The Importance of the Criminal Justice System

Posted by Milly Jons on August 15th, 2019

Every legal institute or legal norms have deep social roots. They are established to perform some specific socially significant functions. They have their political nature and are an expression of will of the state and people. However, the public relations practice is constantly evolving. Each stage of development puts forward the particular task and fills it with a new specific content. Law must catch the pulse of public life, reflect its objective questions, and serve these objectives. Certainly, such a huge amount of work needs the organization within a framework of the particular system. The criminal justice system represents a response to some urgent socio-economic needs for the criminal sanctions and deterrence. It aims at the most effective regulation of specific social relations.

The Concept of the Criminal Justice System

The concept of criminal justice is seen simultaneously in two ways, i.e. as a set of agencies and a criminal process. According to the fundamental work of Sue Titus Reid, the criminal justice system can be described as both a system and process. It consists of three separate parts, namely the police, the courts, and the correctional institutions. Each of them has its own agencies and belongs to different branches of government. Each part of the criminal justice system represents the particular importance and thereby should be examined in details.

The Police

The modern concept of a democratic constitutional state is based on the provisions of the Guarantor Power. It not only proclaims human values, rights, and freedoms of an individual but also carries out extensive measures for their actual implementation. The police, in this case, are one of the most important tools of any state in providing such guarantees. The uniqueness of its activities is that it acts as the most far-reaching institution. It guarantees the rights and freedoms of citizens in terms of law enforcement functions. The police act as a part of the state mechanism for the implementation of public interests and public policy.

Despite the diversity of the policing organization in modern democratic states, there are some general trends. Policing is legally established and controlled by society and the state. In general, police agencies act as an administrative and coercive tool of the government. They do not demonstrate their clear political independence. The modern liberal regimes are characterized by the tendency to limit the role of police and other security forces in the political life of society and the desire of state to withdraw power structures from politics.

However, the police are characterized by a certain measure of independence and the presence of leverage over the government and its representatives. The organization of police activities in a democratic legal state involves a number of difficulties. The main one is to determine the optimal compatibility of the whole spectrum of police functions to democratic principles, respect for political pluralism and for the rights as well as freedoms of citizens. The other one is a need to combine the political component of the police with other functions, which are often compounded by the negative public perception of the methods used by them to address their objectives.

The improvement of their activities is primarily focused on strengthening the law enforcement function and establishing the foundations of preventive activities against the criminality, as well as the strengthening of contacts with the population. The foreign countries widely use the U.S. experience in the creation of a model of decentralized management of the police. They support a prospect of the police system formation that includes a wide network of independent local bodies and mechanisms. It is done for a rapid and massive build-up of the police force on the operationally important areas.

Their main task is to ensure law and order in society and combating a crime. However, since the crime has a social phenomenon, then the police also have to solve social issues while performing the functions of crime prevention. The higher the level of democratization of society is, the greater is the amount of social problems standing in front of the police. In a modern legal state, the police are not so much a law enforcement agency as a social institution.

Their impact on the stability in society is strongly correlated with a degree of police involvement in what is called political socialization. No other organ of the state is not in such a close relationship with the society as they are. This system participates in the political and civic education of the population. Therefore, one can talk about its social dualism.

The police activity appears in a public arena at a certain stage of the community development, when it organizes a statutory system of state control of any deviations from the legal norms. The objective of this organization is to prevent and suppress violations of rules and norms within the society and the use of force where appropriate. The specifics of police activities lie in a possibility of applying the coercive measures. However, the use of force, even if law authorizes it, is not enough to qualify the police work. An important aspect of policing is also a realization of the government’s functions. Thus, the police as a state body are characterized by functional dualism because they act as a punitive and law enforcement agency in the state mechanism. They are also being the subsystem of the public administration at the same time.

The Courts

According to the Constitution of every democratic country, justice is administered solely by the court, in accordance with the law. Currently, there is no shortage of definitions and different approaches to determining courts in the legal literature. An analysis of scientific sources devoted to the consideration of the judiciary problems shows the following fact. The court is determined mainly by listing the functions and purposes peculiar to it. In this case, it is presented as a separate and independent branch of government, created to resolve social conflicts between the state and citizens, the citizens themselves, and legal persons. The court also protects the rights of people in their relations with executive authorities and officials, monitors the compliance with their rights in the investigation of crimes and the conduct of an operational-search activity, and establishes the most important legal facts and conditions.

The essence and content of courts are determined, in particular, in terms of their principles, forms of activity, the challenges they aim, and the tasks being solved. The court carries out the judicial power in collaboration with other institutions of the criminal justice system in a statutory form of realization of given powers to ensure the protection of the constitutional system, the rights and freedoms of a man and a citizen, and the legitimate interests of society and the state. The court acts through justice and resolution of administrative violation cases, the enforcement of sentences and other judicial acts, and participation in the improvement of legislation.

The right to appeal to the court to protect the violated rights and lawful interests is broad. It is embodied in access to justice and represents the particular importance of the criminal justice system. The Constitution of every democratic country enshrines the equality of everybody before the law, openness of court proceedings, competitiveness, and equality of parties and other principles of justice. The activities of the court for the protection of subjective rights and legitimate interests of citizens and organizations are the justice administered through consideration and resolution of criminal cases. Moreover, these are also the use, if necessary, of the enforcement measures provided by law.

A democratic society is interested in such courts where judges meet the requirements of law impartially in a well-established framework of the procedure. Their main objective is to facilitate citizens and their associations, including economic entities, state and public institutions in the implementation of legal rights.

The Correctional Institutions

Institutions executing a sentence of imprisonment are assigned with the specific tasks to achieve the goals of a criminal punishment, as well as the aims and objectives of penitentiary legislation. The main task of correctional authorities is the provision of serving the sentence. Implementing this task implies the maintaining of the constant monitoring for the behavior of convicted persons and individuals working with them (technical and administrative staff), as well as the support of the necessary degree of isolation from the outside world and different groups of prisoners. The purpose of ensuring law and order includes some measures of maintaining the discipline of convicts, as well as the application of disciplinary sanctions and incentives to them.

The task of ensuring the regime in correctional institutions is universal. It is achieved through the usage of the correctional treatment of prisoners. On the one hand, the socially useful work, the educational activities with prisoners, and receiving general education and professional training is used in a strict compliance with the conditions of the regime in correctional institutions. On the other hand, the corrective treatment is aimed at the development of respect for the law and order in the places of imprisonment. The most important task of correctional institutions is to organize labor of the sentenced to imprisonment.

The objective of educational work with condemned ones to imprisonment is posed to all the staff of the correctional institution. It is realized by the means of some moral, legal, labor, physical and other forms of education. The individual work with prisoners is one of the main methods of educational work. It is based on the study of personality related to each convicted person and the widespread use of methods of psychological-pedagogical influence. Religious education has a certain educational impact as well.

Thus, the correctional institution is a means of correction, which forms an outlook, personal qualities, promotes understanding of social values, maintains order and discipline, and fosters respect for an individual, society, and state. Moreover, it also serves as a criterion for solving social and economic issues. The correctional institutions are obliged to assist the police and courts. Together, they form a criminal justice system, the importance of which is expressed in the significance of each individual component.

The criminal justice system is a response to the socio-economic needs for the criminal sanctions and deterrence. It is aimed at providing the most effective regulation of specific social relations. The criminal justice system comprises the police, the courts, and the correctional institutions as the main and integral parts of social justice. The police prevent, detect, and solve crimes and other offenses. The court administers justice and decides on a punishment. As for the correctional institutions, they implement the punishment and make every effort to correct an offender. Their joint work and cooperation represent the essence and importance of the criminal justice system as a whole unit.

The article is conducted by a proffessional writer Milly Jones. She works as an executive writer at so the quality of her essay is the highest.

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Milly Jons

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Milly Jons
Joined: August 15th, 2019
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