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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 185193 Find in a Library
Title: Overview of the Criminal Justice System (From Criminology, Seventh Edition, P 472-497, 2000, Larry J. Siegel, -- See NCJ-185178)
Author(s): Larry J. Siegel Ph.D.
Date Published: 2000
Page Count: 26
Sponsoring Agency: Wadsworth Publishing Co
Belmont, CA 94002
Sale Source: Wadsworth Publishing Co
Ten Davis Drive
Belmont, CA 94002
United States of America
Type: Overview Text
Format: Book (Hardbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Criminal justice refers to the formal processes and institutions that have been established to apprehend, try, punish, and treat law violators.
Abstract: Major components of the criminal justice system are law enforcement, courts, and correctional agencies. Police officers maintain public order, deter crime, and apprehend law violators. Courts determine the criminal liability of accused offenders brought before them and dispense sanctions to those found guilty of crime. Correctional agencies provide post-adjudicatory care to offenders who are sentenced by the courts to confinement or community supervision. Dissatisfaction with traditional forms of corrections has spurred the development of community-based facilities and work release and work furlough programs. There are about 55,000 criminal justice-related agencies in the United States. About 20,000 are police-related, 25,000 are court-related, and 9,000 are correctional agencies. They employ over 1 million people and cost taxpayers about $75 billion per year. Criminal justice can also be conceived as a process through which offenders flow. The criminal justice process begins with initial contact by a police agency and proceeds through investigation and custody, trial stages, and correctional system processing. At any stage of the process, the offender can be excused before a lack of evidence exists, the case is trivial, or a decision-maker simply decides to discontinue the case. Procedures, policies, and practices employed within the criminal justice system are scrutinized by courts to ensure they do not violate constitutional guarantees. Several different philosophies or perspectives dominate the criminal justice process. One is the crime control model which asserts the goals of justice are protection of the public and incapacitation of known offenders. In contrast, the due process model emphasizes liberal principles, such as legal rights and procedural fairness for offenders. The rehabilitation model views the criminal justice system as a wise and caring parent, the non-interventionist perspective calls for minimal interference in the lives of offenders, the justice model calls for equal treatment for all offenders, and the restorative justice model attempts non-punitive and humane solutions to the conflict inherent in crime and victimization. 71 notes, 2 tables, 4 figures, and 7 photographs
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Corrections; Criminal justice overview texts; Criminal justice system analysis; Due process model; Law enforcement; Police; Rehabilitation; United States of America
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