Criminal Justice Assembly Line

Decent Essays

What Is the Criminal Justice Assembly Line?
The criminal justice assembly line was a term coined by justice expert Herbert Backer referring to the system acting as a funnel or conveyor belt “down which moves an endless stream of cases, never stopping . . . most people who commit a crime escape detection, and of those who do not, relatively few are bound over for trial, convicted, and eventually sentenced to prison” (). The funnel is wide at the top, and narrow at the bottom. View the entire process as a never-ending series of 15 steps or decision points:
1. Initial Contact—this step involves a police interaction such as, responding to complaints and calls or observing a suspect committing a crime.
2. Investigation—sufficient evidence, known as probable cause, must be gathered to identify and support a legal arrest of a suspect.
3. Arrest—The officer is not required to use the word ‘arrest’ to initiate an arrest. For an arrest to be considered legal, the following conditions need to exist. First, the officer has to have probable cause, the legal requirement for an arrest. Second, the officer has to deprive the individual of freedom, and lastly, the suspect believes that he or she is now in custody and has lost his or her liberty.
4. Custody—After an arrest, while detaining the suspect, the police may want to search for evidence, conduct an interrogation, or encourage a confession.
5. Charge—the next step is to charge the suspect. If sufficient evidence

Get Access