. These three components and what they do are the process of the criminal justice system. Having a strong criminal justice system is important and without any of these, it would not be strong. Goals are a big part of making sure that the criminal justice system stays strong and acts sufficiently.

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