The Roles of The Different Components of the Criminal Justice System

The Roles of The Different Components of the Criminal Justice System

The Roles of The Different Components of the Criminal Justice System
The criminal justice system plays an important role in American justice today. With all the components that make up the system, they were chronological to ensure that law and order prevail, and in case of a breach, the appropriate punishment is accorded. There are three major components of the united states’ criminal justice system: courts, law enforcement, and corrections. Each of these components plays a unique individual role and collectively works as a chain to pursue justice. Different departments within these components are tasked with different roles, ensuring that society is secured (Bohm, & Haley, 2017). This paper explores the components of the criminal justice system.
Law enforcement
Law enforcement is divided into different agencies, including the local law enforcement agencies, state law enforcement agencies, and federal law enforcement agencies. The local law enforcement agencies include the city police department, county sheriff, transit authority hospital police, university police, and others in charge of ensuring law and order within the county levels. State police enforcement agencies work within state jurisdictions enforcing each significant state; these rules vary from one to the next (Johnson, & Hunter, 2017). Finally, federal law enforcement agencies are authorized to enforce rules at the federal level and are at the command’s highest level (Johnson, & Hunter, 2017). An example is the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agency.
Primarily, all the professionals within the law enforcement agencies are expected to observe the provisions of police discretion. This is the process through which an officer acts in his or her judgment and authority (Beckett, 2016). This gives them the freedom and authority to make decisions within the moment of split judgment but still be within the law. An example is where a police officer is in a situation where he needs to decide whether to perform a search, make an arrest, issue a ticket, use a weapon, or help a civilian. Many law enforcement officers have violated the law as they use the police discretion to make decisions. This has mainly resulted in excessive force, thus amounting to police brutality. According to Beckett (2016), there is a thin line between the police discretion and violation of the law. Therefore, within a very short period, the police officer must strive to make appropriate judgments. This is despite the power of the discretion or the protection of qualified immunity following the shortcomings of the decision made under the police discretion.
Court System
The court system interprets and applies the law when disputes or law violations occur. It applies the law of controversies, thus resolving disputes between parties and government agencies. There are different types of courts in America. They are divided into the local courts that solve cases at the county and local levels, the state courts through which various states have different laws and regulations. The federal courts consist of the U.S. court of appeal, the U.S. District, and the U.S. Supreme court, the highest courts in the land.
How a Case Progresses Through a Court
Following an arrest, each party is represented by an attorney, the plaintiff, and the defendant. However, in other cases, they defend themselves, provided they adhere to the court rules. Different cases have a different process. For instance, in a criminal case, the first process is the initial appearances where the defendant comes to the court for the first time. The judge advises him on the charges and appoints him an attorney if he can afford one (Arizona Judicial Branch, 2020). The next step is the arraignment, where the defendant appeals in court to enter a plea of not guilty or guilty. In some cases, a defendant enters into a plea bargain in exchange for a prosecutor’s lesser sentence. A trial then follows this in the cases where the defendant pleads not guilty. Whether a jury can do this for a judge that hears the evidence presented to them determines whether the client is guilty or not guilty. After the trial, if the defendant is found guilty, the court will impose an appropriate sentence. however, if the defendant is discontented with the trial and verdict, he is allowed to appeal in higher courts (Arizona Judicial Branch, 2020)
If the case goes to the appeal court, the appellant files the appeal; in the appellant courts, it does not conduct the trial, but it only reviews the trial court’s exhibit to ascertain if the correct protocol was followed when making the decision. Once the case has been received, the court of appeal judges is left with three choices: Whether to affirm the trial court’s decision or reverse the decision or, in some instances, remand the case for a further trial or new trial in the trial court (Arizona Judicial Branch, 2020). Additionally, when a party wants the supreme court to hear a case, they file for a review petition, in which the supreme court decides whether to review or deny review (Arizona Judicial Branch, 2020). In most cases, the review is discretional. Following the case briefs review, the chief justice assigns a justice that writes a court’s majority opinion. The decision will either be to affirm, reverse, or remand the case. The court may, at times, be involved in the adjudication process. This way, it acts as the neutral party to find a resolution between two parties through some form of judgment or awards (Arizona Judicial Branch, 2020). The adjudication process gives the final judgment that will determine the course of action.
Correctional Systems
The United States’ correctional systems play an imperative role. It consists of different government agencies responsible for protecting the citizens from dangerous persons through incarcerations and probations or other forms of community supervisory programs (Bohm, & Haley, 2017). There are different correctional operational methods.
Private and Public Prison
With the increase in the number of offenders, the government is slowly resorting to a private prison. Public prisons are state-owned correctional facilities entirely run and owned by the government with major funding through taxpayers’ money. They are cheaper to operate, especially where there is a need to cut costs (Mamun et al., 2020). However, it is facing one major challenge, overcrowding. Private prisons have come in handy to alleviate this challenge. They are correctional facilities run by the private firms responsible for maintenance and staffing.
The Federal Bureau of prison is classified as prisons under the local, state, and federal prisons. State correctional facilities are for offenders that have committed state crimes such as robbery and assault. According to Mamun et al. (2020), states have different legislation on how the system is operated in capital punishment, probation, and release protocols. Federal prisons are designed to ensure that inmates who commit federal crimes are held. This includes offenders of crimes such as fraud, drug trafficking, or identity theft. They can either be minimum, medium, and low society. A correctional officer is also expected to exercise discretion when handling inmates to avoid crossing the line during correction procedures that prohibit them from using excessive force (Mamun et al., 2020).
Various components of the United States criminal justice system work collectively to ensure a smooth transition from one to the next, making the criminal justice system one whole entity. Law enforcement, courts, and correction work together to prevent and punish deviant behavior in society. With the technological advancements, the three components of criminal justice have adopted technology to affect the smooth operations. The criminal justice system had been to embrace the technology in transforming the criminal justice system to achieve social importance.

Beckett, K. (2016). The uses and abuses of police discretion: Toward harm reduction policing. Harv. L. & Policy Rev., 10, 77.
Deck, Sarah L., et al. “Are all complainants of sexual assault vulnerable? Views of Australian criminal justice professionals on the evidence-sharing process.” The International Journal of Evidence & Proof 26.1 (2022): 20-33.
Bohm, R. M., & Haley, K. N. (2017). Introduction to criminal justice. McGraw-Hill Education.
Johnson, T. C., & Hunter, R. D. (2017). Changes in homeland security activities since 9/11: an examination of state and local law enforcement agencies’ practices. Police Practice and Research, 18(2), 160-173.
Mamun, S., Li, X., Horn, B. P., & Chermak, J. M. (2020). Private vs. public prisons? A dynamic analysis of the long-term tradeoffs between cost-efficiency and recidivism in the U.S. prison system. Applied Economics, 1-13.
Arizona Judicial Branch (2020). How a case moves through a court system. Retrieved from:

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