Justice Adminstration Essay Research Paper I STEPS

Justice Adminstration Essay, Research Paper I. STEPS IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROCESS A. The Decision Network 1. The Decision Network transforms free citizens into, suspects then into defendants, into convicted offenders, probationers, inmates or parolees, leading into their eventual discharge from sentence and their return to society.

Justice Adminstration Essay, Research Paper


A. The Decision Network

1. The Decision Network transforms free citizens into, suspects then into defendants, into convicted offenders, probationers, inmates or parolees, leading into their eventual discharge from sentence and their return to society.

2. The full scale network includes a number of major steps about crime, suspects, and offenders, which in turn, are linked to different agencies that are meant to flow into one another.


A. Investigation of a Crime

1. The process of investigation begins with the receiving of a report that a crime was committed or due to indirect evidence a criminal act has taken place.

a. An arrest decision takes place as a result of a crime was committed, thus resulting in the apprehension of the perpetrator who has committed the crime.

b. As a result of the arresting decision the suspect is then taken into custody and booked, ?that is, the arrest is registered in a precinct house and the suspect is finger printed and photographed.?

c. The next step involved is an in custody investigation, which involves the interrogation and an appearance in a lineup or appear on stage with people who roughly resemble the description of the suspect for viewing by victims or witnesses to the crime.

d. The final step is the suspect is taken for an ?initial appearance before an magistrate.? The purpose of this is for the judge to decide ?at first glance? whether the alleged crime was committed and if the suspect committed it. This process lets cases get resolved at this point as a result of guilty pleas, dismissal, or withdrawal of charges. If the judge gets the accused to honor to appear again for later proceeding?s ?released on the accused?s own recognizance? He or she can go home until later being summoned for proceedings.


A. The District Attorney?s Decision

1. When the suspect is free or waiting in jail, the police reports are then given to the prosecutor or District attorney, he or she then decides on whether to charge the suspect with criminal activity and determination of the specific crime or crimes involved; this process also determines how many charges to bring, since not infrequently an individual has been arrested for more than one offense.

2. The prosecutor may also decide not to charge any crime because of insufficient evidence, the police wrongfully obtained the evidence, or simply because the DA chooses not to prosecute a particular crime.

B. The Grand Jury System

1. The grand jury system is used when the prosecutor appears before a grand jury, without the defendant or the defendant?s attorney, and some evidence and asks the jury for an indictment. An indictment is a formal charging document describing the crime or crimes the defendant is accused of.

2. In jurisdictions where the grand jury isn?t used, the prosecutor goes before a judge at a preliminary hearing. The DA introduces some evidence and requests the judge to issue an information, which is almost identical to a grand jury indictment. The defendant and his lawyer may or may not be present at the proceedings.


A. Pleading

1. Once the accused is formally charged with a crime the defendant is then arraigned with their lawyer present, then the charges are read and he/she is then asked to plea.

a. If the defendant enters the plea not guilty a time is set for a trial and bail is then reconsidered or the defendant is returned to jail to await trial.

b. If the plea is guilty and the court accepts it, the defendant is then sent to jail to await sentencing, this occurs after a presentence investigation is conducted by officers of the court.

c. In rare instances a ?not guilty because insane? plea is allowed. The defendant is sent for a mental examination before being sent back for sentencing or, if found insane, committed to a mental hospital.

B. Sentencing

1. At trial the defendant may be acquitted, meaning he or she is freed. If convicted, the trial or plea sends the defendant (offender) back to court after the judge receives a presentence report.

a. The presentence report contains all of the defendants social and psychological information to help assist in making a sentencing decision.

2. While sentencing the judge may fine or set a amount of money, perform community service, order probation served in the community under the supervision of a probation officer, or impose incarceration in a prison.

3. The prison option may sometimes offer a minimum prison sentence, which is a length of time the offender (inmate) must serve before being eligible for parole. This does not mean that if a offender is given a minimum sentence he/she may be paroled.

C. Prison, Parole, and ?Good Time?

1. The maximum sentence, set by a judge and within a permissible outer limit set by legislation, is a date which the inmate must be released from confinement, not a parole but discharged form their sentence.

a. Inmates who serves their whole sentence are said to are ?max out?, this is exempt to short prison terms of 1 and 2 years.

b. ?Good time? provisions vary from one state to another, but these provisions substantially reduce the maximum sentence of inmates who do not cause disruptions in their prisons.

D. Probation Conditions and Revocation

1. Offenders can also be sentenced to probation in or out of prison, these rules and conditions are fixed by the court and are generally standard requirements that the probationer kept a curfew, no excessive drinking, no association with known criminals, kept their whereabouts known the probation officer, and behaved in a law-abiding manner.

2. The probationary status make be revoked and incarceration imposed if the rules stated above were not kept, the revocation of probation does not count toward the original sentence completion, it starts anew once incarcerated.

E. Prison Conditions

1. The offenders are sentenced to prison by classification according to the following:

a. Their estimated escape risk

b. Education

c. Vocational skills

d. Their counseling needs delivered in prison.

2. Prisons are classified as the following:

a. Maximum security

b. Medium security

c. Minimum security

3. The conditions of serving are determined by the following:

a. Which type of prison the inmate will be sent to.

b. What kinds of cells and jobs are assigned.

c. Who will be allowed to visit and send mail to them.

4. The security for the following prisons are the following:

a. Minimum security houses inmates in forestry camps or farms.

b. Medium security boast fences and the inmates are involved in vocational training.

c. Maximum-security inmates are confined to walls, gun turreted fortress like environments, some states offer furniture manufacturing or making of road signs.

F. Release from Prison and Discharge from Sentence

1. The next major step is release from incarceration or successful completion of probation supervision.

a. Inmates are released in one of three ways:

1. Parole

2. Completion of maximum sentences

3. Completion of maximum sentence less time off for good behavior.

2. Probationers who complete their terms and prisoners who max out theirs are discharged form sentence, but they retain their criminal record.

a. The offender may also get a restoration of rights that were lost in prison only after 5 years as long as they were law-abiding citizens.


A. The U.S. Constitution

1. The Constitution is the basic document that gives authority to all of the justice agencies. It also sets the limits to their efforts, making sure that our crime control system fits to the form of government.

2. Constitutional conformity is the rule that law enforcement, trial courts, and prison treatment adhere to.

B. Legislative Functions

1. Legislatures exist at all levels of government. The defining of a crime is limited only to the U.S. Congress, which enact federal criminal laws. State legislatures are responsible for statewide criminal codes.

2. County and city councils have authority to enact local ordinances, which are only civil violations.

3. Legislature refers to Congress or state legislature having crime defining power.

C. The Definition of Criminal Conduct

1. The legislature defines what crime is, it is their primary function to define criminal conduct and defenses to criminal charges. These crimes and defenses are then written into statutes, which define different degrees of a crime.

2. The criminal laws must be strictly construed, that is, read just as written. Any statutes that are not specific may come upon a judicial review and be held as unconstitutional due to vagueness.

D. Determination of Appropriate Sentences

1. An important function of the legislature is determining the appropriate sentence for the crime. They enact many code revisions so that the proper modifications are made to reconcile what are often inequitable penalties.

2. Legislators are first and foremost politicians who represent a wide variety of opinions and interests. They are influenced by many lobbyists, political groups, and public demonstrations to sway their decisions.

E. Expression of Public Morality

1. Legislators feel that it is there duty to express standards public morality, even though they realize that laws that attempt to legislate morality are impossible to enforce fully.

2. (Answer to question 1) What are, in sequence, the two major reasons why laws of this type are passed in the first place by legislators? (P. 98, para. 3, lines 7-8, 9-11.) Answer. The two major reasons why these types of laws are passed in the first place 1. ? Many legislators evidently feel a political need to publicly take a vigorous stance now and then against what many pressure groups feel to be rampant immoral conduct.? 2. ?Despite the impossibility of full enforcement and the tacit understanding that full enforcement is not intended, these laws have a suppressant effect on behaviors that are not necessarily seen as criminal but are nonetheless discouraged by society. That is, the law makes a statement of moral standards and for many people it encourages (rewards) moral conformity.?

F. Repeal of Laws

1. Establishing a new ?crime? on the basis of high principle is comparatively easier for a legislature to make into a statute, whether than to repeal such a law.

2. (Answer to question 2) What are so-called blue laws, and why do they continue to exist? (P. 98, para. 4, lines 3-7) 1. Blue laws are ?ancient legislation making it a crime to work on the Sabbath, to graze cattle on the public green, and so on.? 2. They still exist in many states, sometimes because ? their repeal has been overlooked, but also because motions to repeal them may be politically damaging.?

3. (Answer to question 3) There are four reasons, in sequence, discussed for why criminal laws in general are not repealed by a legislature. What are these four reasons? (P. 98-99, para. 6 lines 2-6, lines3-5, 1-3) 1. ?The proliferation of criminal statutes can be advantageous to the state in providing the technical means for ?getting? certain dangerous or notorious offenders who cannot be arrested for the worst of their crimes.? 2. ? Reasons other than fear of political retaliation for not repealing criminal laws, even ancient blue laws.? 3. ?Occasionally, however, legislation is drafted in deliberately ambiguous terms. One reason for this is the difficulty in specifying all possible varieties of conduct in certain crime categories.? 4. ?Another reason for occasional ambiguity is to prevent the introduction of technicalities, or loopholes, by which serious or professional criminals can avoid prosecution.?

G. Definition of Procedural Law

1. (Answer to question 4) What is the second major legislative function with regard to crime control authority, and how is this second function defined? (P. 99, subhead: definition- para. 3, lines 1-5) ?In addition to defining crimes and fixing penalties, legislatures also establish some criminal justice procedures. In most jurisdictions, statutes delimit the conditions under which arrests can be made with or without warrants, standards for the amount of force that may be used in making arrests, and requirements for using search warrants or wiretaps.?

2. Although legislatures have been less precise in having a clear definition of the procedures they have been more direct in defining substantive criminal laws. The reason is because it is nearly impossible to spell out in specific detail all of the conditions to cover a variety of enforcement situations confronted by the criminal justice system.

3. The officer who arrives first at the scene makes the determination of probable cause or reasonableness, then litigation at a trial court level and then by appellate review if necessary.

4. Legislative procedural laws have been limited to police activities and trial court stages of the criminal justice process up to sentencing. Some legislatures are interested in all procedural matters, including the processing of inmates, probationers, and parolees.

H. Budgetary Appropriations

1. (Answer to question 5) What is the third major legislative function with regard to crime control authority and how is this third function defined? (P. 100, first subhead: definition-first para, lines 1-3) ?Authorizing budgets for crime control efforts is a very important legislative function. Not only is this a power where legislative authority is supreme but, by granting or withholding funds, legislatures can limit the exercise of agency discretion.?

2. Due to the fact that legislatures are becoming more liberal with funds as crime problems have had a greater political significance, few of the agencies have become adequately staffed and supported.

3. Discrepancies may also exist in funding within the criminal justice system because of different legislative bodies and different tax bases that are responsible for monetary support.

I. Other Powers of the Legislature

1. (Answer to question 6) What is the fourth major legislative function with regard to crime control authority, and how is this forth function defined? (P. 100, subhead; third para. Lines 3-5) ?Legislatures also have additional powers that impact on criminal justice. The investigatory power of legislative committees is a function that occasionally assumes major significance. Legislatures have impeachment power over certain criminal justice participants, including prosecuting attorneys, although impeachment is a cumbersome and rarely used procedure.?


1. (Answer to question 7) What are, in sequence, the four major functions of the executive in crime control authority or criminal justice system? How is each function defined? (P. 100, para. 6) The four major functions are the following:

a. Appoint personnel, including judges, boards and commissions, and directors of major criminal justice agencies.

b. Introduce legislation, requests for new programs, and submission of executive budgets.

c. Directly intervene in the criminal justice process through powers of pardon or commutation, the creation of investigatorty commissions, the appointment of special prosecutors, and the removal of incompetent officeholders.

d. Give direction to crime control efforts by proposal, persuasion, and skillful application of political pressure using the power and prestige of his or her office.

2. (Answer to question 8) There are three factors discussed as to how effective or ineffective an executive is in shaping criminal justice. What are, in sequence, these three factors? (P. 100-101, last para.) The three factors in shaping the criminal justice system are:

a. The effectiveness of the executive in shaping the criminal justice system depends on part on individual style and the extent of interest a particular individual holding the executive office shows in crime control matters.

b. Some executives have strong opinions about certain issues, such as the death penalty, and may push vigorously to exert a personal influence on the legislature, the courts, and the agencies.

c. The function of the executive also varies according to the opportunities available, particularly with respect to the appointment of personnel.

3. (Answer to question 9) How specifically can an executive use a veto with regard to the criminal justice system? (P. 101, third para., lines 1-5) An executive can use a veto with regard to the criminal justice system by ?One important function of executive power is veto, an example of the checks and balances built into our system of government. Even if rarely used, the veto tends to restrain legislative excesses. The executive may veto any legislation, whether it deals with definitions of crime or fund allocations. Though the veto ultimately may be overridden (usually two thirds vote of the legislative bodies is required to do so), this is a difficult and cumbersome process, particularly if there is no single-party domination of the legislature.?


A. Appellate Courts

1. (Answer to question 10) How does an appellate court differ from a trial court? (P. 101, last para., lines 1-5) The appellate court differs from a trial court in that is doesn?t conduct trials. ?They act only on appeals of lower-court decisions. The appellate process relies on the records of lower court proceedings, responding to briefs submitted by petitioners and government lawyers. Higher courts normally do not directly with defendants; moreover, except in very unusual cases, they do not review the factual evidence brought out at trials.?

2. A jurisdiction may have an intermediate appellate court which hear appeals from trial courts, within a particular region of the state, encompassing countries, or it may have a federal system which handle appeals from district courts in one of 11 federal circuits.

C. Power to Select Cases for Review

1. The U.S. Supreme Court has a writ of certiorari-a request for review-and the court may deny this without reason. ?Denial of certiorari may not mean the justices find the case lacks merit, but rather that they do not think its implications are broad enough to affect the law of the land; or denial may indicate that the Court does not wish to consider such matters at this time.?

D. Role in Law Reform

1. (Answer to question 12) Should the legislatures or the appellate courts dominate in law reform? (P. 102, para. 4, all) ?The controversy between legislatures and appellate courts is not limited to the judicial review of the constitutionality of statutes. Another important issue is whether legislatures or courts should dominate in law reform. The intensity of this servative, interpreting laws as cases arise, holding to the judicial principle of stare decisis, and being unwilling to take the lead is shaping laws or defining legal procedures.

2. There have been seven opposing trends in the relation ship between executive, legislative, and judicial involvement in the criminal justice system. The following are the opposing trends:

a. Increasing legislative involvement in criminal law policy.

b. Chief executives, an especially U.S. president, to attempt to curb the judicial activism of higher courts so evident in recent decades.

c. Each opening on the U.S. Supreme Court now meets with vigorous debate and political maneuvering by liberal and conservative forces to endorse a new member who would presumably support the philosophy of law espoused by those doing the maneuvering.

d. One of the powers of the executive is to appoint members to the lower appellate courts to life terms.

e. The court lower courts tend to have a source of authority for the criminal justice system that is independent from political pressure from the public and branches of government.


A. Police Authority

1. Traditional crimes are processed in a number ways that may be originated by:

a. A complaint or call for help made to police.

b. Routine police patrols, other forms of surveillance, and the stopping and questioning of suspicious people.

c. Police searches for violations, as in placing wiretaps on the phones of suspected gangsters or the use of undercover cops to investigate the drug subculture.

2. (Answer to question 13) Why is full enforcement of the law a myth? (P. 103, para. 3, last six lines) Full enforcement of the law is a myth due to selective enforcement. ?Police discretion (judgement as to alternatives in enforcement) is exercised by the police agencies as a whole and by each individual police officer. Reasons for police discretion range from community expectations of ?sensible? enforcement to police efforts to achieve desired purposes without using the entire justice process-for example, handling drunks by helping them or warning rather than arresting those violating minor laws.?

3. The primary reason why the myth of full police enforcement exists is that legislatures and courts have refused to sanction police discretion, which in turn puts police officials in a defensive position.

4. To appease police discretion discrepancies departments have attempted to develop policy guidelines for the exercise of discretion.

B. Prosecutor?s Authority

1. (Answer to question 14) Regarding the prosecutor?s authority, what is the range of such authority? (P. 104, second para., lines 1-4) The prosecutor?s authority is the use of ?prosecutorial discretion is clearly broad in scope, ranging from the power of nolle prosequi (a decision not to initiate prosecution even with sufficient evidence to do so, sometimes abbreviated to nol pros) to the selection of specific charges to be leveled against any defendant.?

2. The prosecutorial process is really a series of decisions, ranging form the deciding whether to prosecute at all to determining the number of and specific charges to be presented to a grand jury or judge at a preliminary hearing.

3. If the decision was not to prosecute it is virtually uncontrollable, short of evidence of corruption or other forms of malfeasance on the part of the district attorney. Decisions to proceed to prosecution are subject to be screened by grand juries or judges at preliminary hearings.

C. Trial Court as a Criminal Justice Agency

1. (Answer to question 15) Why is trial court also an on-line criminal agency? (P. 104, first para. Under ?Trial Court? subhead) Trial court is also an on-line agency ?Although it has the title ?court,? in operational term a the trial court, presided over by a judge, is an on-line agency for the processing of accused offenders and the sentencing of those convicted of criminal activities. The police and the prosecutor move cases along the assembly line of justice and the court stamps individuals ?convicted? and moves them along to correctional agencies.?

2. The judge?s duty other than formal duties at trial and sentencing is also to be responsible for court personnel, from clerks to probation officers.

3. In statutes are fixed, such as , mandatory sentencing for certain crimes, the judge is usually granted the authority to choose among several sentencing alternatives.

4. Judge?s are delegated discretion to choose the following:

a. Types of sentences (fines, probation, or imprisonment).

b. Conditions of sentence (particularly rules of probation0.

c. To fix minimum or maximum lengths of prison sentences within the outer limits set by statute.

5. In trial court the judge must rely on the impartial analyses of evidence and will arrive at their own decision on their own professional basis using their skills as lawyers and jurists.


A. Social Values Served by Variations in Criminal Justice Organization

1. There are six differences between an on-line criminal justice agency and a traditional complex organization, in sequence, they are:

a. Presence or absence of central authority.

b. Separate or related budgets.

c. Jurisdictional boundaries.

d. Labor pools and interchangeability of personnel in each agency.

e. Patterns of personnel selection and recruitment sources.

f. Amount of citizen involvement in agency decision making.

2. There is another way to depict the criminal justice process, which is to look at it as an ever-narrowing funnel that screens offenders.

3. Efficiency is the only goal of the criminal justice system. The governmental separation of the powers of the legislative, judicial, and executive branches supports our political philosophy of pluralism and freedom, so the mix of agencies and personnel serves values that we espouse as well.

4. ?A more uniform, better organized system could probably be achieved only by diminishing citizen control and forfeiting local autonomy and some individual rights.? (P. 107, para. First full paragraph, lines 3-5)