The Case Of The Criminal Justice System

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Firstly, we must bear in mind that discretion is not just restricted to police officers. In fact, it is prevalent in almost every facet of criminal law. The criminal justice system in the United States allows the use of discretion widely through the police, defense attorneys, prosecutors, judges, parole officers. However, as the ostiaries of the justice system, it is the police who make perhaps the most critical decisions. They are the ones who must decide how to diffuse a particularly heated crisis, or how to handle a particular offender. Their contact with the community is at the most personal and pivotal level. As such, their decisions – sound or unsound – fall under the greatest scrutiny.
It should be noted, at this point, that …show more content…

These possibilities include:
Firstly, the variables relating to both the offender and the situation must be considered. Factors such as the offender 's attitude, their past criminal record, race, gender, ethnicity, their behavior during the arrest, not to mention the individual disposition of the officers themselves, all play a role in how the situation will pan out. On a broader scale, factors such as the critical nature of the crime, the type of neighborhood in which it occurred, the reliability of the evidence, and even the presence of media, all exert their own influences on an officer 's personal choice. For example, a violent break-in in a dangerous part of the neighborhood may not warrant the same attention from the police officer as compared to a similar crime in the quieter suburban districts.
Another important detail that influences police discretion is organizational factors. These can include the informal departmental culture as well as the official organization policies. Official police department policies exert an understandable influence over police discretion. The more clarity they afford to what an officer can and cannot do, as well as how accountable they hold their taskforce for their actions, all play an important role in determining individual discretion. The informal organization culture must also be taken into consideration. Each officer has a

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