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The Criminal Justice System

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The criminal justice system is comprised of many aspects, an important one of which is the courtroom work group. Made up of individuals versed in the law and ethics of how the system works, each person has a specific role so that the system will run properly. In doing so, they play their part in the criminal justice funnel. This "funnel" is the process through which all criminal cases begin and are weeded out to determine which ones will continue on the system to possible incarceration. It is essential that the funnel and the components and individuals within the system that it processes through work efficiently to reduce stress upon the system while assuring justice is done.

The Courtroom Workgroup

According the Schmalleger (2015), the courtroom work group is defined as being, "The professional courtroom actors, including judges, prosecuting attorneys, defense attorneys, public defenders, and others who earn a living serving the court." (Chapter 9). In order for the justice system to function at its best, the role of each "actor" within this workgroup is vital to the overall goal of successfully closing each case presented. The outcome of the case is not important in regards to whether it is decided as guilty or not guilty, but rather that justice has been served to the defendant. Additionally affecting the workgroup is the criminal justice system funnel which affects how many and which cases will be tried.

The Workgroup

The components in a courtroom workgroup are many, yet each is necessary for it to function appropriately. Included within this workgroup are the more commonly known participants of the bailiff, the judge, prosecuting attorney, and the defense counsel but also the clerk of court, and the court reporter. (Schmalleger, 2015, p. 288). These participants are viewed as being familiar with the workings of the court and as well as its deportment. Not only is each required to have professional knowledge of their station, but also knowledge which Schmalleger points out, "Involves an implicit recognition of informal rules of civility, cooperation, and shared goals." (Schmalleger, 2015, pg. 287).

Members involved in a criminal trial are seen in two groups, the professional and the outsiders. The professionals make up the courtroom group as described above. The outsiders



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