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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77672 Find in a Library
Title: Two Centuries of American Criminal Justice
Author(s): Anonymous
Corporate Author: American Bar Association
United States of America

US Dept of Justice
Law Enforcement Assistance Admin
United States of America

Canadian Bar Assoc
Date Published: Unknown
Sponsoring Agency: American Bar Association

Canadian Bar Assoc
Ottawa, Ontario K1A OL6, Canada
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Format: Film
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The history of the criminal justice system in the United States is reviewed from the Nation's inception through the 1960's. Criminal justice reforms, particularly those regarding the rights of the criminal defendant, are emphasized.
Abstract: The film covers law enforcement in the 13 colonies including the variation in State laws and the establishment of a law enforcement force (the night watch) composed of civilians, the military, and volunteers. In addition, the film reviews the development of the prison system, the adoption by 17 States of the Code of Penal Law, and the rise of the Pinkerton Detective Agency in the 1800's. Other events cited in the film include the passage of 1883 legislation which established the civil service system, the operation of professional agencies such as the American Bar Association and the FBI, and the rise of organized crime during the Prohibition Era of the 1920's. The film also depicts such 1960 events as the Knapp Commission's findings of corruption in New York City police officers and the ABA's issuance of standards on the judges' role in court. The film notes that from 1960-68, crime doubled, 10 arrests occurred for every 100 serious crimes, and 4 out of 5 cases were plea bargained. Although the rights of criminal defendants were protected (Miranda, Griffin v. Illinois, Gideon v. Wainwright), the community remained unsafe and justice slow.
Index Term(s): American Bar Association (ABA); Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Films; Organized crime; Prison construction; Rights of the accused
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS. This is a 16 mm color film. It has a running time of 20 minutes.
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