Puerto Rico Criminal Justice Essay

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As a republic, Puerto Rico has a government that exercises political control over its citizens. As with any republic, a social contract exists between government and citizens in which citizens give up certain freedoms in order to enjoy the protection and comforts that a functioning government can provide. As a U.S. territory, Puerto Rico shares our three branches of government: legislative, executive, and judicial. Focusing on the judicial branch, one must look at the criminal justice system, which consists of policing, courts and corrections.
Criminal justice is a system comprised of government institutions and practices that serve to provide social control through deterrence, sanctions and rehabilitation. In Puerto Rico, a Bill of
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Amendment Six ensures “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury…and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.” ("Taiwan Civil Government") These rights are incorporated in Puerto Rico through Article II, Section 11.
Finally, Amendment Eight prohibits the infliction of cruel and unusual punishments which translates in Article II, Section twelve of the Puerto Rico Constitution. The foremost aspect of the criminal justice system consists of policing, without which courts and corrections would have no purpose. The Puerto Rico Police, or Policía de Puerto Rico, have island-wide jurisdiction and are often referred to as La Uniformada (the

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