Criminal justice in america 8th edition chapter one custom study guide
Criminal justice in america 8th edition chapter one custom study guide CRJU 203 002
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This 9 page Study Guide was uploaded by juliac103 on Saturday September 10, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to CRJU 203 002 at University of South Carolina - Columbia taught by Theresa Clement in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 62 views.
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Date Created: 09/10/16
1 Criminal Justice in America Chapter 1 PERSONAL notes INSTRUCTOR: Clement 04 September 2016 Goals: The criminal justice system focuses on the investigation and punishment of people who commit crimes as well as efforts to protect the public by preventing others from doing the same. The criminal law is defined by elected representatives in state legislatures and congress. This includes mala in se crimes as well as mala prohibita crimes. The definition of crimes is the starting point for the criminal justice system. ● Goals of the criminal justice system: ○ Doing justice ○ Controlling crime ○ Preventing crime Doing Justice ● Concerns fairness and equality in the treatment of people who are drawn into the system. ● Requires upholding of the rights of individuals as well as punishing those who violate the law. ● Embodies three basic principles: ○ Offenders will be held fully accountable for their actions ○ The rights of persons who have contact with the system will be protected ○ Similar offenses will be treated alike, and officials will take into account relevant differences among offenders and offenses. Controlling Crime ● Control crime by arresting, prosecuting convicting, and punishing those who disobey the law. ○ This must be done within the framework of the law ● Taking action and working to prevent crimes will help to control crime. 2 Preventing Crime ● Deterrent effect: punishing those who violate a crime will warn others what will likely happen if they commit the same act ○ In this, an offender is less likely to commit a wrongful act ● Technological advancements prevent crimes ○ ex) surveillance and searches ● Commonsense acts ○ ex) locking your cars and houses ○ ex) avoiding dangerous walking areas Advancing Goals ● Evidence-based practices: policies developed through guidance from research studies that demonstrate which approaches are most useful and cost effective for advancing desired goals. ○ Examined by social scientists ■ Look at causes of crime, effectiveness of crime control strategies, and efficiency in police procedures with the goal of addressing problems. Criminal Justice in the Federal System: Criminal Justice at a Federal Level ● Federalism: power is divided between a central (national) government and regional (state) governments. ○ No single level of government is solely responsible for the administration of criminal justice. ○ Partake in the enforcement of federal criminal laws. ● The constitution does not include criminal justice among federal powers. ○ Still very involved ■ Ex) Federal bureau of investigations (FBI) ● Most criminal justice occurs from state laws at the state level. ● Similarities in national and state systems: ○ Both… ■ Enforce laws ■ Try criminal cases ■ Punish offenders ● Expansion of federal involvement: ○ The report of the U.S. president’s commision on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice (1967) emphasized this need for greater involvement in crime control at a 3 local level as well urged federal grants to be directed toward state criminal justice initiatives. ■ Focused more on criminals who cross over borders, technology-based crimes, international criminal activity, and terrorism. ● In effect: ○ created the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ■ Throu gh the consolidation of border security, intelligence, and emergency response agencies from other parts of the government ○ Created the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) ■ Result ing from 9/11 ○ Criminal justice is highly decentralized ○ Budget issues affect the local level the most Criminal Justice as a Social System The Concept of a System: ● System: a complex whole made up of interdependent parts whose actions are directed toward goals and influenced by the environment in which they function. ○ Subsystems include police, courts, and corrections ■ All interdependent ● Exchange: the mutual transfer of resources among individual actors, each of whom has goals that she or he cannot accomplish alone. ○ ex) plea bargain: in which the defense attorney and the prosecutor reach an agreement Characteristics of the Criminal Justice System Four major characteristics-- discretion, resource dependence, sequential tasks, and filtering. Discretion: 4 ● 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 ● Justification ○ Needed because the system lacks the resources to treat every case the same way. ○ Many officials believe that discretion permits them to achieve greater justice than rigid rules would produce. Resource Dependence: ● Depend on agencies for funding ○ Must maintain good relations with those who allocate resources ■ ex) legislators, mayors, and city council measures ○ Must maintain good relations with voters ■ Public support ensures less budget deductions Sequential Tasks: ● The sequential nature of the system is key to the exchange relationships among the justice system's decision makers, who depend on one another to achieve their goals. Filtering: ● Filtering process: a screening operation in which criminal justice officials screen out some cases while advancing others to the next level of decision making. ○ Those released overrides those actually prosecuted or convicted. ■ Police may decide a crime wasn’t committed or that their evidence isn’t sound. ■ Many defendants plead guilty and receive lesser punishments ■ Some judges dismiss charges Operations of criminal justice agencies Police: ● Four Major Duties: ○ Keeping the peace ○ Apprehending violators and combating crime ○ Preventing crime ○ Providing social services 5 Courts: ● Dual court system: A system consisting of a separate judicial system for each state in addition to a national system. ○ Laws may be interpreted differently in different states ■ Solving different problems by different means ● The Supreme Court: ○ Only hears cases involving federal law or constitutional rights ○ Final authority ● The roles of courts: ○ Responsible for adjudication-- determining whether or not the defendant is guilty ■ Must use fair procedures that will produce reliable decisions ○ Must impose appropriate sentences for the behavior being punished. Corrections: ● Nearly 7 million american adults (1/35) are under the supervision of state and federal correction systems, ● No “typical” correction facility ○ A variety of agencies and programs are provided by private and public organizations-- including federal, state, and local governments. ● Less than 30 percent of convicted offenders are in prisons and jails ○ Many are on probation and parole Decision Making: ● Important to recognize that political influence, personal relationships, and specific circumstances may affect how officials’ decisions shape the paths and outcomes of individual cases. ● Steps in the process: 1. Investigation ● Police believe that a crime has been committed ● Except for traffic and public-order offenses, police usually do not witness the crime themselves 2. Arrest ● Definition: the act of physically taking a person into custody pending a court proceeding ● May only be done once enough evidence is gathered ● May be done on the basis of a warrant-- a court order issued by a judge authorizing police officers to take certain actions (such as searching the premises) ○ However, most arrests are made WITHOUT warrants 6 ● May also be done through issuing a summons or citation that orders the person to report to court on a certain date ○ Avoids the need to physically hold the suspect 3. Booking ● Suspect is transported to the police station in which a record is made of their arrest. ○ May be photographed, fingerprinted, questioned, or placed in a lineup to be identified by the victim or witness ● Before being questioned they must be warned they have a right to remain silent, have a council, and that anything they say may be used against them. ● Bail may be set. 4. Charging ● Prosecuting attorneys are the key link between the police and the courts ○ They decide whether there is reasonable cause enough to charge. ■ This sets in motion the adjudication of the case 5. Initial Appearance ● Suspect is given a formal notice of the charges their being held for, advised of their rights, and if approved, a chance to post bail. ● Judge decides if there is enough evidence to continue processing-- ○ If not, the case is dismissed ● Bail ○ Purpose ■ To permit the accused to be released while awaiting trial and to ensure that they will show up in court at the appointed time. ○ Amount ■ Determined by the judge based on the crime and the defendant's prior record ○ Suspects may also be released on their own recognizance (ROR)-- a promise to appear in court at a later date without posting bail ○ Bail may be denied if the accused is considered a threat to the community. 6. Preliminary hearing/ grand jury ● Used in about half of the states ● Allows the judge to decide whether there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed and that the person accused has committed it. ○ If they do not find probable cause, the case is dismissed. ○ If they do find enough evidence, the case is bound over for arraignment on an information 7 ■ Information: a document charging an individual with a specific crime ● In a federal system and in some states, the prosecutor appears before a grand jury ○ The grand jury decides if there is enough evidence to file an indictment or “true bill” charging a suspect with a specific crime. ● Designed to keep things fair and determined if there are grounds for prosecution. 7. 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. 8. Arraignment ● The person accused reports to court to hear the indictment or information ○ May plead guilty, not guilty, or in some states mute. ■ If they plead guilty.. ● Judge must decide if it was made voluntarily with all knowledge of consequences 9. Trial ● The right to a trial by an impartial jury is guaranteed by the sixth amendment if the charges are serious enough to warrant incarnation for more than six months ● Lesser charges do not entail the right to jury ○ Most of these are summary or bench trials ○ Fewer than 10% of cases go to trial and only about half are heard by juries 10. Sentencing ● Judges are responsible for imposing sentences 11. Appeal ● Defendants who are found guilty may appeal convictions to a higher court ○ May be based on a claim that the trial court failed to follow the proper procedures or that constitutional rights were violated. ■ In 80% of cases, it was ruled that officials had acted properly ■ May result in shorter case sentencing 12. Corrections ● Carried out by the correctional subsystem ● Probation ○ Most often imposed ○ For minor violations and first time offenders 8 ○ Includes community service under supervision ● Intermediate sanctions ○ More restrictive than probation but less restrictive than incarceration ○ Includes fines, intensive supervision probation, boot camp, home confinement, and community service. ● Incarceration in state prisons ○ Isolation is the most painful experience ○ Unannounced searches of inmates and subject them to strict discipline 13. Release ● May occur before full time is served ● Released under the supervision of parole The Criminal Justice Wedding Cake ● Layer 1 ○ Highly unusual ○ Receives a lot of public attention ○ Results in a jury trial ○ Drags on through many appeals ○ Embodies the ideal of an adversarial system of justice in which each side actively fights against the other. ● Layer 2 ○ Consists of felonies that are considered serious by officials ○ Felony: Serious crime usually carrying a penalty of death or incarceration for more than one year ● Layer 3 ○ Consists of felonies that are considered less serious by officials ■ Offender may have no record ■ Victim might have a prior relationship with the accused ● Layer 4 ○ Made up of misdemeanors-- offenses less serious than felonies and usually punishable by incarceration of no more than one year in jail, probation, or intermediate sanctions. ■ 90% of all cases 9 ○ Common offenses such as traffic violations, shoplifting, prostitution, etc… Disparities ● People of color commit more crimes ○ The most extreme argument is that minorities are more predisposed to criminality ■ Research based evidence does not support this view ○ The link between crime and economic disadvantage is significant ● The criminal justice system is racially biased ○ Racial profiling varies officer to officer ● America is a racially biased society ○ Stereotyping offenders
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