An Introduction to The Criminal Justice System

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The Criminal Justice System. The Goals of Criminal JusticeDoing Justice: basis for rules, procedures and institutions of the systemThree principles of doing justice:Hold offenders accountableProtect the rights of those that have contact with the systemLike offenses will be treated alike and officials will take into account relevant differences among offenders and offenses..

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An Introduction to The Criminal Justice System

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1. An Introduction to The Criminal Justice System Kelly Cheeseman Dial AJ 325

2. The Criminal Justice System The Goals of Criminal Justice Doing Justice: basis for rules, procedures and institutions of the system Three principles of doing justice: Hold offenders accountable Protect the rights of those that have contact with the system Like offenses will be treated alike and officials will take into account relevant differences among offenders and offenses.

3. The Criminal Justice System The Goals of Criminal Justice Controlling Crime Criminal justice system is designed to control crime by arresting, prosecuting, convicting, and punishing those who disobey the law. Criminal law defines what is illegal and outlines rights of citizens and procedures officials must follow to achieve system’s goals Preventing crime Deterrent effect of police, courts, & corrections

4. Characteristics of the Criminal Justice System Discretion: officials’ freedom to act according to their own judgment and conscience. Allows for individualization and informality in the administration of justice Arguments used to justify discretion Discretion is needed because system lacks resources to treat every case the same way. Many officials believe discretion permits them to achieve greater justice than rigid rules would produce.

5. The Criminal Justice Wedding Cake Layer I – This layer consists of “celebrated” cases These cases receive high publicity Involve the full process, including a trial Many appeals Embody the ideal of “adversarial system”

6. The Criminal Justice Wedding Cake Layer II – Comprised of serious felonies Violent crimes committed by repeat offenders Tough sentences Layer III – Less serious offenses committed by less serious offenders Layer IV – Consists of misdemeanors; 90% of all cases fall into this category

7. The Pictoral Process

8. Operations of Criminal Justice Agencies Police 18,769 law enforcement agencies 50 federal agencies 49 state agencies 900,000 full-time employees $50 billion+ budget

9. Operations of Criminal Justice Agencies Police agencies have four major duties Keeping the peace Apprehending violators and combating crime Preventing crime Providing social services

10. Police Organization Most municipal police departments are independent agencies within the executive branch of government. Most departments follow military model adhering to rigid chain of command. Personnel decisions often based on time-in-rank considerations.

11. The Police Role Crime fighting efforts are only a small part of the police officer’s overall activities. On average a police officer makes less than 2 arrest per month and less than 1 felony arrest every four months. Majority of time spent handling minor disturbances, service calls, and administrative duties.

12. The Patrol Function Account for 2/3 of most departments’ personnel Deter crime through visible presence Maintain public order Respond to law violations or emergencies Identify and apprehend criminals Aid citizens in distress Facilitate movement of people and traffic Create a sense of safety and security

13. The Patrol Function (cont.) Patrol Activities Majority of efforts devoted to order maintenance or peacekeeping. Requires officers to use discretion and resolve situations without making an arrest. Use of selective enforcement

14. The Patrol Function (cont.) Adding Patrol Officers Research indicates adding police officers may in fact reduce crime and improve overall effectiveness of the justice system. Agencies with more officers per capita than the norm experience lower levels of violent crimes.

15. The Investigation Function Detective investigate the causes of crime and attempt to identify the individuals or groups responsible for committing particular offenses. Undercover/Sting Operations Police deceive criminals into openly committing illegal acts. Common in investigation of prostitution, gambling, and narcotics Critics argue constitutes entrapment or may be encouraging commission of additional offenses

16. The Investigation Function (cont.) Evaluating Investigations Most arrests are made by patrol officers. One study indicates half of all detectives could be replaced without negatively influencing crime clearance rates. Police have only a 5 percent chance to solve a crime if more than 15 minutes elapse from the time of occurrence to reporting. Detectives generally lack sufficient resources to carryout lengthy probes of any but the most serious crimes.

17. The Investigation Function (cont.) Improving Investigations Use of patrol officers for preliminary investigations to free up time for detectives Increased use of specialization Greater reliance on technology

18. Community Policing Police-community relations programs were developed to improve relations with the community and develop cooperation with citizens with the goals of: Explain police activities Teach self-protection methods Improve general attitudes toward policing Original programs developed at station-house and departmental levels.

19. Community Policing (cont.) Broken Windows Model Primary function of police should be community preservation, public safety, and order maintenance. Neighborhood disorder creates fear. Neighborhoods give out crime-promoting signals. To be effective police need citizen cooperation.

20. Community Policing (cont.) Problem-Oriented Policing Form of proactive policing Identify long-term community problems and develop strategies to eliminate them Relies on assistance of local residents to identify and resolve problems Specialized units may concentrate on “hot spots” where significant portion of calls originate

21. Community Policing (cont.) Challenges of Community Policing Must define community Define roles Change command structure Re-orient police values Revise training Reorient recruitment

22. The Changing Concepts of Policing (cont.) Support Functions Personnel services Internal affairs Budgeting Data management Dispatch Forensic laboratories Planning and research

23. Operations of Criminal Justice Agencies Courts Dual court system – separate system fore each state in addition to a national system. Law interpreted differently in various states. Courts are responsible for adjudication – determining whether or not a defendant is guilty.

24. Overview Abstract Goals of the Court System Provide for an open and impartial forum for seeking the truth Provide for a fair and equitable hearing using regulated rules Insure that the process takes place in an atmosphere of legal competence and objectivity Provide a clear legal outcome

25. Overview (cont.) The courts are often a scene where an atmosphere exists to “work things out” among the participants. The use of plea negotiations and other nonjudicial alternatives to “work things out” is more common than a formal trial process. Discretion sometimes results in disparity Funding problems

26. The Criminal Court Process Criticisms of the Courts Overcrowded dockets Assembly-line justice Too many inducements to plead guilty Too few jury trials Speedy trials are unattainable

27. The Criminal Court Process State Courts Every state has its own court system No two are alike Variety of cases ranging from homicide to property maintenance

28. The Criminal Court Process (cont.) Courts of Limited Jurisdiction About 13,500 exist Organized at municipal or county level Restricted in types of cases they hear May be restricted to civil or criminal cases Dispose of minor cases; may do preliminary activities for some felonies Sentencing options restricted

29. The Criminal Court Process (cont.) Specialty Courts Juvenile, family & probate courts Courts to combat specific problems Drug courts Mental health courts

30. The Criminal Court Process (cont.) Courts of General Jurisdiction Around 2,000 in the U.S. Hear serious felony cases Civil cases with damages over a specified amount Appeals from lower courts Review of transcript Trial de novo

31. The Criminal Court Process (cont.) Appellate Courts Each state has at least one level of appellate courts. Highest state court, usually called the “State Supreme Court” Court reconsiders a case that has been tired in order to determine whether the measures used complied with accepted rules of criminal procedure and were in line with constitutional doctrines Appeal is not a new trial Can order a new trial, allow defendant to go free, or uphold original verdict

32. Federal Courts Federal Courts Legal basis for these courts found in Article 3, sec. 1, of U.S. Constitution Jurisdiction over laws of U.S. and treaties Maritime jurisdiction Over controversies between 2 or more states 3-tiered hierarch of court jurisdiction U.S. District Courts U.S. courts of appeals U.S. Supreme Court

33. Federal Courts (cont.) U.S. District Courts Trial courts of the federal system Organized by Congress in the Judicial Act of 1789 Jurisdiction over violations of federal law, i.e. civil rights violations, interstate transportation of stolen vehicles and kidnappings May hear inter-state lawsuits or cases where federal government is a party to the suit Jurisdiction may overlap that of state courts

34. Federal Courts (cont.) U.S. Courts of Appeals Organized into 13 judicial circuits Hear 40,000 appeals from district courts each year Empowered to review federal and state appellate court cases when there is a federal issue present Do not retry the case or review the facts – only matters of procedure and substance of the law Current attempts to limit the right of appeal

35. Federal Courts (cont.) The U.S. Supreme Court Nation’s highest appellate body – court of last resort for all cases tried in federal and state courts Only federal court created by Constitution Nine justices appointed for life by the President with approval of Congress Court has discretion to choose which cases it will hear

36. Federal Courts (cont.) Supreme Court Process Most cases (90%) are brought to the court by using a writ of certiorari Four of the nine justices must vote to hear the case If the Court decides to hear a case, it reviews legal briefs and may hear oral arguments May decide to affirm or reverse the decision of the lower court Decisions become precedent

37. Federal and State Court Caseloads State courts handle about one hundred million new cases each year including: 20 million civil and domestic cases 15 million criminal cases 2 million juvenile cases 57 million traffic and ordinance violations

38. Federal and State Court Caseloads (cont.) Federal courts even though smaller, are equally burdened Over 320,000 cases filed each year in District Courts Criminal cases increased 55% since 1994 Circuit Courts hear more than 60,000 appeals per year In 1969 they heard only 10,000 appeals

39. Federal and State Court Caseloads (cont.) Causes of Court Congestion Rapidly increasing populations outpace growth in court system Aggressive attempts to lower crime rate result in more prosecutions Complexity of the law and advances in technology Legal reform efforts may require more trials Frivolous lawsuits

40. The Judiciary Primary duty is to oversee the trial process Ensures appropriate conduct Settles questions of evidence and procedure Guides questioning of witnesses Responsible for guiding the jury Decides case when a jury is not used (bench trial) Determines the sentence

41. The Judiciary (cont.) Judicial Functions Extensive control over probation officers and court clerk Exerts influence over police and prosecutors Decisions may shape social policy

42. The Judiciary (cont.) Judicial Qualifications Qualification vary by state Typical qualifications are: Resident of the state Between 25 and 70 years of age Member of state bar licensed to practice law Lower courts may not require law degree

43. The Judiciary (cont.) Judicial Selection Systems Appointment Popular election Nonpartisan election Missouri Plan Judicial nominating commission Appointed by governor from commission’s list Retention election

44. The Prosecutor The Prosecutor May be called district attorney, county attorney, state’s attorney, or U.S. attorney depending on the level of government and jurisdiction Responsible for representing the public in criminal trials Around 2,400 state court prosecutors offices Employ 65,000 attorneys, investigators and support staff

45. The Prosecutor (cont.) General Duties Provide advice to law enforcement officers during investigations Represents the state during pretrial plea negotiations, motions, evidence, and bail hearings Represents the state at other hearings, criminal trials and appeals Legal advisor to county commissioners and other elected officials Implementation of special programs

46. The Prosecutor (cont.) Types of Prosecutors U.S. Attorneys – appointed by the President Federal prosecutors are professional civil service employees State & county levels, attorney general and district attorney are chief prosecutorial officers Political appointees

47. Prosecutorial Discretion Prosecutorial Discretion Exercises great deal of discretion Decides whether to file charges – attempt to screen out weak cases May drop charges during the process nolle prosequi May leave decision to charge someone with minor crime primarily to police discretion

48. Prosecutorial Discretion (cont.) Legal Issues Influencing Prosecutorial Discretion Quality of police work and amount of relevant evidence Seriousness of offense Defendant’s prior arrest record Danger to community Victim Issues Influencing Prosecutorial Discretion Attitude and behavior of the victim Reluctance of victim to press charges

49. Prosecutorial Discretion (cont.) Extra Legal/Resource Issues Influencing Prosecutorial Discretion Offenders’ race, gender, and ethnicity Cost of the prosecution to the system Availability of alternatives Interest group’s influence causes to focus on particular types of offenses Fear of losing case – political ramifications

50. Prosecutorial Discretion (cont.) The Role of Prosecutorial Discretion Can prevent unnecessarily rigid implementation of criminal law Humanize operation of criminal justice system Too much discretion can lead to abuse

51. Judicial Selection Systems (cont.) Types of Prosecutorial Misconduct making disruptive statements in court failure to adhere to sentence recommendations pursuant to a plea bargain represented a criminal defendant currently under prosecution making public statements harmful to the office withholding evidence using power in vindictive manner to punish defendants who insist on exercising their constitutional rights

52. The Defense Attorney Integral part of adversarial system Required to uphold integrity of the legal profession Must observe ABA Code to provide zealous defense within boundaries of law

53. The Defense Attorney (cont.) Courts do not require assistance of counsel for accused in: Pre-indictment lineups Booking procedures Grand jury investigations Appeals beyond first review Disciplinary proceedings in correctional institutions Post-release revocation hearings

54. The Right to Counsel Legal Services for Indigents Gideon v. Wainwright Argersinger v. Hamlin Public defender systems Assigned counsel systems Contract systems Private attorneys Most do not practice criminal law Debate over effectiveness of private attorneys versus attorneys provided by state

55. The Competence of Defense Attorneys Strickland v. Washington Inadequate counsel Refuse to meet with client Fail to cross-examine witnesses Fail to investigate case Poor advice to client Conflict of interest between codefendants’ counsel

56. Court Administration Administrative Office Act, 1939 States have been slow to apply court management principles All states now have some form of court administration

57. Court Administration (cont.) Computers allow courts to fulfill many functions more efficiently Maintain case history and statistical reporting Monitor and schedule cases Prepare documents Index cases Issues summonses Notify witnesses, attorneys, and others of required appearances Select and notify jurors Prepare and administer budgets

58. Court Administration (cont.) Developing Areas of Court Technology Communications Videoconferencing Evidence presentation Case management Internet utilization Information sharing

59. Operations of Criminal Justice Agencies Corrections 6.5 million American adults are under the supervision of the state and federal corrections system. Less than 30% of convicted offenders are in prisons and jails. The rest are on probation or parole

60. key correctional goals... Punishment of the offender

61. corrections the variety of programs, services, facilities, and organizations responsible for the management of individuals who have been accused or convicted of criminal offenses notes for slide 2notes for slide 2

62. “social control” the actions and practices of individuals and institutions designed to induce conformity with the norms and rules of society notes for slide 1notes for slide 1

63. most visible forms of corrections = incarceration! Prison Institution for the incarceration of persons convicted of serious crimes, usually felonies (>yr) Administered by state (or federal) government Jail Facility authorized to hold pretrial detainees & sentenced misdemeanants for periods longer than 48 hours. Usually administered by county government notes for slide 3notes for slide 3

64. Persons under watch: types of correctional supervision

65. major aspects/concerns of “system” framework in corrections

66. complex distribution of correctional responsibilities

67. Prisoners in federal & state prisons/jails

68. Who pays for what? local, state, federal $ spent on CJ functions

69. Cost of corrections, by type of custody (U.S.)

70. Cost to build a prison bed, by security level (U.S.)

71. The “big 4” in prison pop. 2004

72. 3 key challenges of corrections-- + the issues they raise… 1. Managing the correctional organization Goals: purposes? conflict? Funding: who will pay? how much? for what? Bureaucracy: who does what? Interagency coordination: overlapping jurisdiction? who resolves adverse consequences of system-impacting decisions?

73. ...challenges of corrections (continued) 2. Working with the offenders Coordinating actions of both professional vs. nonprofessional staff Uncertain technologies: don’t know what works? when? Exchange issues: maintaining control over offenders Uncertain correctional strategies: what are we trying to do? how best to accomplish it?

74. ...challenges of corrections (continued) 3. “Connecting corrections with important values” i.e., remaining mindful that corrections is imbued with important values about social relations & social control individual rights human rights legal/moral/ethical limits on state authority

75. The Flow of Decision Making in the Criminal Justice System Steps in the Decision-Making Process Investigation – crime is reported or police witness a crime. Arrest – physically taking a person into custody pending a court proceeding if enough evidence is available showing a crime has been committed. Booking – fingerprinted, photographed, questioned, and placed in a lineup.

76. The Flow of Decision Making in the Criminal Justice System Steps in the Decision-Making Process Charging – decision to charge is crucial because it sets in motion the adjudication of the case. Initial appearance – given formal notice of charges, advised of rights, possibly post bail. Preliminary hearing/grand jury – does probable cause exist to proceed?

77. The Flow of Decision Making in the Criminal Justice System Steps in the Decision-Making Process Indictment/information – a document returned by a grand jury as a “true bill” charging an individual with a specific crime on the basis of a determination of probable cause as presented by a prosecuting attorney. Arraignment – defendant has opportunity to enter a plea to the charges. Trial – Only about 10-15% of cases go to trial and 5% are heard by juries. Sentencing – imposing punishment suitable to the offender and the offense within limits of the law.

78. The Flow of Decision Making in the Criminal Justice System Steps in the Decision-Making Process Appeal – those found guilty can appeal conviction to a higher court. Corrections – the court’s sentence is carried out by the correctional subsystem. Release – may occur when offender has served full sentence imposed by the court or paroled to the community.

79. Crime Control versus Due Process Herbert Packer (1968) Crime Control Model – assumes freedom is so important that every effort must be made to repress crime Emphasizes efficiency, speed, finality Goal of high rate of apprehension of offenders Goal of high rate of conviction and disposition of cases

80. Crime Control versus Due Process Due Process Model – assumes freedom is so important that every effort must be made to ensure criminal justice decisions are based on reliable information Emphasizes adversarial process Rights of defendants should be protected Formal decision-making procedures.

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