University of Phoenix
April 30, 2012
Criminal Justice Systems
Crime by definition is a conduct in violation of criminal laws of the state, federal government, and local jurisdiction (Schmallager, 2009). Engaging in acts such as murder, rape, and white collar crimes are considered criminal and punishable according to the laws of our society. Societies around the world each have their own unique view based upon cultural, religious, and moral beliefs as to what constitutes a wrong doing. Because varying societies operate on their own systems of rules, beliefs, and moral codes it is important that people abide by the regulations set forth within them to maintain a sense of order.
By violating the laws of society individuals or groups are subject to endure the penalties that have been put into place. Members of society live by the expectation that the laws in place are designed to provide members of society with a sense of safety, the right to certain freedoms and the pursuit of happiness free from danger whether it is personal or on members of society as a whole. Though each society is unique and works upon its own systems of morals, beliefs and codes there are several models used to define what is considered to be criminal.
Because each society differs on the perception of criminal offense often acceptable behavior in one may vary greatly in another with regards to criminal behavior or activities. Several models are utilized in ascertaining what is considered to be the norm verses criminal (Schmallager, 2009). The conflict model which separates individuals by income, social class, and race leaves way for those possessing the most influence and power to pave the way for achieving self-desired purposes (Schmallager, 2009). In the Islamic society a woman was often sold to a man by her father or guardian for marriage (Western, 2008, p. 104). Women also were put to death it what was known as honor killings if it were felt that she brought disgrace to her family for committing adultery of having a child out of wedlock (Western, 2008, p. 104)
The second is the consensus model is defined as mankind naturally possessing the ability to share a common standard of morals, values, and beliefs. By going against the standards of what is considered the norm that impacts negatively an individual or society at large, there must be consequences and the guilty shall be held accountable. For example; the ongoing events surrounding the Trayvon Martin incident society seems divided from a criminal justice viewpoint the duty of each component of the judicial system is to compel obedience. However, society is divided based on the right to “stand your ground” law and an immediate arrest of the suspect. All too often each entity has its own agenda the desire to carry out the responsibilities above and beyond the call or as a result of engaging in prosecutorial misconduct either way this can often result in creating discord throughout the system (Schmallager, 2009).
The justice system in the United States is comprised of several structures each step is designed as a platform that provides a substructure to the next. The agencies are comprised of law enforcement, court systems, and correctional facilities. Law enforcements primary goal is to ensure that members of society are safe and secure not only in the outside environment but within the confines of property and communities. Men and women sworn to uphold and enforce the laws that have been put into place by the people for the people. If there is a violation of these laws the process that follows is designed to ensure that the offender receives fair, equal and just