Compnents of the Criminal Justice System Essay

822 Words Mar 2nd, 2012 4 Pages
Components of the Criminal Justice System
Byron S. Salter
03/03/12
CJA/204 Introduction to Criminal Justice
Michael Paris

The three major components of the criminal justice system are policing, corrections, and the courts system. They all work together to prevent crime and to punish those who have committed crime, but they can also work as individual units to make self service gains. This paper will go into detail the components of the criminal justice system; define what crime is and its relationship to the law, and the government structure as it applies to the criminal justice system.
Essentially, crime is an offensive act that can be punishable by law. Once a law is in the books, if it has been violated, offended, or broken, a
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Laws are designed based on what society deems as unacceptable behavior. When a crime is committed, a law has been violated. Laws are accumulated on a state level and on a federal level, as federal laws supersede state laws. Laws are typically based off of morals with some religious background. About 40 to 50 years ago, it was illegal for an African American to sit in the front of the bus, marry someone who is Caucasian, or even enter the same entrance as Caucasians. Almost 50 to 60 years ago, it was illegal for women to vote and have jobs. All of these laws have subsided, while now individuals are attempting to promote same sex marriages in the 21st century. Laws change according to the times and the moral beliefs of what society deems as acceptable and unacceptable. The politicians that the people vote into office assist with making the laws that are in place on a state and federal level.
The government structure as it applies to the criminal justice system is based on the type of crime committed. You have can have state offenses and federal offenses. “Federal and state justice systems carry out the same functions (enforcing laws, trying cases, and punishing offenders), but the laws and agencies of the two systems differ” (CliffNotes.com, 2012). With state government and state laws, when crimes are committed, the laws are handed down based upon the time of the laws in that state. Whenever a sentence is handed down, most

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