Comparing the Consensus and Conflict Models of Criminal Justice

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The consensus and conflict models of criminal justice The consensus model of criminal justice suggests that society strives to maintain a harmonious social order, and social institutions cement social bonds that counteract negative criminal tendencies. "The foundation of consensus perspective is the assumption that societies have an inherent tendency to maintain themselves in a state of relative equilibrium through the mutually and supportive interaction of their principal institutions. Consensus theory is a sociological perspective in which social order and stability and social regulation forms the base of emphasis" (Consensus perspective, 2011, Sociology Index). Societies are interdependent, and every element of society performs some essential function. The interdependent nature of all elements of a society creates a consensus of values and determines what should be required of citizens. By nature, societies are seen as tending towards consensus, and finding an equilibrium of common values is seen as beneficial for society (Sociology perspectives: The order and the conflict model, 2009, Minority Studies). Consensus theorists tend to see minority or dissident groups as troubling, given that they can upset the social structure and cause unrest. The goal of the criminal justice system is to enable people to fit into social institutions. In contrast, conflict theories, many of which have their roots in Marxism, view society as fundamentally unjust. The perception of
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