Crime and the Criminal Justice System
Crime and the Criminal Justice System
The Criminal Justice System
Goals of CJC
the goal of justice is to make sure that the outcome is fair. have to ask our selfs "is this person getting what they deserve?"
This is our reaction to crime, when it happens. done through arresting, prosecution, convicting, and punishing.
the debate of crime control and due process: crime control works for crime repression. interested in assembly line justice. where as due process works to protect the liberty and rights of the accused. aspect of "innocent till proven guilty"
The attempt to reduce crimes. it is prevented in various ways, however the most important way is showing the deterrent effect of criminal behavior through actions of police, courts, and corrections.
the two types of laws:
mala in se: offenses that are wrong by their very nature. (murder
Mala Prohibita: offenses prohibited by law but not necessarily wrong in themselves. (drug abuse)
How do we achieve the goals of CJC
helps achieve the goals through peacekeeping, apprehension of Law violators, crime prevention, and social services.
helps achieve the goals through the prosecution of accused, defense of the accused, preservation of rights.
In the courts the accused has an opportunity for a plea bargain. this is where the accused admits to the crime and is charged with reasonable sentence but also receives some consideration from the state for doing so, such as a reduction of the charge.
adjudication: the process of determining whether the defendant is guilty.
helps achieve the goals through community corrections and institutional corrections.
decision making in the courts: charging, initial appearance, preliminary hearing/ grand jury, information/indictment, arraignment, trail, sentencing, appeals.
grand jury: when you have a group of citizens and they decided if the case moves forward or not. here is where you have an indictment: a document that charges an individual with a specific crime on the basis of a determination of probable cause as presented by a prosecuting attorney.
there is a dual court system: a system consisting of a separate judicial system for each state in addition to a national system. the case is tried in a court of the same jurisdiction as that of the law/laws broken.
We can see the police, prosecution, courts, and corrections as a filtering system. a process by which criminal justice officials screen out some cases while advancing others to the next level of decision making.
evidence based practices
These are policies developed through guidance from research studies that demonstrate which approaches are most useful and cost effective for advancing desired goals.
the system itself is a whole consisting of interdependent parts whose actions are directed toward goals and are influenced by the environment in which they function
With the system there must be an exchange of resources. this allows for a balance of benefits and deficits that flow from behavior based on decisions about the values and costs of alternative courses of action.
discretion: the authority to make decisions without reference to specific rules or facts using instead one's own judgement: allows for individualization and informality in the administration of justice.
police and discretion: must decide whether or not/how to; enforce specific laws, investigate specific crimes, search people ect., arrest or detain people
prosecutors and discretion: whether or not/how to; file charges or petitions for adjudication, seek indictments, drop cases, reduce charges.
judges/magistrates and discretion: whether or not/how to; set bail or conditions for release, accept pleas, determine delinquency, dismiss charges, impose sentences, revoke probation
correctional officials and discretion: whether or not/ how to; assign to which type of correctional facility, award privileges, punish for infractions of rules, determine date and conditions of parole, revoke parole.
the criminal justice wedding cake:
Layer one: the celebrated cases
layer 2: the serious felonies
layer 3 the lesser felonies
layer 4: the misdemeanors
Discrimination/disparity in the CJC System: officails in the system must determine if statistics show disparity or discrimination
Disparity: a difference between groups that can be explained by legitimate factors or by discrimination.
discrimination: differential treatment of individuals or groups based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or economic status, instead of on their behavior or qualifications.
Crime and Victimization
Types of Crimes:
Visible: an offense agains persons or property committed primarily by members of the lower class. often referred to as "street crime" or "ordinary crime" this type of offense is the one most upsetting to the public
Violent crimes: acts against people in which death or physical injury results. examples: homicide, assault, battery, rape, robbery.
property crimes: acts that threaten property held by individuals or by the state. examples: theft, larceny, shoplifting, embezzlement, burglary
Public order crime: threatens the well-being of society and challenges moral principles: such as, public intoxication, panhandling, vandalism, disorderly conduct
Occupational: crimes that take place through the function of legitimate business.
Examples: white collar crime, skimming, insider trading, tax evasion, fraud, counterfeit products, money laundering.
Organized: has a frame work for the perpetration of criminal acts. ties into other types of crime.
Transnational: crimes in which cross national borders: such as drug trafficking, smuggling, human trafficking...
victimless: willing and private exchange of goods or services that are in strong demand but are also illegal. such as prostitution, gambling, drug sales, and drug use
political: acts committed by or against the government. including terrorism, document leaking, election rigging, and treason.
cyber: offenses that involve the use of one or more computers. examples: phishing schemes, hacking, intimidation/extortion, child pornography.
Who is Victimized?
Ages 12-14 white and 18-20 african are the highest. people in their teens and 20's are the most victimized.
urban people/families are more likely to be victimized than rural people. this is because the more people that live in one area, the morelikely there will be crime.
Lower socio-economic status families/people are morelikely to be victimized than higher income families.
Intra racial: people are more likely to victimize their own kind. with this, it is likely the victim will have a relation with the perpetrator.
cost of crime:
Economic: lost property, lower productivity, and medical expenses
psychological/emotional: pain, trauma, and diminished quality of life. could have ptsd. could need to see a therapist. with the golden state killer all the victims have to live with the fact that he is still out there.
operational: the man hours involved to investigate.
Help for the victims:
victim advocacy programs:
Provides guidance through the court process, provides a support system, assists with filling protective orders, accompany to court, assist with filling for compensation.
victims bill of rights
Makes sure the victim is treated with dignity, informs about court dates, release, escape, revocation hearings, and changes of status, confer with prosecutors office, impact staement for psi.....
The Crime Picture:
Uniform Crime Report: published by the FBI. it is a voluntary reporting from law enforcement agencies. separates crimes into part one and part 2 offences. and has 29 total crime categories.
part one crimes: called visible crimes.
part two crimes: smaller offenses
Higher achy rule: if a person commits several crimes in one setting only the highest crime shows up.
NIBRS: put in place to correct issues of the UCR. they provide more detail on the incident than the UCR.
NCVS: respondents report victimization in a survey and it is not dependent on crime reports to the police. this programs works to uncover the dark figure of crimes.
Criminal Justice and the rule of law
Criminal law vs. civil law
Criminal law: substantive and procedural. the case will be between he state/government and the individual.
substantive: the idea of substance. it is the creation of what is illegal. it is our definition of crimes and the punishments for the crimes.
procedural: this is the law that frames the context of how we must act as criminal justice majors. it will tell the police officer what they can and cannot do. as well as the court in what it and it cannot do.
civil law: not going to put someone in prison or jail. case is an individual vs. another individual. "legal regulating the relationship between or among individuals. usually involving property, contracts, or business disputes."
Crimes by consequence
Felonies: more serious crimes. looking at a punishment that could involve a year or more of incarceration.
Misdemeanors: still have ability to incarcerate a criminal. you can still vote. number of intermediate sanctions, a fine, community service. if incarcerated, there will be jail time. "offenses less serious than felonies and usually punishable by incarceration of no more than one year in jail, or by probation, or intermediate sanctions.
Civil infractions: fines, such as speeding. "minor offenses that are typically punishable by small fines and produce no criminal record for the offender"
Elements of a crime:
Legality: there must be a law that defines the specific action as a crime
Actus Reus: suppreme court has ruled that people may not be convicted of a crime simply because of their status. under this requirement, for a crime to occur, there must be an act of either commission or omission by the accused. example: cant be charged for being addicted to drugs, but can be charged for the use of them.
Causation: for a crime to have been committed, there must be a causal relationship between an act and the harm suffered. example: person is burglarizing a house, when police arrive they shoot and accidentally kill the owner of the house, the burglar cannot be charged with manslaughter as it was not directly his fault the person died.
Harm: to be a crime, an act (or failure to act) must cause harm to some legally protected value.
concurrence: for an act to be considered a crime, the intent and the act must be present at the same time.
mens rea: the commission of an act is not a crime unless it is accompanied by a guilty state of mind.
punishment: there must be provision in the law calling for punishment of those found guilty of violating the law.
Self defense: defendant feels that he/she must harm an aggressor to ward off an attack
necessity: used when people break the law in order to save themselves or prevent some greater harm.
Duress (coercion): someone commits a crime because he or she has been coerced by another preson
Entrapment: the defense that the individual was induced by the police to commit the criminal act.
Infancy: excuses criminal acts under age of 17 on the grounds of their infancy and lack or responsibility for their actions. (mens rea is not present)
Mistake of Fact: ignorance of the law is no excuse for committing an illegal act, however if an accused person has made a mistake on some crucial fact, that may serve as a defense.
Intoxication: relieve of individual responsibility if person was tricked into being intoxicated.
Insanity: if insane, cannot be convicted through the corrections. instead sent to mental facilities. they do not have the right state of mind.
M'Naghten Rule: deals with people being delusional. once again not the right state of mind.
Irresistible impulse test: this is a supplement for the M'Nagten rule: this excuses defendants when a mental disease was controlling their behavior even though they knew that what they were doing was wrong.
Durham rule: the accused is not criminally responsible if an unlawful act is the product of mental disease or mental defect
Model Penal Code's Substantial Capacity test: improvement of the durham rule: person is not responsible for criminal conduct if at the time of the crime is a result of mental disease or defect he lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the wrongfulness of the act."
Comprehensive crime control act: limits the rules on insanity to those who are unable to understand the nature or wrongfulness of their acts.
Other legal rights and protections:
The bill of rights: the first 10 amendments added to the US constitution to provide specific rights for individuals, including criminal justice rights concerning searches, trails, and punishments.
Fourth amendment: must have warrant to conduct searches in persons houses, paper, and effects. a warrant will not be issued unless there is probable cause.
Fifth amendment: protects against self incrimination and double jeopardy:
Self incrimination: the act of exposing oneself to prosecution by being pressured to respond to questions when the answers may reveal that one has committed a crime.
Double jeopardy: the subjecting of a person to prosecution more than once in the same jurisdiction for the same offense
Sixth amendment: right to a speedy and public trial.
Gideon vs. Wainwright (1963): case deciding that indigent defendants have a right to counsel when charged with serious crimes for which they could face 6 or more months of incarceration.
right to an impartial jury
8th amendment: excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Fundamental fairness: a legal doctrine supporting the idea that so long as a state's conduct maintains basic standards of fairness, the constitution has not been violated.
Barron vs. Baltimore (1833) this is the case deciding that the protections of the bill of rights only apply to actions of the federal government.
Powell vs. Alabama (1932): case deciding that an attorney must be provided to a poor defendant facing the death penalty.