The importance of the Criminal justice System
The primary goal of the criminal justice system is to provide public safety by
deterring and preventing crime, incarcerating individuals who commit crime, and
reintegrating criminals back into the community. The criminal justice system operates at
multiple levels of government: the local, state, and federal levels. Because the
vast majority of criminal activity is handled by state and local authorities. The criminal
justice system is based on criminal sentencing law, the body of laws that define crimes
and specify the punishments for such crimes. The majority of sentencing law is set at
Types of Crimes. Crimes are classified by the seriousness of the offenses as
follows: A felony is the most serious type of crime, for which an offender may be
sentenced to state prison for a minimum of one year. Violent felonies include murder,
robbery and rape. Serious felonies include all violent felonies, as well as other crimes
such as burglary of a residence and assault with intent to commit robbery.
A misdemeanor is a less serious offense, for which the offender may be sentenced
to probation, county jail, a fine, or some combination of the three. Misdemeanors
include crimes such as assault, petty theft, and public drunkenness. Misdemeanors
represent the majority of offenses in the criminal justice system.
An infraction is the least serious offense and is generally punishable by a fine.
many motor vehicle violations are considered infractions.
The criminal justice system can be thought of as having three components: law
enforcement, courts, and corrections:
Law Enforcement. State sentencing laws are primarily enforced at the local level by
the sheriff and police officers who investigate crimes and apprehend offenders. Law
enforcements a local responsibility with funding typically provided by cities and...