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What Society Expects of Its Criminal Justice System

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What Society Expects of its Criminal Justice System

University of Phoenix

Criminal Justice Foundations


June 11, 2006

What Society Expects of its Criminal Justice System

This paper discusses what society expects of the police, courts, corrections, and how they are realized and unfulfilled. In addition, the employees of the system, their goals, expectations, and temptations and the differences in their goals from society's goals. Last, is to discuss the individuals that are charged by the system and their legitimate and non-legitimate needs.




Society expects its police to look into reported crimes, collecting and protecting evidence, arresting suspects, and aiding the prosecution in getting a conviction. Next, is to preserve peace, by having to intervene in a nonviolent conduct by an individual in a public place. Then to prevent crime, which is to prevent crime before it occurs, such as, educational campaigns, preventing patrols, and community policing. Next, is to provide services, such as, counseling, referring social services, and to keep traffic moving. Finally, to uphold rights that includes respecting rights regardless of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and respecting individual Constitutional protections.

Society expects the courts to decide if a person is guilty or not, sentence the guilty to punishment, interpret the laws made by legislative, set legal precedents, and to uphold Constitutional protections. Society expects corrections to carry out the sentencing of the courts by giving punishment, providing care and protection for the convicted, and to uphold Constitutional protections. Law enforcement, courts, and corrections task are divided differently across local, state, and federal governments.


Making this a realization by the first areas covered in the criminal justice system are the police and they are responsible for enforcing the criminal law. The presence of the Law Enforcement Code of Conduct stipulates the behavior of officers, the practice of law enforcement in the United States is to prevent biases against the poor and people of color. These biases have formed because of police discretion, the focus of certain types of crimes, location, and police profiling and policing of the war on drugs. The innocent biases results in injustice and is ineffective at reducing crime, and some police behavior is intentional and inconsistent with the goals of the criminal justice system (Robinson, M.B., 2005).


In many ways, these expectations are unfulfilled because under the law of the United States Constitution, we the people must all follow the same laws. However, through abuse of political power and authority, the people's repression by politicians has placed their self-serving interest above the laws by the high crimes against the publics' interest. We the people are taking advantage of and the checks and balances fall to corruption by the government officials we elect to office.

Employees of the system

Goals and expectations

The designed correctional system policies are for the safety of the public, the officers, and inmate's safety and than the prison's equipment or housing. The prison life is another society in itself. Prison life is different dorms that house all types of inmates ranging in different ages, race, color, and religion. There are all sorts of nationalizations in a prison system. With inmates that are hearing to deaf inmates or inmates with a disability. Even though classifying the inmate as an inmate, they are still human and want to have the safety and security while inside the prison to not be harmed or even killed. An inmate needs hope to keep themselves sane even in the inmates that have been given a life sentence for the chance of getting out of prison one day or having their sentence overturned. As the life serving inmate matures in the prison system they do realize the mistakes they made; however, they know that time cannot be turned back to correct what they have done (Carceral, K.C., 2004). The goals and expectations differ from society because these people are there to preserve and care for the convicted. Society forgets about the criminal after they are convicted.


The temptations of these positions come with the badge because police are government officers who enforce the law and preserve order. The police are often called to settle quarrels, find lost people, and aid accident victims. The police form part of a nation's criminal justice system, which also includes courts and prisons. Police officers enforce criminal law, which covers murder, robbery, burglary, and other crimes that threaten society.

For the metropolitan police, these pressures are severe, as increasing demands are made on inadequate human resources. Using his police discretion to the limit, at times his fists, and the police officer has earned the respect he commands. It is not surprising the community often turn to the police when in trouble. Sheer pressure of work also enforces communication between police and society. The greatest danger is lack of communication between police and society's failure to connect. If the police are not strict enough, and become aloof, their work will become ineffective. Society's failure to hold freedom and authority in reasonable balance could only serve to distort the traditional police role and to damage traditional police relationship. It is true that police work on dangerous tasks and are under intense pressure each day.

The police's approach to people varies, of course. Police can use race, age, and weapons as some of the tactics to fill their wants and needs as they arise. That directly affects the whole reputation of the community police force. Police cannot solve problems easily, but with certain rights and authority, being given makes their job a lot easier. For example, they have a right to hold a gun for self-defense. However, these rights are not an excuse to take advantage of, and when this happens, the police create conflicts between the public and authority. Some officers say that being a police officer makes them feel needed and looked up too. When power is corrupted in the hands of police



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