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The American System of Criminal Justice, Eighth Edition by George F

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1 The American System of Criminal Justice, Eighth Edition by George F
The American System of Criminal Justice, Eighth Edition by George F. Cole and Christopher E. Smith Chapter 1 Crime and Justice in America ©1998 Wadsworth / WEST Publishing Company

2 Crime A specific act of commission or omission in violation of the law for which a punishment is prescribed.

3 Crime and Justice as Public Police Issues
Reiman argument: system designed to project the image of crime rather than to reduce crime or achieve justice. Democratic Values Liberals worry about reducing rights and due process. Reduce Crime Conservatives advocate stricter enforcement of laws.

4 Public Order and Individual Freedom
The classic struggle law makers deal with is how to keep the public order while still insuring freedom for the individual.

5 Crime Control Model A model of criminal justice that assumes freedom is so important that every effort must be made to reduce crime so things like efficiency, speed and finality are emphasized. The system must have a high capacity to catch, convict and dispose of offenders.

6 Due Process Model A different model of the criminal justice system that assumes freedom is so important that every effort must be made to ensure the decisions are fair and reliable, based on law and formal proceedings.

7 Strengths/Weaknesses
Crime Control Model Administrative Process Efficient, Swift, cost-effective Increased Safety Individual Rights? Due Process Model Adversarial Process Individual Rights Stressed Reliability Constitution Inefficient and costly

8 Multicultural Concerns
Many minorities are subjected to the criminal justice system more often than minority members. Disparity: A difference between groups that can be explained by legitimate factors. Discrimination: Groups are differentially treated without regard to their behavior or qualifications.

9 Possible explanations include:
Minorities commit more crimes The criminal justice system is racist American society is racist

10 Politics of Crime and Justice
Crime and Justice Issues Exist in a Political Sphere Crime Control Measures: What VOTERS want? Will Legislation Achieve Goals? E.g.,: Megan’s Law: Michigan's Sex Offender Registry

11 Goals of the Criminal Justice System
Doing Justice Controlling Crime Preventing Crime

12 Federalism A system of government in which power is divided
between a central (national) government and regional (state) governments.

13 Dual Justice Systems State systems handle alleged violations of state law. The federal system handles alleged violations of federal law.

14 Dual System: Recent Developments
Increased Federalization of Crime: Now the federal government pursues organized crime gangs dealing with drugs, pornography, and gambling on a national basis. The existence of multiple criminal justice systems makes criminal justice in the United States highly decentralized.

15 Government and Criminal Justice: What are the connections?
Judicial Branch - the courts Executive Branch - President & Governors & administrative offices Legislative Branch - those units that make substantive & procedural law 12

16 Executive Branch Carries out (executes) many acts of government
Holds powers of appointment and pardons Provides leadership for crime control 16

17 Legislative Branch Defines criminal behavior Establishes penalties
Passes laws governing criminal procedure Funds crime-control programs 13

18 Judicial Branch Administers the process by which criminal responsibility is determined Appellate courts interpret laws & review legislative decision making 14

19 The Systems Perspective: Exchange Relationships
U.S. attorney Attorney general Courts County commissioners Prosecuting attorney Community influentials County agencies Defense lawyers Police

20 The Criminal Justice System (or Non-System)?
How Well Do Various Criminal Justice Agencies Function as a “System”? Do Legislatures Realize the “Exchange Relations” of Systems Theory? 1994 Omnibus Violent Crime and Control Act: 100,000 New Community Policing Officers New Drug Courts But, No NEW significant funding for Prosecutors, other Courts, or Community-Based Correction Programs

21 Characteristics of the Criminal Justice System
Discretion: Ability to act according to one’s own judgment and conscious Resource Dependence: CJ agencies to not produce their own resources, but depend on others for their allocation Sequential Tasks: Each part of CJ system has distinct tasks that are carried out sequentially Filtering: Process of screening cases

22 Filtering Process SCAN IN PICTURE…..

23 Politics of Criminal Justice
Power held by few to control: Society in general Criminals What (or whose) standards define “control”? 11

24 Operations of Criminal Justice Agencies
Police Most at Local Level Keeping Peace; Apprehending Violators Preventing Crime Providing Social Services Courts Dual Court System: judicial for each state and national system Different Interpretations in Different States Responsible for Adjudication Corrections Less Than 30% of convicted offenders are in prison or jails; the rest are being supervised in community-based corrections

25 Flow of Criminal Justice System
Discretionary Decision The disposition of cases in the criminal justice system involves a series of decisions made by police officers, prosecutors, judges, probation officers, wardens, and other officials who decide whether a case will move on to the next point or be dropped from the system. See Page for Flow of Decision Making

26 Criminal Justice Wedding Cake: Layer 1
Celebrated perpetrators Celebrated victims Type the media loves Cases that make Supreme Court precedents 1 35

27 Criminal Justice Wedding Cake: Layer 2
Serious felonies by experienced offenders Violent crimes Property crimes with high $ value Get full attention of the CJ system 2 36

28 Criminal Justice Wedding Cake: Layer 3
First time offender less serious offenses which may be felonies Less serious personal injury or low $ value Dealt with less seriously, maybe probation 3 37

29 Criminal Justice Wedding Cake: Layer 4
Most misdemeanors Handled in assembly-line fashion Typical penalty is a small fine Having to go to court may be the “real” punishment 4 38

30 Important Implications to Wedding Cake Model
Most attention is given to fewest number of cases Average Person’s Perception of CJ System is Result of Celebrated Cases Greatest Number of Offenders Are Low-Level Offenders

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