The Criminal Justice System and How it Works

Judge thomas e. scott

Criminal justice is a very broad term that can encompass a lot of different areas. It may be more widely known as a college degree but criminal justice actually describes the system used to practice upholding social control and well as deterring crime and sanctioning anyone who violates the law with relative penalties, punishment or rehabilitation. The whole idea is being able to bring justice to anyone to disobeys the laws that have been set in place in order to protect not only the other people involved or around them but the criminal themselves, as well. Whether it’s an employment discrimination case or you are filing for bankruptcy and something happens that is not in accordance with the law or a violation of your civil rights has taken place, criminal justice is put in place to make sure that you are heard.

How it Works
The criminal justice system is made of three main categories. These are legislative, adjudication and correction. All of these operate together under the law in order to maintain and uphold the law.

  1. The Legislative Branch
    This is basically where laws are made. The Senate and the House of Representatives make up the legislative branch of Congress. Here they write laws, discuss them and then vote on them. There has to be two senators representing each state, making up 100 senators in total. There are 435 representatives in the House of Representatives. The amount of representatives from each state is determined by the size of the population of said state. Each party elects their own leader. The leader of the house is called the majority leader and the leader of the senate is called the minority leader.

  2. The Adjudication
    This refers to the courts. It’s a legal process used when an arbiter or a judge looks at evidence that is presented by the accusing party and the defending party. They have to determine if the accused party is guilty based on the information that they receive. Adjudication resolves three different kinds of disputes:

    • Disputes between individuals or corporations or other private parties
    • Disputes between public officials and private parties
    • Disputes between public officials and public parties
  3. This process is also known as arbitration as well as adjudication.

  4. Corrections
    This involves the punishment or treatment of a person that has been convicted of a crime. This can include jail time or imprisonment, parole or probation, community service or whatever other kind of punishment the court decides on during the adjudication part of the process.

The whole process is a very well thought out and planned process that involves a lot of organization and evidence. The idea is that no one will go unpunished who deserves it and no one will be punished who is innocent. While it is not a fool proof system, it has worked thus far. The problems or challenges that face professionals in the justice system are as follows:

  1. Despite advances in technology, there are still cases that have found that the forensic science proved to be inaccurate or erroneous. The forensic science is usually at fault when someone is convicted for a crime that they later turn out to be innocent of. It can be a dangerous mistake to make, especially in states that uphold capital punishment.

  2. The appeals process could also use a little work. Generally speaking, when a case is appealed, it deals with what happened during the original trial and not on actual facts of the case or whether the person is guilty or innocent.

  3. There have been counts of police abusing their power, although not as many as the media likes to portray. However, unfortunately there are some corrupt police and misconduct can occur.

  4. The main problem with the court system is the time it takes to get through a case. There have been many complaints about how long a case takes and while the judge has little control over that, the attorneys of a case tend to drag their feet if things seem to not be going their way.

Overall, the justice system is doing the best that they can and the further technology advances and the more processes are looked in to, the better the whole system will become, little by little. We all learn by trial and error and the court system is no different.

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