Criminal justice is providing justice to criminals. It also focuses on the rehabilitation of the criminals, providing moral support to the victims and prevention of other crimes. The system of criminal justice includes primary institutions like police, defense lawyers, prosecution, prisons, and the courts.
The world would have been heaven, had there been no crime. There would not be murder, theft, harassment and rape. But sadly, the world impregnates crime and it has to be dealt by humans who are the committers themselves. Dealing with crime and taking the offenders to task is the role of criminal justice system. Because of criminal justice, the world is somewhat in order today. It involves criminal agencies, including executive and judicial, that are responsible to minimize crime from the areas within their jurisdiction.
Levels of criminal justice
Criminal justice is dealt with on three different levels that are:
- Local level
- Federal level
- State level
On a local level, police is the executive authority that deals with crime. It aims at diminishing the crime rate by imposition of penalties and patrol operations. It makes sure that the laws are enforced and people don’t violate them. Any person who commits a cognizable or a big offence is arrested without a warrant and an offender committing an in-cognizable offence is arrested by obtaining a court’s warrant. The police directly encounter the criminals and investigate as law requires. The matters are taken for adjudication to the High Courts and local courts in which the public prosecutors present the cases against the offenders before the judges and the procedure is followed by sentences and fines as penalties.
On federal level, we have departments like FBI that are responsible to keep a check on the bigger matters and greater offences that are often against the state involving terrorism etc. There are special courts, for an instance the Anti-Terrorism Court that deals with the criminals on federal level.
On the state level, all member states of the United Nations are under the obligation to respect the sovereignty of other states. If a state commits any criminal act within the territory of another state or is liable for any loss caused to another state resulting from a criminal act even outside the victim state’s territory then the matter is taken to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to bring the accused state to justice along with addressing the grievances of the victim state.
Theories of Crime
There are a number of theories under which various causes of crime are pointed out by various logicians. Let’s discuss them one by one:
1. Social disorganization theory
As per this theory, a person commits crime because of the negative implications of their surroundings and the disorganized society they live in.
2. Rational choice theory
An offender commits crime because they are mean and self-centered. They prefer their interest over the interests of others hence they don’t care if their gains cause loss to others.
3. Strain theory
A person lets out their frustration that is a result of their failure by committing crime and causing hurt to others and gain success by unlawful means.
4. Social learning theory
According to this theory, a person learns committing crimes from other criminals that they are associated with. They do what they see happening around them.
Most people look forward to serving in criminal justice as their profession. There are many fields one can opt for, like police, attorneys, judges, detectives etc.
Key Facts and Statistics
- About 2.2 million people of the United States are in the nation’s jails and prisons. There has been a 500 percent increase in the rate of incarceration throughout the previous 40 years.
- Law and policies have gone through changes in the United States but the rate of crimes has not changed.
- African Americans are arrested six times more than the white Americans.
- Only around 10% of all kinds of crimes have the police complaints in the United States.
- An offender is punished in many different ways such as imprisonment, financial penalties, a curfew, community service, a residence requirement and the like.
- A suspended term of prison is applicable for first-time or young offenders.
- Around 70% of sentences include custody in the United States.