A Criminal Justice Integration Project

Introduction

This paper seeks to develop a criminal justice integration project that involves an analysis of major components of the criminal justice system, inclusive of private security functions, and the preparation of an “integration plan” for the development of improved interactions between law enforcement, private security, the courts, and institutional and community corrections over the next fifteen years.

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Analysis and Discussion

What is the criminal justice system?

Every state of the world has its own criminal justice system which requires the enactment and enforcement of law for the purpose of maintaining social control, deterring and controlling crime, and for sanctioning those who violate said laws.

An analysis of major components of the criminal justice system

Since a criminal justice a system of legislation, practices, and organizations, used by government or the state, which are all directed to maintain social control, deter and control crime, and sanctioning those who violate laws it is but logical to see it in terms of the functioning of just any system since a system entail roles which must be performed by the role players. The role players or primary agencies which are charged with these responsibilities include police (law enforcement), courts, and corrections which administer punishment for those found guilty.

Since each of the roles played by the primary agencies entails rules or standards of conduct then anything that are not compliant wilt the roles or standard are areas of improvement of the criminal justice system.

From the law enforcement, one is not unaware of abuses by the polices officers of the their functions as well failure to accomplish certain police work with the required professionalism (Hahn and Jeffries, 2003; Vila and Morris, 1999; Dixon, D ,1997). The court system which include the work of the prosecutors and judges had more complicated rules to talk about ranging from rights of different parties in case to cases of human rights which may not have only nation repercussions but also internationally when the issue is the enforcement of human rights which are universally accepted and endorse for the respect of governments all over the world.

Part of the court process is the prosecutorial system where there is processing the accused through the criminal justice system, where the government must keep within the framework of laws that protect individual rights. Hence it could be argued that the pursuit of criminal justice is, essentially the pursuit of an ‘ideal’ which desires that one must be given to him or to her what is due to her. But as it said that what is just to one person may not be just to another, there was therefore to put an enacted law at the center to make justice accomplish its purpose.

The role of private security functions in the criminal justice system

Private security may be just deemed to be part of the public security since private persons in the guise of protecting persons cannot avoid the laws in order to functioning of law for maintenance of peace, order and security of a nation.

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An “integration plan” for the development of improved interactions between law enforcement, private security, the courts, and institutional and community corrections over the next fifteen years.

In making an integration plan for the development of improved interactions between law enforcement, private security, the courts, and institutional and community corrections over the next fifteen years, there is basically a need to introduce changes in the each of the major of components of US criminal justice stem to have them work together and to take advantage of the advantage of technology.

What determines and effective criminal justice system?

Effectively is a function of defined goals or purposes of the criminal justice system. Every country therefore in the world has its own goals. To illustrate, England and Wales aimed their criminal justice system to “reduce crime by bringing more offences to justice, and to raise public confidence that the system is fair and will deliver for the law-abiding citizen.”( Criminal Justice System, n.d.), while Canada’s the criminal justice system seeks to balance of its combined goals of crime control and prevention, and justice, thus its system promotes equity, fairness, protection of individual rights (Schmolka, Vickim, 2005).

For the US, its criminal justice policy has objectives of prevention and fighting of crime. This is of course based on 1967 President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice, which issued a ground-breaking report “The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society.” In said report were over 200 recommendations as part of a comprehensive approach toward crime prevention and fighting of crime. Other objective of the its system is also improved coordination among law enforcement, courts, and correctional agencies (Walker, 1992) based on the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968. Still another objective is protection individuals and the community” (President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice,1967).

What should be done with the law as part of the integrated plan?

Because of different of what is conception of what is just; there must be a law that will set the standard. The must therefore be a system of rules usually enforced through a set of institutions to provide an objective basis for governing conduct and maintaining order in a society.

Man throughout history has made laws which also changes as conditions change but for purposes of settling what is just the law must be made to apply on what were the contemplation of the law makers when the laws were passed. To cite how law has evolved overtime, there is the oldest known codified law which is the Code of Hammurabi. The said code was established circa 1760 BC in ancient Mesopotamia yet up to this time it has still influence on the art of law making. Present laws must be deemed to have their basis from the past since throughout history laws have been handed down by many different organizations. To illustrate present laws passing from the hands of the US Congress (

(Kolitchm, 2006; Rockman, 2000) requires the consent of the law makers. This has a background in history since it could be recalled that in ancient Rome, their laws then had to be voted on by a Senate before taking effect. This is however just one of the ways how laws are passed as some countries would just require and an edict or an order from the king. This may be traced also in history where nobility during the Dark and Middle Ages may just often create and abolished laws according to their whims. Still other nations have may just have their laws established by philosophers or religion. With the evolution of society as the principles of democracy are being accepted by many, the modern world has it that laws are typically created and enforced by governments.

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Criminal justice system involve criminal laws which are concerned with actions which are dangerous or harmful to society as a whole, Said kind of actions therefore requires prosecution by the state against an individual since the criminal obligations are personal. Congress therefore passes criminal laws, the purpose of which is to provide the specific definition of what constitutes a crime and to proscribe punishments for committing such a crime. Since every criminal liability carries with it civil liability, Congress also pass civil laws, which are rules and regulations which govern transactions and grievances between individual citizens. Together the laws may therefore be considered to be part of the criminal justice system.

The proper rule of courts

The courts serve as the venue wherein disagreements or difference of opinion are settled and justice is administered. Under a criminal justice system are a number of critical participants in any court setting. Such persons include the judge, prosecutor, and the defense attorney. The judge is lawyer who knowledgeable in the law and therefore function objectively to administer the legal proceedings and offer a final decision on how a case is disposed

Many nations in the world including the US determine guilt or innocence of an accused through the adversarial system. Under this system, two parties will both present their story of events and fight their case before the court. The contending parties claim their own truth until the court declares the judicial truth is normally decided by which party offers the argument which is more sound and compelling to the court which will decide on the basis of evidence.

Like the judge, the prosecutor is the lawyer who brings charges against a criminal based on existing criminal laws. Hence it may be observer that if it is the prosecutor’s duty to explain to the court what crime was violated and to detail what evidence has been found which incriminates the defendant-accused.

It may be noted that private parties may bring criminal complaint but it will still be the public prosecutor who will argue for the criminal charge against the accused. Hence, it there should be no reason confuses the prosecutor a plaintiff or plaintiff’s council. Even though both the prosecutor and the complainant manifest similarity of the function by bringing a complaint before the court, the prosecutor is a public servant of the state who accuses criminals while the plaintiff is the private complaining party in civil disputes.

An accused will then hire a counsel to defend him. Said defense attorney then counsels the accused on the legal process and, at trial, will try to offer a rebuttal to the prosecutor’s accusations. By having a duty to present exculpatory evidence and argue on behalf of their client, defense attorney is bound do his best. Under the US constitution, it is a right of every accused to have a defending counsel hence all accused criminals is offered the assistance of a defense attorney by the state. This is of course intended to help those who cannot afford a private attorney.

Since the last determination of guilt or innocence is characteristically made by a third party, which may come in the form of a judge, a panel of judges, or a jury panel composed of disinterested citizens, it is believe that justice may done objectively. The practice however allows variety in processes depending on the laws of the specific jurisdiction. This therefore explains the reality for some places to have the board or jury which is obligatory to issue a undivided decision while for other jurisdictions only a majority vote is required.

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In the US this process considers the laws of each of the state, level of court, and even agreements between the prosecuting and defending parties, while this practice is almost nil in other countries. Thus there are other courts that rely on theological or military authorities pronounce and issue decision on criminal cases..

The court however is not bound to always go to extensive trial as present procedures now allows plea bargaining that could shorten the process. Hence it is not surprising to see certain cases being imposed of without the need for a trial decision at all. This is especially possible if the accused confesses their guilt. In said situation, there is a great possibility that the entire process may be shortened and the judgment will quickly be rendered by the courts or jury as the case may be. The accused my even cooperate in prosecution to have penalties to be reduced by the courts

The proper role of the police

As to how the police functions as discussed earlier is not hard to see. Since they hold the guns then they must be believed the iron fist of the law since a law should be one that compels. This is of course base on the supposition that the law must have its compelling force by the use of the gun or the threat of it legal use. That is not however as simple as holding guns by the police are governed by the law.

It may therefore be observed that the first contact a lawbreaker has with the criminal justice system is with the law enforcer who may make the arrest. Law enforcement agencies and officers are authorized by law to therefore use force and other forms of legal coercion and legal means, when necessary to effect public and social order

The role of Corrections

As an integral of the criminal justice system, the imposition of penalty must not be taken lightly since without which there is no justice. Hence conviction of the accused, the other part of system comes in, that is the correction, which is sometimes called punishment. As almost every other aspects of criminal justice, effecting the punishment of convicted felons are not fixed. Their forms also evolved as may be shows from many different appearances throughout history. Civilizations at an early stage had no enough to make and maintain prisons, just had the convicts exiled then or have these and executed. On a milder scale other forms of punishment may have tried even shame punishments and dismemberment in order to censure people. In whatever angle looks into punishment aims to put a stop the commission of the crime so there is rather physical and emotional ways of doing it.

The modern times have prisons as the visible form of punishment. There are the declared advantages of prisons as form since they serve as detention centers for prisoners before, during, and after trial. Perhaps it is the prison system which could really paint the picture of the development in human culture since historically may have it that early prisons were really meant to punish and not to correct since there was little thought given on living conditions within walls of these places. Man then may have realized that correction may rather the purpose of prison, hence there may be some basis of the Quaker movement, in the US to be credited with the idea that prisons should be used to reform criminals (TRobinson, 2004). Hence, this may be start to see the putting the person to prison is actually to give humans to needed time to reform and not to have their lives be lost.

Having its purpose to punish, a prison sentence serves a variety of purposes. What easily be noted is the fact that putting the criminals behind bars takes then away from the general population and restrains their ability to perpetrate further crimes. There are however societies who may take the view that prison term are a form of revenge or retribution, hence the families of the victims considers any hurt the prisoner suffers is “payback” for the hurt these criminals have caused their victims. But as society has indeed evolved, rehabilitation has now become a new goal of prison punishments

To demonstrate the great concern for such an objective, there are even a number of modern prisons that offers even schooling or job training to prisoners. This practice is however based on the theory that an option to learn a vocation and thereby earn a legitimate living is one of the best ways to make a person productive and useful to society. Religious institutions also have a presence in many prisons, with the goal of teaching ethics and instilling a sense of morality in the prisoners.

One of the most unsettled issues that have affected the whole in correction is the issue on capital punishment where two opposing views have not fully come into agreement. It is therefore being still debated upon up to this point as some societies still believed that executions may still be a form of political control. Because of the primacy of human rights in many societies, there are those who may just want to reserve execution for only the most menacing and atrocious offenses. This does not mean of course that one could always see capital punishment as other may have already outlawed the same.

Recent Criticism on the present criminal justice system and their suggested solutions

Present problems and desired changes are needed in the US courts system

To understand what changes are necessary is to listen first to the criticism for the present courts system. It is said that entire trial process, whatever the country, is fraught with problems and criticisms so that it is believed that any bias and discrimination by the court will be an ever-present threat to an objective decision that would nullify the purpose of working an effective justice system. It may also be argued that any prejudice on the part of the lawyers, the judge, or jury members could cause the court to destroy its own credibility. This premised on the assumption that rather complex rules governing courtroom conduct and processes will not allow a layman to be participate. This will therefore reduce the argument process to a battle between the lawyers who are presumed to know the law. Hence, one could not discount the possibility of the censure about the fact the decisions may just be based one the lawyer’s eloquence and personality. In criminal cases there is the practice in the US using the jury process which is another area of frequent censure. Observers found the dearth of mechanisms to protect against poor judgment or incompetence when layman jurors are part. It may be noted that there is fear when only lawyers who are knowledgeable since the law could be complex but equally the fear in case of incompetence of the jury.

Problems of the police systems and their suggested solutions

There are problems of the policemen which cannot just be solved overnight but a sustained effort to get the cooperation of the community. Foremost of which is the lack of respect for the authority (New York Times, 2007), which may be directed to the policemen in uniform

It may be stated that the present police force must have been a product of the changing times. Although it was not the United States which had first use of police force, it may be known the first time when London started the first Metropolitan Police, US was very much closed in time when it had the first police departments that were first established in Boston in 1838, and New York City in 1844 Digital History, 2007).

The evolution of the police force concept take its significant moment when California policemen had their efforts to professionalize, in adopting new technologies, and placing emphasis on training and professional qualifications of its newly hired personnel.

It may be reminded that the low present low respect for the policeman has its trace from the past since despite the effort to professionalize the police force; there was still low respect for the police especially the prevalence of autocratic leaders then. There were indeed developments particularly the case if urban unrest in the 1960s. These events resulted to have the police placing more emphasis on community relations, and making reforms such as increased diversity in hiring. In addition, the noted effects caused many police agencies to adopt community policing approaches.

Conclusion

It may be concluded that the criminal justice system of the US is far from becoming perfect due to changing conditions that would require a more responsive to enforce the law with the cooperation of the important players including the courts, the police and the community. The private sector is not without part also as to private security options. Although it may be argued the enforce of the law for crime preventions, or under the broader objective of peace, order security development. The private sector options will essentially perform its private security functions by functioning as more responsive members of the community. The preparation therefore of an integration plan for the development of improved interactions between law enforcement, private security, the courts, and institutional and community corrections over the next fifteen years require the working together of the major components of the justice system in attaining the purpose or purposes of criminal justice system.

References

Criminal Justice System (n.d.) – Aims and Objectives. Scottish Executive. 2007. Web.

Digital History (2007), Policing the Pre-Civil War City. Web.

Dixon, D (1997) Law in Policing: Legal Regulation and Police Practices; Clarendon Press.

Hahn and Jeffries (2003) Urban America and Its Police: From the Postcolonial Era through the Turbulent 1960s; University Press of Colorado.

Kolitch (2006) The Environmental and Public Health Impacts of U.S. Patent Law: Making the Case for Incorporating a Precautionary Principle; Environmental Law, Vol. 36.

New York Time (2007) Is New York Really an Insolent City?; The Indictment of Mr. F. Hopkinson Smith and What Some Well-Known Citizens Have to Say of It. Web.

President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice (1967). The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society. U.S. Government Printing Office.

Rockman (2000) Reinventing What for Whom? President and Congress in the Making of Foreign Policy; Presidential Studies Quarterly, Vol. 30.

Schmolka, Vicki. (2005) Principles to Guide Criminal Law Reform. Department of Justice, Government of Canada. 2007. Web.

TRobinson (2004), The Origin of Imprisonment. 2007. Web.

Vila and Morris (1999) The Role of Police in American Society: A Documentary History; Greenwood Press.

Walker, Samuel (1992). “Origins of the Contemporary Criminal Justice Paradigm: The American Bar Foundation Survey, 1953-1969”. Justice Quarterly 9(1).

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