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Introduction to Criminal Justice. Text: Introduction to Criminal Justice , 5th ed. Robert M. Bohm and Keith N. Haley. What is Criminal Justice Really All About?. Sensational Cases TV dramas (Page 5 Nielsen ratings) 6 of the top 10 watched shows are LE related.

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Introduction to criminal justice

Introduction to Criminal Justice


Introduction to Criminal Justice, 5th ed.

Robert M. Bohm and Keith N. Haley

What is criminal justice really all about

What is Criminal Justice Really All About?

  • Sensational Cases

    • TV dramas (Page 5 Nielsen ratings)

      • 6 of the top 10 watched shows are LE related.

    • P. 4-6 recent sensational cases

      2.The Police (Most visible)

      3.Actual Elements of the Criminal Justice System (Police, Courts and Corrections)

      4.Major purposes of the Justice System:

      a.Social control

      b.Social buffer

Major components of the criminal justice system

Major Components of the Criminal Justice System



b.Legal content

2.This all applies to each element of the CJS




The police

The Police

1.Usually the first on the scene.

2.Criminal investigation

3.Calls for assistance

4.Arrest of suspects

5.Processing suspects

6.Public service calls

7.Assists other agencies

The courts

The Courts

1.Adjudication of cases.

2.Three-level court system:

a.Local or county



Jurisdiction by content


A.Minor offenses at any court level.

B.Complaint: generally is the charging document used to initiate case.


A.Serious offenses generally at state and federal level.

B.Two types of charging documents:




(Grand Jury)

a.True Bill

b.No Bill

Jurisdiction by Content

Introduction to criminal justice

1.Issuance of arrest warrants:

A.Result of an information or indictment.

B.Result of the order of a court based on

“probable cause”.

C.All arrest warrants are orders from the court to bring the person before the court to answer to the charges that have been developed.

In reality, most arrest are without a warrant!!

Introduction to criminal justice


A.Monetary or real property deposit that ensures appearance by a suspect to court to answer the charges.



1.Official statement of terms of indictment or information.

2.Magistrate asks defendant for a plea:


b.Not Guilty

c.Nolo Contendre or no contest.

Arraignment cont

Arraignment cont.

3.Plea bargaining:

a.90% of all cases settled this way

b.Includes an agreement between the prosecutor, defense attorney, defendant and often the judge.

1)The judge has the option of accepting the bargaining agreement or not.

Introduction to criminal justice

Trial Process:

A.Only about 10% of all cases filed end up in a trial and only about 5% end up in a jury trial. The other 5% end up in bench trials.

B.Generally, the defendant has the option of whether to use a jury trial or bench trial in serious felony cases.



That part of the criminal justice system that is responsible for carrying out the judgment of the court once a person has been found guilty of an offense.

Page 12, positions in corrections



  • Administrative process of recording the arrest:

    • Name and identification

    • Charges

    • Location of event

    • Fingerprints

    • Mug shots – pictures

    • Other test as appropriate to the crime alleged

Types of punishment

Types of punishment



Alternative Sentencing

Life Imprisonment


Death !

Introduction to criminal justice

1.Grounds for appeals of convictions:

a.Legal grounds

b.Constitutional grounds

c.Results of appeals:

1)decision affirmed

2)decision overturned

a)remanded to lower court

b)case dismissed

Positions in cj

Positions in CJ

Page 14, overview of

professional opportunities

in the field of

Criminal Justice

Criminal justice system as a system

Criminal Justice System as a System

A system is suppose to ideally be a smooth running organization of components that works together to achieve a unified goal.

Criminal justice system

Criminal Justice System

1.It is very difficult to attach the term “system” to the Criminal Justice System under these terms.

2.In reality it is a “non-system”.

A.Each element has it’s own agenda, sometimes in conflict with the other.

B.There are jurisdictional conflicts.

C.The political nature of the relationship is difficult to mold into a single system.

82 of cjs budget state and local and 18 federal

Local government budget:

68% of the budget is spent on law enforcement

State government budget:

60% of the budget is spent on corrections

82% of CJS budget state and local and 18% federal

Money is not evenly distributed and the focus of each jurisdiction varies. All people feel dealing with crime is very important, however funds to do the job are restricted. The public wants low cost, restricted intervention

Federal Government spends the least on every level of the Criminal Justice System of the three.

Introduction to criminal justice

  • Even with the billions of dollars spent, it only makes up about 7% of states operation budgets.

Cost of cjs

Cost of CJS

  • 1999 there was about $146 billion spent on Civil and Criminal Justice in the U.S.

    • About $525 per resident in the U.S.

    • This is an 8% increase from 1998

    • It is a 309% increase from 1982

  • Even with this in mind, a 2002 survey found that 56% of the people surveyed felt that too little was being spent on reducing crime.

    • This is down from 75% in 1994

    • There is no data however to determine if people are willing to pay more taxes to increase the spending.

Introduction to criminal justice

  • People do not seem to be too concerned with this cost, especially considering the cost of putting someone to death.

    • Average between 2.5 and 5 million dollars each

    • Ted Bundy cost Florida taxpayers $10 million

    • Timothy McVeigh was $100 million.

  • The adjudication of lesser crimes are also expensive:

    • In Orange County Florida

      • 39 year old burglar to be convicted $46,106

      • He stole $5,100 in property and caused $1,000 damage

      • It’s hard to place a price on the psychological damage he caused

Chapter 2 definitions of crime

Chapter 2, Definitions of Crime

Social Definition

Legal Definition

Social definition of crime

Social Definition of Crime

  • Norms:standards or rules regulating human behavior and thoughts.

  • Folkways: types of norms that are based on customs, no legal sanctions.

  • Mores: types of norms that have sanctions attached for violators.

Introduction to criminal justice

  • There is no consensus related to acceptable human behavior.

    • gambling

    • prostitution

    • abortion

    • homosexuality

  • Norms subject to interpretation

    • abortion issue

Introduction to criminal justice

  • Norms change with time and from location to location.

    • Prohibition

    • Gambling

    • Prostitution

    • Prior to 1970’s, no protections for female spouses against family violence

Legal definition of crime

Legal Definition of Crime

  • The intentional violation of the criminal law, penal code, committed without defense or excuse and penalized by the state.

    • Narrowly defined

    • Less ambiguous

    • Evolves with time

    • More difficult to change

Problems with criminal law

Problems with Criminal Law

  • Overcriminalization:the prohibition of behavior through the law that arguably should not be so defined.

    • So-called victimless crimes

      • prostitution

      • gambling

      • some drug use (marijuana)

      • homosexual conduct

      • pornography

Introduction to criminal justice

  • Nonenforcement:some legally defined illegal behavior is not actively enforced.

    • White collar crime

    • Government corruption and illegal behavior

    • Blue laws

    • Non-enforcement of the law encourages disrespect for the law and ultimately an increase in law violations.

Introduction to criminal justice

  • Undercriminalization:This is where behavior that arguably should be defined as illegal, is not.

    • Government employees or operatives performing functions that harm the environment or the work environment.

    • Private corporations involved in behavior that harms the environment or creates an unsafe work or social condition.

Necessary elements of crime

Harm:There must be some external consequence of the behavior.

Simply thinking about something illegal is not enough.

May be physical or verbal

slander / libel

Victimless crimes

+ social/family harm

- no harm to anyone

Legality:Harm must be (1) legally forbidden, and (2) it cannot be retroactive.

Ex post facto

declares act illegal that was not illegal when occurred.

Increases the punishment after the fact.

Alters the rules of evidence after the fact

Necessary Elements of Crime

Introduction to criminal justice

Actus Reus:the criminal act that causes harm.

This can be an action or the failure to act.

Failure to provide shelter an provisions for children.

Child abuse

Mens rea:the criminal intent or state of mind.

Culpable mental states:




criminal negligence

Diminished capacity as a defense to mens rea

Other legal defenses

Major defenses to mens rea

Major Defenses to Mens Rea

  • Duress:A person forced to perform an illegal act against their will.

  • Age:A person is incapable of making the decision of whether a behavior is right or wrong because of immaturity.

    • Most states use age 7 as the limit, Texas it is 10

    • Most states consider persons under 18 differently with applying the law, Texas it is under 17.

Defenses from responsibility cont

Defenses from Responsibility cont.

  • Insanity:mental or psychological impairment or retardation.

    • Most countries leave decision up to professionals

    • In the U.S., the decision is left up to judges or juries within guidelines:

      • M’Naghten Rule, first used in England in 1843.

        • Everyone presumed to be sane

        • at time of act, there was such a defect of reason from disease of mind, person did not know nature or quality of their act, or

        • He simply did not know what they were doing was wrong.

Burden of proof on defendant

Introduction to criminal justice

  • Self defense or defense of another:use only the amount of force necessary to defend one’s self or a third party from immediate and unlawful violence.

    • Not always justified to protect property

    • Must be an action that would be reasonable to most people.

Introduction to criminal justice

  • Entrapment:either relieved from responsibility or reduced responsibility if a person is induced to commit a crime by a peace officer or their agent.

    • It must be proven that the law enforcement officer instigated the crime or created the intent to commit the crime in the mind of the offender

    • It is not entrapment to simply give someone the opportunity to commit a crime.

Introduction to criminal justice

  • Necessity:a crime is committed to prevent a greater or more serious crime from occurring.

    • Rarely used, generally applies to political issues

    • Amy Carter, Jerry Rubin, trespassing on South African Embassy to protest apartheid. (were acquitted)

    • Is generally not applied to economic necessity.

Introduction to criminal justice

Causation:there must be a causal relationship between the forbidden harm and the criminal act.

Act must lead to the harm without long delays.

(Texas places a one year limitation on being charged with vehicular manslaughter

Concurrence:Criminal conduct and criminal intent must occur together.

Difference between theft of $20, and

Burglary of $20

Introduction to criminal justice

  • Punishment:there must be a statutory punishment attached to the defined illegal behavior.(there must at least be a threat of punishment for the act)

    • Without this element of defining criminal behavior, there is no criminal law.

Degrees or categories of crime

Degrees or Categories of Crime

  • Misdemeanor offenses: Minor usually punished by fine and/or jail time.

  • Felony offenses:Serious offenses punished by fines and/or prison time, or death.

  • Mala in se:behavior wrong in and of itself or inherently evil.

  • Mala prohibita:behaviors that are illegal only because they have been legally defined that way.

  • This process is somewhat arbitrary and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

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