The Criminal Justice System Essay

826 words - 4 pages

The Criminal Justice System
Lyn Wilson
CJS 200
June 26th, 2011
University of Phoenix/Axia

The Criminal Justice System
The American criminal justice system is defined as a group of practices, policies, and courts for the purpose of upholding social responsibility, deterring crime, and penalizing those who violate the law. The criminal justice system has three main components, local and state law enforcement agencies, the courts, and corrections. These three components are broken down into progressive stages. The first stage is the initial stop of a suspect on suspicion of probable cause. If the stop yields evidence to substantiate the commission of a crime the suspect is arrested. At ...view middle of the document...

Penalty can include fines, community service, house arrest, and probation, incarceration in jail or prison and capital punishment. After sentencing the defendant has the option to appeal the judge’s decision which if granted could result in another trial. (Wadsworth, Criminal Justice in Action: The Core, 2006). The goal of sentencing and punishment is to deter criminals from committing future crimes. The goal of incarceration is to ensure public safety by removing dangerous persons from society.
The prevention of crime is the responsibility of all citizens as well as law enforcement officials. This can be accomplished through conscious awareness of surroundings, reporting suspicious activity to law enforcement, and initiating or joining a neighborhood watch. Budget cuts and staff reductions in the city and county levels of law enforcement add to the challenging job of keeping community streets safe. In Monterey County, California local law enforcement; police, sheriff, gang task force, and the highway patrol have their work cut out for them. Gang activity in this county is high. The Northern Hispanics, or Nortenos are in constant war with the Southern Hispanics, or Sorenos over territory.
Both the northern and southern street gangs are connected to validated gang members housed in the two prisons within the county. The Salinas Valley State Prison, which is one of the most violent prisons in California and the Correctional Training Facility State Prison. Both are located side-by-side in Soledad, California. The Sorenos and Nortenos control gang activity in the communities...

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