Criminal Justice

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The federal criminal Justice system

Marcus W Stewart

CRJ 306: Criminal Law and Procedure

Keith Carr


In the United States of America criminal offences will not be tolerated and will be punishable in accordance to state and federal laws. When an individual is accused of a crime there are many procedures that must be followed to ensure the accused is given a fair chance to prove his or her innocence. The offender is protected through constitutional rights that ensure they are treated fairly. Because of the importance involved in determining guilt or innocence the criminal justice system must abide by a all procedural guidelines set forth to ensure each and every individual gets a fair trial.

Felonies are serious crimes that include rape, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, and arson. (Schmalleger 2007 Pg. 128). Generally felonies are punishable by a lengthy prison term or even death. When an individual is charged with a felony they have to go through specific steps into the processing procedure. After an individual goes through the court proceedings they will be sentenced to serve time in jail or prison.

Prisons are a state or federal confinement facility that has custodial authority over adults sentenced to confinement. (Schmalleger, 2007 Pg 482) Fifty four percent of people sentenced to state prisons are convicted of violent crimes, while property crimes and drug crimes are nearly tied as the second most common type of offences for which offenders are imprisoned. Federal prisons main offenders are drug offenders. Generally when a person is sentenced to serve time in a state or federal prison the length of stay is thirty-six months or longer.

Jails are locally operated short term confinement facilities originally built to hold suspects following arrests or pending trial. (Schmalleger, 2007 Pg 507)A jail houses people who have been convicted to serve a short sentence, individuals awaiting trial, people who have not yet paid bail,...