Entering the Criminal Justice Program Essay

Submitted By canizalez06
Words: 1012
Pages: 5

Entering the Criminal Justice SystemLindsey R. CanizalezITT Technical InstituteAbstractIn this paper I will talk about the criminal justice system, its different components and how they are supposed to work together. I will explain what happens to a person when they commit a crime and the steps that are taken by law enforcement to have them entered into the criminal justice system. The roles of each component in the criminal justice system will be described and my opinion of whether they are successful in executing their responsibilities. Can the criminal justice system be made more effective? I believe so.
In order to enter into the criminal justice system, a person must commit a crime. Crimes are classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor is a criminal offense defined as less serious than a felony that is punishable by a fine or a term of imprisonment not to exceed one year. Examples of a misdemeanor are: assault, disorderly conduct, indecent exposure, obstructing justice, prostitution, trespassing, etc. A felony is a crime that has a greater punishment imposed by statute than that imposed on a misdemeanor (Wood, 1996). Examples of a felony are: drug abuse violations, larceny theft, murder, non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, fraud, offenses against family and children, etc. After a person commits either a misdemeanor or a felony they are arrested and booked. Booking is a process where the police department records the inmate’s personal information, description, photograph, fingerprints and checks their record for criminal history. After a person is booked they will notify them their exact charges and the amount of bail that is required for them to be released. When you post bail you pay ten percent, for example, your bail is $25,000 you will make payments to the bail bondsmen of $2,500. You are released from jail until your court appearance. Based on the outcome of your hearing depends on what happens next. Some cases may be dropped and your only obligation is to finish paying your bond. If you are found guilty the judge will determine your sentencing. Probation is one sentencing option executed by judges instead of incarceration. Someone on probation stays in their community although they must abide by certain probation conditions for a period of time; for example drug and alcohol free, staying away from known criminals. Another option is parole. Parole is an early release from prison or jail, allowing convicted offenders the opportunity of living in their communities, parole also comes with its own restrictions and conditions. Law enforcement is the most dangerous component of the criminal justice system. Law enforcement is consisted of police officers and detectives. They are responsible for finding and arresting people who have broken the law whether it is state, federal or military laws. Police officers also generate charges brought against the criminal. The second component of the criminal justice system is the court. The court system includes prosecution and defense lawyers, judges and juries. These individuals make sure offenders are given fair trials. Judges hear the cases and oversee the participants to make sure that all laws are followed while the cases are being tried. Some cases are tried in front of a judge only, while others have a jury of 12 citizens who determine the guilt or innocence of a defendant based on facts brought forth during a trial. A jury may also make a recommendation of what a sentence should be. A judge ultimately decides a sentence unless there are predetermined sentencing guidelines that need to be followed. Sentencing guidelines are more prevalent in the federal justice system.The third and final component of the criminal justice system is corrections. The role of this component is to uphold and administer sentences handed down by judges. The corrections system, which is tightly intertwined with the previous two components,