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UWM / Criminal Justice / CRM JST 110 / What are the three main aspects of the system of criminal justice?

What are the three main aspects of the system of criminal justice?

What are the three main aspects of the system of criminal justice?


School: University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Department: Criminal Justice
Course: Intro to Criminal Justice
Term: Fall 2016
Tags: Criminal, Criminal Justice, Intro to criminal justice, Criminal Justice System, and Introduction Criminal Justice
Cost: 50
Name: Criminal Justice Study Guide
Description: Criminal Justice Study Guide
Uploaded: 10/28/2017
13 Pages 263 Views 3 Unlocks

Crime and Criminal Justice

What are the three main aspects of the system of criminal justice?

Criminal Justice Stages

There are three main aspects of the system of criminal justice: police, courts, and corrections. These systems function cooperatively as a group, and also  as separate institutions.

Crime: A deed that is against the law and results in punishment Police: The people who investigate crimes and apprehend the criminals

 Police officers are often the first point of contact in the criminal justice  system

Courts: The system that determines whether the accused should be charged  for a crime, and whether the accused should be held criminally responsible  for the act

 When the information is gathered and processed, it is sent to the  courts

What refers to a deed that is against the law and results in punishment?

 The district attorney then decides if charges will be filed against the  accused, also known as the defendant

 Prosecutor must be able to prove probable cause that the defendant is  guilty

 Judge is the unbiased monitor of the process

Corrections: The system which carries out the punishment decided by the  court

 After court, criminals can be placed on probation or sent to jail or  prison


Discretion: The authority given to criminal justice officials to make decisions   Generally considered the most useful tool

Ethics: The understanding of right and wrong behavior

 Ethics guide the process of discretion

What refers to the people who investigate crimes and apprehend the criminals?

If you want to learn more check out What is the meaning of analogical?

Wedding Cake Model of Justice

Wedding Cake: 4-tier model that shows how criminal cases are treated  differently

 1st tier: Represents misdemeanors, which make up the majority of  criminal cases

 2nd tier: Represents lesser felonies (typically nonviolent in nature)

 3rd tier: Represents serious felonies (offenders often have criminal  histories)

 4th tier: Represents celebrated cases (ex. Jeffery Dahmer, Ted Bundy,  O.J. Simpson)

Misdemeanors: Petty crimes which are punished by less than one year of jail  time

Felonies: Severe crimes that are punished by more than one year of prison Criminal Justice Models

There are 2 main ideologies of criminal justice, the crime control model and  the due process model

Crime Control Model: Criminal justice model which advocates for the control  and repression of criminal acts in order to maintain public order

 Processes offenders in a quick and consistent manner

 Punishment is typically quick and severe

 The system of criminal justice is viewed as an assembly line  Infringes on the rights of people If you want to learn more check out How do you record purchase of merchandise on account?

Due process Model: Criminal justice model which believes that people's  individual rights being protected is the most important aspect of the system

 Processes offenders in a fair and equal manner

 The criminal justice system is seen as an obstacle course  Ignores the victims of crime, and gives criminals leeway

The Media and Criminal Justice

Most Americans have little knowledge of the criminal justice system, and the  media influences what most people believe about the system.  

The CSI effect refers to crime dramas quickly solving a case by the end of the episode. This rapid speed of solving a case is unrealistic, as DNA and other  clues may not always be readily available.

There are also countless reality tv programs that report on high-profile cases  such as Jodi Arias and George Zimmerman. We also discuss several other topics like Is the division of society into groups arranged in a social hierarchy?

The rates of violent and murderous crime are exaggerated in popular  television programs

Public policy is shaped more by the misinformation of the media than actual  data and logic

Concepts of Law and Criminal Justice

Types of Law

Civil Cases: Cases between citizens or private parties, usually involves a  breach of private acts such as family law, property arguments, and contracts.

◊ Plaintiff: The person who brings the case to court

♦ Required to present evidence by the preponderance of the  evidence, which is a burden of proof.

Burden of Proof

◊ Defendant: The person who responds to the plaintiff's case ◊ The method of punishment for civil cases is financial

Criminal Cases: Cases that are brought up by the government against the  defendant for breaking a law, and the punishments can include probation,  parole, incarceration, and execution

◊ The burden of proof for criminal cases is beyond a reasonable doubt,  which means that conviction occurs only when there is little to no  doubt that the defendant broke the law If you want to learn more check out What is included in the bond indenture?

◊ Federal criminal laws are brought up by the legislative branch o Governs criminal behavior that occurs across state lines (Fraud,  firearms, drugs, money laundering, etc.) If you want to learn more check out Is intelligence influenced by heredity?

o Governs criminal behavior that occurs on federal buildings,  national parks, tribal land, etc.

◊ State criminal laws vary from state to state, and vary dramatically in  what constitutes criminal behavior

o Punishments can vary from each state

◊ Municipal criminal laws only apply to a specific city or country o Cases involve misdemeanors and infractions

Law Sources

Code of Hammurabi If you want to learn more check out What happens when prices are too high for equilibrium?

◊ 1754 BCE

◊ 282 codified laws

◊ Lex talionis: "The punishment should fit the nature of the crime" Roman Law

◊ 449 BCE

◊ 12 Tables: Structure of Roman law

◊ First legal scholars

English Common Law

◊ Middle Ages

◊ 'Stare decisis' refers to the system of precedent, in which new cases  are ordered to consider previous cases.

Constitutional Law

◊ 1787

◊ Laws taken from the US and state constitutions

o 4th amendment: Protection against unreasonable searches and  seizures

o 5th amendment: Protection against double jeopardy and self incrimination, requires due process in criminal cases

o 6th amendment: The right to a speedy trial by an unbiased jury,  the right to an attorney

o 8th amendment: Protection against unrestrained bail, and against cruel and unusual punishments

 Many of these processes use discretion in what is  

considered a "cruel and unusual" punishment, or  

"unreasonable" searches and seizures

Statutory Law

◊ Laws which are founded by governments (federal or state) Administrative Law

◊ Law which governs the creation and functionality of government  agencies (both state and federal)

Case Law

◊ Results in a new law that is created as a result of legal conclusions  from the court, these new conclusions are then called precedent. ◊ Opinions: The written explanations from a panel of judges

Criminal Law

◊ Mala in se: Laws that are inherently evil (murder, assault, etc.) ◊ Mala prohibita: Laws that are illegal because of the rules of the land  (prostitution, gambling, drug use)

Aspects of a Criminal Act

◊ Actus rectus: An act that is considered wrong by society ◊ Mens rea: "Evil thought" or malintent

◊ Concurrence: When actus rectus and mens rea combine in the form of  a crime

◊ Strict liability: Cases in which a crime can be convicted without mens  rea (killing someone while driving drunk)

◊ Attendant circumstances: The relationship between mens rea and  actus rectus, which makes an act a crime

◊ Result: The harm that is caused when mens rea and actus rectus  combine in the form of a crime

Substantive Criminal Law

◊ Defines what makes an act criminal, under the law.

Procedural Criminal Law

◊ Governs the legal structure and rules by which court cases should  move through the system

Criminal Defenses

◊ It's the prosecutor's job to prove that the defendant is guilty, but in  order to avoid a guilty verdict the team of the defendant prepares a  defense. A defense is a legal strategy which attempts to justify,  excuse, or explain a criminal act.

o Innocence: A case in which evidence excludes an individual from  committing a crime

o There are many cases of wrongful conviction, and wrongful  eyewitness reports account for the majority of these false  convictions.

o Necessity: A case in which a person was forced to break the law  in order to prevent more harm from occurring  

o Duress: Strategy of defense in which people are forced to break  the law out of fear for their own safety or the safety of those  around them

o Entrapment: Strategy of defense that occurs when a person is  deceived by an official of the government to engage in an act  which is against the law

o Self-Defense: A strategy of defense which allows for the use of  force to defend oneself against a perpetrator

 There are many factors that are taken into consideration  when these cases are brought to court such as the  

appropriateness of the response, the size of the attacker,  

the form of force used, etc.

o Intoxication: Defense that uses being under the influence of  alcohol or drugs as a reason for committing a criminal act

o Insanity: A defense in which the person isn't held responsible for  their actions by means of their mental state

 M'Naughten Rule: A standard rule of the insanity plea. The  defendant is unable to understand the difference between  right and wrong

 Irresistable Impulse test: A standard rule of the insanity  plea. The defendant knows right from wrong but is unable  to stop themselves from committing the crime.

 Model penal code test: The M'Naughten rule and the  

irresistible impulse testt are combined to determine if a  

defendant can be found criminally insane

o Guilty but mentally ill: Legal ruling that allows for mentally ill  criminals to be held guilty for a crime

Defining and Measuring Crime

Defining crime

Violent Crime

 Violent offenses: Crimes that involve violent acts against another o Violent crime is portrayed more frequently than it actually occurs in crime dramas, therefore the public has a higher fear of it.  Murder: An act of crime where a person kills an individual o Least common type of crime, and has the most severe penalty  1st degree murder: premeditated act of murder, committed  with malintent, or committed during a felony

 2nd degree murder: acts that are not premeditated, and  don't involve torture

 Voluntary Manslaughter: Acts in which the perpetrator  

intended to take someone's life, but important  

circumstances and clues are missing

 Involuntary Manslaughter: Acts where there was no intent  to take someone's life, but a person dies due to negligence  Sexual Assault/Rape: An act of crime which involves forced sexual  activities upon someone else without consent

o Statutory Rape: An act that involves sexual activity with  someone underage

 Assault: An act of crime which involves threat to harm or the physical  harm of another

o Simple Assault: No use of any weapons, and injuries are mild o Aggravated Assault: The use of a weapon, serious injuries  sustained

 Robbery: An act of crime which involves stealing another's property  through the use of violence or fear

Property Offenses

 Property Crimes; Acts of crime which involve the damage or taking of  personal property

 Burglary: Act of crime which occurs when a person enters a property  without permission with the intent of taking personal property (victim  and burglar do not come into contact)

 Larceny/Theft: An act of crime which involves taking someone's  personal property without the use of force

 Vandalism: An act of crime which involves the destruction or damage  of a structure or building

 Arson: An act of crime which involves the destruction of a structure or  item by fire

Status Offenses

 Acts of crime that only apply to certain individuals (usually by age) o Underage drinking, truancy, etc.

Victimless Crimes

 Acts of crime which involve self-harm behaviors or consensual  activities

o Drug use, prostitution, gambling

White-Collar Crimes

 Acts of crime which typically occur in corporate fields

o (embezzlement, corruption, bribery, etc.)

Crimes Against the Government

 Crimes against government are punished by federal law o Treason: Act of crime which involves behavior that attempts to  overthrow the government

o Espionage: An act of crime in which a person or a government  obtains secret information

o Terrorism: An act of crime which includes acts of violence with  the goal of instilling fear  

Uniform Crime Reports

One of the biggest sets of data on crime, based on arrest records and data  reporting.

 Includes type of crime, age, gender, race, location, region

 Implemented in 1930

Data Collected

 Type 1 Offenses: Includes 8 categories: murder, aggravated assault,  rape/sexual assault, robbery, burglary, motor-vehicle theft, larceny theft, and arson

 Crime Rate: A comparison of the number of crimes by the size of the  population

Limitations of UCR

 Dark figure of crime: The unreported crimes that don't present  themselves in statistics

o The accounts of rape, for example would be much higher if the  crime of rape was actually reported

o Certain crimes are overestimated while others are  


 Hierarchy rule: A rule of the Uniform Crime Report program that only  counts the most serious crime

National Incident-Based Reporting System

System of crime data which offers more extensive data categories of crime  statistics (improved version of UCR)

 1988

 Few institutions are certified to release their data

National Crime Victimization Survey

Largest study of victimization in the US

 Implemented to fill the gap between reported crime and unreported  crime

 1971

Self-Reported Offending Datasets

 Self-Reported data: Statistics of crime that are based upon personal  disclosures

 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System: Data collected by CDC which  focuses on risk behaviors of youth

 Longitudinal Study: Self-report studies that investigate individuals over  a period of time

 National Youth Survey Family Study: A longitudinal study of at risk  behaviors

Explanations of Criminal Behavior

Theories of Crime

Theory: Idea used to explain a phenomenon

 What factors cause crime?

 Why do people participate in criminal acts?

 Micro crime theories: Focuses on disparities between behaviors that are legal  and illegal

 Macro crime theories: Focuses on structural and social sources of crime Classical Crime Theories

There are 2 schools of classical crime theories

 Classical school of criminology: People engage in criminal activities on their  own free will

 Positivist school of criminology: Data-based method to understand crime Beccaria

 Penology: Small field of criminology that looks at punishment  Pain-pleasure principle: People choose their actions based on the amount of  pain vs. Pleasure that is derived

o Deterrence: Individuals will avoid acts that could be pleasurable if pain  or the fear of pain is significant enough


 Bentham's ideas were similar to Beccaria's however, Bentham believed that  each factor of the crime and of the criminal should be taken into  consideration

 Panopticon: A surveillance tower that is placed in a circular setting to allow  for a small number of people to view the larger surrounding area

Biological/Psychological Theories of Crime

Biological theories of crime: Genetic factors that contribute to criminal behavior

 Lombroso believed that crimes were committed by people with primitive  qualities

 Lombroso teamed with Ferrero and concluded that women engaged in less  crime, and that women who participated in crime vengeful, and less  compassionate

Psychological theories of crime: Environmental and personality factors that  contribute to criminal behavior

 Freud suggests that the id can be responsible for criminal behavior that is  compulsive

Biological and Psychological theories of crime

 Cognitive development theories: Theory which suggests that people commit  crime because of a lack of capacity to make moral judgements

o Piaget's theory of childhood development

I Sensorimotor

II Preoperational

III Concrete Operational

IV Formal Operational

o Kohlberg's theory of moral development

I Preconventional Stage

II Conventional Level

III Postconventional Level

o Biosocial theories of crime: A combination of biological and social  factors that influence crime

Sociological theories of crime

 Social disorganization theory: theory which investigates how neighborhoods  contribute to criminal behavior

 Strain Theory: Stress and anger are the causes of criminality o Anomie: Sense of normlessness after a period of social unrest o Conformist: Individuals who accept social goals and the means of  obtaining them

o Ritualist: Individuals who reject socially approved goals but still follows  society's rules of achieving the goals

o Innovator: Individuals who accept social goals of society but rejects the process of getting there

o Retreatist: Someone who rejects society's rules and rejects the means  of achieving those goals

o Rebel: Someone who rejects socially accepted goals and means for  achieving them and replaces them with their own goals

 General strain theory: Identifies individual, psychological sources that  correlate with criminal behavior

o Failure to achieve positive goals

o Loss of positive influences

o Arrival of negative influences

 Differential association theory: How relationships influence delinquent  behavior (9 principles)

 Labeling Theory: How being labeled a criminal can influence behaviors o Primary Deviance: Minor criminal acts that result in being labeled an  offender

o Self-fulfilling prophecy: Individuals who are labeled as an offender may  be more likely to engage in criminal behaviors

o Secondary Deviance: Acts of deviance which occur when criminal  behavior occurs as a result of taking on the identity of a label

♦ Often much more severe than acts of primary deviance

 Social Learning theory: People learn from observing other's behaviors  (modeling)

o There are many diverse reinforcements that influence learning and  imitating the behavior of others

o Differential Reinforcement: Behavior viewed as a balance between the  increasing rewards that come with behaving criminally, and the  minimization of punishment and consequences

 Social Bond theory: Focuses on the reasons people desist from criminal acts

I Attachment The bond people have with their friends, family, and  community

II Commitment: The investment that a person has to the normal social  order of society

III Involvement: The degree to which a person engages in traditional  societal activities

IV Belief: A general agreement upon the rules of society

 Control Theory

o General theory of crime: Self-control is the most important element  regarding criminal behavior

 People with high self-control will abstain from crime, while  

people with low self-control will engage in more crime

Modern Crime Theories

 Life course theory: Observes how criminal behaviors occur throughout a life,  and the events that have the potential to change this behavior  Age-Graded developmental theory: Explains the way in which a person may  engage in criminal behavior due to personal life events

 Feminist Criminology: Theories of criminology that focus on women's  experiences in criminal behaviors

o Feminist Pathways Approach: Dissects the ways in which trauma and  abuse contribute to criminal behavior


Crimes and Victims

 Victim: A person who has been hurt or injured by the hands of another  The majority of crimes involve a victim, few crimes are truly victimless


 Victimology: Study of criminology which focuses primarily on the victim  Early victimology theories focused on ways in which victims were  responsible and at fault for their own victimization

 Mendelson's theory of victimology  

 Innocent Victim- No responsibility for the crime blamed on the  victim

 Victim with minor guilt- Victim brings about crime without  

regard, and recklessly

 Voluntary Victim- Victim and criminal are both equally  

responsible for crime

 Victim with more guilt than the offender- Victim who induces a  person to commit a crime

 Victim who is guilty- Victim who is completely responsible for  their victimization

 Imaginary Victim- Victim falsely believes they have been  


 Just-World Hypothesis: State of mind in which individuals believe that  good things happen to good people, and that bad things happen to bad people

 This hypothesis provides a false sense of security

 Victim Blaming: An unhealthy means to deal with victimization  by separating yourself from the victim by creating feelings of  


 Routine Activities/Lifestyle Theory

 Routine Activities: The assumption that an act of crime is more  likely to take place when a motivated offender (1) converges  

with a potential victim (2) during the absence of police officials  (3)

∙ Lifestyle changes changed since the 20th century which  

allowed more motivated offenders and potential victims to

come into contact with each other

 Lifestyle Theory: The assumption that certain lifestyle activities  place individuals at risk for victimization

Victim's Rights  

 The start of the Victim's Rights movement began in the 1970's  Presidential Task Force on Victims of Crime: Created by Reagan to reform the  experiences of victims of crime

 Victim and Witness Protection Act of 1982: An act passed by congress to  provide fair treatment to victims

 Victims of Crime Act: Federal law that established the crime victims fund Modern Victim Rights

 Crime Victims' Rights act of 2004: Federal law which gives legal rights to  victims in federal criminal cases:

 The right to be protected from the accused

 The right to timely notice of court proceedings, parole proceedings, or  the release/escape of the criminal

 The right to be excluded from court proceedings

 The right to be reasonably heard at court proceedings (plea,  sentencing, parole proceedings)

 The right to confer with the attorney of the government

 The right to a complete and timely restitution

 The right to timely proceedings

 The right to be treated fairly and respectfully  

 Restorative Justice: A model that gives more opportunities for victims to have  more of a voice in the criminal justice system

 Violence against Women act: Federal law that gave support to victims of  domestic violence

NCVS and Victims

∙ Data from the NCVS is divided into personal crime and property crimes

 Personal Crime: Rape, assault, robbery, etc.

 Property Crime: Vandalism, burglary, theft, etc.

 The rate of violent crime has decreased over the past year  49% of victims report property crime, 37% of victims report property crime  The NCVS only reports on people aged 12 and older

 Secondary Victimization: The process in which victims can feel trauma when  reliving their experience through the criminal justice process

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