Criminal Justice System Paper

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Criminal Justice System Paper

CJS 200/Foundations of the Criminal Justice System

October 27, 2013

Quentin Gerbich

Criminal Justice System

The criminal justice system is made up of three components: the police, the courts, and corrections. All three must work together to ensure the safety and well-being of the populace.

The Police

The police make up the first component in the criminal justice system. The FBI created the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program to understand the number and type of crimes committed across the nation. A second program is the National Criminal Victimization Survey (NCVS), a program that surveys American households to see how individuals and their families have been directly affected by crime. (Schmalleger, F. (2011), p.35.) Law enforcement agencies use these reports to better understand the types of crimes committed, where they are committed, who is involved, and the numbers of crimes committed in certain areas. They can then put more cops in the area, or use the figures to improve already-used safety programs.

Police are the ones that are out there on the streets, enforcing the laws that have been decided by the state and/or nation. They investigate crimes reported and make an arrest in the case so the criminal can be brought to court to stand trial for those crimes.

The Courts

There are five types of law that the courts have to decide where crimes can be categorized: Criminal, civil, administrative, case, and procedural.

Criminal law is the belief that the acts of an individual harm society as a whole and, therefore, the set of rules that define the criminal act and the appropriate punishment for that act. (Schmalleger, F. (2011), p. 117.) Laws are then written to ensure just punishment for certain acts, divided into two types: Substantive criminal law and procedural law. Substantive law deals with specific types of crimes (such as murder, rape, robbery, etc.) while procedural law deals with the...