Criminal Law

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Criminal Law

Criminal justice system is defined as a structured system in which the perpetrators of crime are apprehended, charged and then offered a chance to reform themselves through the last stage of corrections. There are five major steps or components of the criminal justice system, which starts with policing, or enforcement of the law until the person is convicted and punished. However, more importantly is in reforming or correcting the person. This research paper looks at the possibility of college students taking this area more serious in an effort to manage the sector better. The paper focuses more on the criminal justice system of America where, the country is noted to have one of the best and oldest forms of the criminal justice system.


The American Criminal Justice System is a kind of system that is structured in a way that acts as a way or a tool to maintain social control and it comes with a number of components that seem to work together.  The main aim of this is to give justice to the persons who break the law as well as any other kind of crime (Falk, 2010).  This US criminal justice can therefore help in the protection of criminals from unfair judgment that can easily be put on them as well as the abuses that they are usually prone to in the hands of the police and the government as a whole. The system has been made to undergo major changes before coming to the present day since it was suggested and put into place.  The fact that it acts as a tool of social control means that anyone is protected by this system and that too includes the rights of convicts and those about to be convicted.

The criminal justice is a kind of system of institutions and the practices of various governments in the world in a way to institute major rights for everybody. It is noted that whenever there is recognition of rights, the rights of the persons who are held behind bar or the persons who are about to be convicted of a crime are forgotten. That is why the criminal justice system was instituted by major government institutions to try to recognize the rights of everybody or try to protect the criminals from being unfairly targeted by the police and other people bestowed with maintaining order and law. In this, the research paper would try to look at how critical more learning would help in instituting good knowledge on how these laws and the system operates in American country. The paper sees more schooling as a way of making sure that people in institutions of leaning get to understand better.

Statement of the Problem

Many people tend to think that criminals do not have rights, and in actual sense, most of the people who are driven to the police cells or are subjected to police brutality may not be criminals at all.  Therefore, when the public fail to recognize them as people deserving justice, it puts to question whether they are regarded as less human to make them appear as generally bad.  It has become known that most people fail to recognize a good criminal justice system because they are not well learned, and therefore, the proposition is that with poor schooling, then, criminal justice in any particular country would be as good as ineffective. The opposite would be correct to argue that when there is good schooling, it is possible that everyone would be in a position to understand the processes of good judgment and the more there is schooling, the more students are at a position to understand what constitutes a good criminal justice system.

Research Hypothesis

Going to college school is to study criminal law is one way of building an effective criminal justice system, and the more the learner furthers his or her studies in this course, the more the students get to understand better the rights of everybody including the criminals, and the better the criminal justice system would be

Research Questions

  1. What constitutes the American Criminal Justice System?
  2. What constitutes an effective criminal justice system?
  3. Does college learning in criminal way a way of improving the system?
  4. What about going further than the college level in these studies?

Literature Review

Introduction to Criminal Justice System

By definition, a criminal justice is a kind of system of the practices and the institutions of the governments, which are directed, and having a social control that is instituted to govern the criminal law (Gibson, 2008). The process/system helps deter and mitigating crime and more so, it sanctions the persons who go contrary to what the laws states with some criminal penalties; but as well, it mentions the efforts of rehabilitation. Therefore, some of the issues that come out here are the efforts to fight for the rights of everybody who is involved in the criminal law the person who has violated, the person whose rights have been violated and the persons who uphold the law. Gibson (2008) writes that the accused too ought to have some forms of protections especially against the abuse of the prosecuting powers and more so the police or investigatory agencies.

The criminal justice system has three major components or parts; that is, the enforcers of law who are in this case the police or investigatory agencies, the adjudication exercised by the courts and the correction places namely the jails, the probations, the prisons and the parole (May, 2007).  Generally, criminal justice has a number of things that are encompassed. It has the element of crime prevention and the reduction of this crime while it goes for the arrests and the prosecutions of the persons suspected of committing a crime. As well, there is the hearing of the cases termed as crime by the places of justices such as the courts while the persons who are seen to have committed the crimes are sentenced. Afterwards, the criminal too has a right to have the tools to reform, and that is why there are places such as the parole to make the offenders reform their behaviors. In all of the above, they can be summarized in three major parts namely the policing, the courts and the corrections. The policing are to get the criminals; the courts are to prosecute the criminals while the corrections points are to make the offenders reform their behaviors.

The History of Criminal Justice System

This paper majorly looks at the history of the American criminal justice system and notes that it has its root from the colonial times. This is the era, the Americans used the common law that was being used by England and the starting of the United States criminal justice system majorly had much influence from the philosophy of times as well as the religion (Roth, 2010). During founding of this system, there was the main urgency to have a government that was listening to the people, and have fair distribution of the responsibilities in a way to create cohesion and control. There was to be a jury that was to help individuals understand the laws used by the government and punishments that were to be given to criminals. However, during those times, there was no good lawyers and therefore, there was no good knowledge of how this could be applied.

According to Neubauer (2008), the rules in this were to stipulate clearly how to solve any problem that was to clobber the society during those times. The system was to deal with the two major forms of the offences namely the misdemeanors and the felony. In dealing with the crimes, there were complex and grand jury of the community members that were contacted. However, during those times and unlike the present understanding of this, the criminal was to pay for the investigations but in the present day, the investigators are to go their way until they uncover the real culprits behind a certain crime. Coming to the present form of system and more so the trial process, the traditional form of doing this was very different where, the crime was reported and a judge or a magistrate was to make out whether the claims or the cases were valid or not.

To an extent, the American Criminal Justice System has cut across the borders of the American nation to touch other countries. Especially, on matters concerning the security of the American nation, the government tends to extend its arm to act as the police, the courts and the correction for the criminals. For instance, American is very much worried about the terrorism rise in the world and that is why where there is a problem with such a suspicion, the American police would always move in and apprehend the criminals if got. From there, the persons become part of the Americans held for criminal purposes and the charges are from the American courts. However, as Harr (2007) writes, the constitution of the United States is supreme in all of the determination of how the criminal justice in America would be carried out. The constitution has provisions that have anchored the criminal justice system and these are supreme to any acts that may be proposed by the police, the courts and the corrections about the protections of the criminals. The criminal justice system in United States was anchored into the constitution just like any other protection laws or the rights of individuals in America. The same way the rights of immigrants were anchored into the constitution only that this law in particular concerns the persons vindicated of crime.

Components of the Criminal Justice System

The criminal justice system was studied earlier in this paper to have a number of elements; and mostly, they are summarized into three namely the policing, the courts and the corrections. According to Watson (2007), these components can be extended to have five major components. One, there is the local law enforcement and this means that the citizens acts as well as the police whereby, when they notice a crime being committed, they pass the information to the police for further actions. The second component is the court trial and this is where there is the first stop after he or she is apprehended. The third step is where the court case starts and this is where the case is given to the judge for him or her to evaluate whether there was a crime committed or not. The fourth step is where there is the trial with the grand jury and this is used in the court of law to hear from the two sides regarding the case.

The fifth step in this is in the making of decision by the grand jury from the fourth step and this step includes punishment. Once the two sides have been heard, the judges would make an informed decision that determines whether the person has a case to answer in the whole process of criminal justice. However, Hess (2008) writes that the five processes analyzed above fall under the two first parts namely the policing and the courts or trials. The next step, which is most important in the whole of the criminal justice system, is the correction part, and this is where the persons are made to learn their mistakes and reform to become good people. Hess (2008) adds that at times, the three parts collide where, prosecutions can be done at the first stage; law enforcement or policing, and this means that some of the areas that are a preserver of the second part are taken up.

Components of American Criminal Justice System

The analysis above looks at five major component of criminal judicial system, which can further be broken into three namely policing/law enforcement, courts and corrections. Essentially, policing covers the law enforcement by both the police and the citizens while the courts are covered by the court trial in the jury and the grand jury. However, the determination of the case also falls under the category of the courts and this means that the five components tend to leave out the part of correction. The entire above are followed to the letter by the American criminal justice system, which can be argued as the first of the criminal justice system in the world. Essentially, virtually all other forms of criminal justice systems practiced across the world have their basis and roots from the American criminal justice system, and therefore, all what is contained in the American system is replicated in other forms of criminal justice systems practiced by other government and law enforcement agencies in other countries.

In America, the practice of criminal justice system is a preserve of the police, and that is why in most cases, the carrying out of the criminal justice system is purely under the police theory of crime prevention (Wadman, 2009). Actually, in America, the term police include from enforcement of the law or arresting of the potential perpetrators of crime and goes to the point of prosecution. This means that the police are the determiners of the criminality of the person where, they can prosecute a person if he or she is judged to have committed a particular crime. The work of the courts is purely to determine the case, and if the case is judged to have elements of criminalities, then, the police take over the issue and make the prosecutions. However, the police theory is not without corrections where, everybody is given a chance to reform to good ways as a way of showing that he or she would be a good person when he or she is let free after the expiry of his or her term. The police act as the gatekeepers to everything and it is only through them that the case can proceed to other levels such as the determination of the case and the determination of the punishment. If at the lower levels the police note that there is no admissibility of the case, then, the case would lie at the policing level and cannot proceed to the courts.

College Students in Criminal Justice System

School is always the place in which crime can be reduced and where we can have good judgment about apprehension of the criminals. According to Siegel (2007), the school is where we can have fresh brains in which people are bestowed with managing crime in any country. In the present case, there are so many courses in institutions of higher learning, which are aimed at managing the criminal justice system better than it is today. Siegel (2007) adds that the only way we can influence our society in terms of combating crime and making sure that the person’s reform to desired levels is when more people take up the learning of the laws. That is why learning of the criminal law in school has become popular among people of all occupations.  For the persons who are in school already, the only thing that they are to do best is to learn the latest trends in combating of crime and the whole of the criminal justice system. Any student in the world should have a focus of managing the criminal justice system or process in his or her country, and this way we can have a universal system. In United States where the system is strong, furthering of studies, and allowing of the police even to go to school to study this law would help in management of crime in the country.

Today, the biggest worry in America is the terrorism threat, and with this, allowing of more of the police to enroll in school to learn criminal law would help in the management of crime in the country. The studies should include studying how other countries have instituted their system, which would make it better in going beyond border. As well, criminal justice system helps in the protection of everybody who is involved in crime and maintain of social order and conduct. Therefore, it has become essential that people bestowed with the management of crime in all of the five components learn how to maintain the social order. According Erlod (2009), there are more than 240000 brutal rapes that are studied to occur in the prison system every year, and this only means that the ways in which crime is being managed is poor, and unless we have a new kind of mind on doing the same, the war on reducing crime would not be won.

The only way left for this mess is by getting new ideas about the whole thing and this is by going back to school to learn the new tricks. It is a myth that only the police are capable of reducing the criminalities of the persons convicted of a particular crime (National Institute of Education (U.S), 1983). This is not true, as the citizens have also been noted as persons who help the police in the identification of criminals in the society. Therefore, it is not necessary that the person to study criminal law is the person who is willing to become a judge or a police in future. More importantly, those persons who now are bestowed with management of crime in the world should go back to class and make their studies better than they are today.

Research Methodology

This research aims at finding whether or not there is an added need to have good studies in our colleges by the students about criminal law and the entire criminal justice system. The process of apprehending persons who are suspected to have committed a crime or about to commit a crime is no longer a preserve of the police alone, but the citizens are supposed to be actively attached to it. That is why it is paramount to study whether or not the students in colleges can play a role in the mitigation of crime in the society. The presumption in this is that the process of managing the criminal justice in any country has to go to higher levels and take students who have specifically studied the law and not just by the virtue of being a police person as anyone can manage this sector. If we had college students taking more of the courses that regard management of crime in our society, then, we will not only have a society free of criminals but also a system of criminal justice that protects the culprits by upholding their rights and need for correction, as well as maintaining the social order.

Scope of the Study

This study would be concentrated on three major places the government ministries that have the mandate of managing crime in the country, the police department and the colleges. In the government ministries, the cabinet secretary as well as one of the junior officers would be offered an interview to find out if there is high need for college students to take upon themselves to study further in the sector of law. The police department would be investigated as to whether or not there is enough will and capability to combat crime in the country, and if there is, whether or not the education is in any way a barrier to achieving this objective. A point of interest would be to investigate through questionnaires if the students are willing to further their studies in an effort to contain the efficiency of the criminal justice system. 30 respondents for questionnaires would be selected through random sampling and the 30 would be divided to 10 in the police department and 20 in colleges. 10 interviews would be carried where, in the ministry that is concerned with management of law in the country, the cabinet secretary and two junior officials would be selected in that ministry while 7 senior police officers would be selected for this.

Limitations of the Study

This study faces a number of barriers to effectively come up with the true reflection of the situation and find out if there is a need to have a criminal justice system full of people who have acquired higher studies. The first limitation is in the ministry that maintains the law and order in the country where, there are little chances that the cabinet secretary would be interviewed on matters regarding security of the country. As well, this interview with the person may not have much depth because the intelligence service in any country is a guarded issue. It is also not clear whether the junior officials in the ministry would be willing to open up in some of these matters especially when they do not have the authorization to do so from the senior officials. It is not also probable that the senior persons in the police department would be willing to give an interview to this for the same purpose of keeping the security of the country guarded. There is high presumption that any interview may go to the length of finding out the security nature of the country.

The students as well are a major hindrance to the outcome of the study, especially bearing in mind that the students’ minds are driven with the current situation. For example, the students at times tend to assume that not everything happening is in a mess and with this need, the answers given in the questionnaires may have substantive suggestion or conclusion. While it is assumed as noted in the hypothesis that everyone bestowed with management of law in any country ought to go and further his or her studies, getting the answer on this would be hindered by the access of personal information from the police. There is a high notion that the management of law and order in any country is a preserve of the police. Therefore, while there may be an outcry from the students on the need of furthering of the studies, it is unlikely that the students would pinpoint themselves as the persons who are supposed to further the studies in this area.


The criminal justice of any country is bestowed with the management of law and order in the country. However, part of this is in the protections of the persons who are convicted. In essence, the high need in effective and efficient criminal justice system in any country is in the maintenance of the social conduct in the police and other persons who are bestowed with the responsibility of maintaining law and order. The discussion is a research paper, which seeks to find out whether or not the system can better be managed if we could have more of the students enrolling in college schools to study this course. As well, the evaluation is on whether further schooling would lead to better management and whether the police force is willing to undergo further studies on this.


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