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An Overview Of Criminal Justice Systems

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Prosecution and investigative powers accorded to law enforcers should not violate or abuse the rights of those who have been accused of crime (Friedman, 2003). In fact, those accused of committing crimes are protected by the law against any form of abuse from prosecution and investigatory powers (Hanes amp. Hanes, 2005). Therefore, criminal justice systems need to be clear and easy to understand so that they can ensure fairness and justice to all. Introduction Criminal justice has been described as the application and study of laws concerned with criminal behavior. Lawyers, the police and those working in the judiciary study criminal justice to understand the systems of criminal justice that are used in their jurisdictions. A criminal justice system is simply a set of social and legal institutions that enforce the criminal law in accordance with a predefined set of procedures, rules and limitations. … As seen earlier, a criminal justice system consists of practices and government institutions responsible for promoting social control, mitigating and deterring crime and giving sanctions to all those who violate the law with rehabilitation efforts and criminal penalties (Guinchard amp. Buisson, 2011). Different jurisdictions may have different criminal justice systems but they should all be driven by the need to ensure justice and fairness prevails for all. The main objectives of any criminal justice system should be to control and mitigate crime and adequately deal with those that have been accused of committing crimes so as to protect their rights and those of other citizens (Walker, 1980). An Overview of the Criminal Justice System The criminal justice system is made up of three main parts. The first part includes the legislative which is responsible for the creation of laws to be applied within a certain jurisdiction. The second part is referred to as the adjudication and it is made up of the courts that are responsible for applying the law to decide whether a person who has been accused of committing a crime is innocent or guilty (Friedman, 2003). The third part of a criminal justice system is the corrections which comprises of correctional and custodial facilities, including probation, parole, jails and prisons. These distinct entities and agencies work together under the rule of law so as to maintain this rule of law within any given society (Walker, 1980). It is in these parts of the criminal justice system that the police, district attorney, defense council and the judges or magistrates are found. Each of these parties has their own distinct roles and responsibilities within any criminal justice system (Sunga, 2000). Investigative and