Criminal Justice System Definition, Components & Goals

Wed, 10/28/2015 - 02:56 -- Umair Khan


Criminal justice System is the combination of processes and agencies that have been established by the government for controlling crime and imposing penalties on the individuals who are violators of laws. How this system works depends on the jurisdiction in the city, country or state. 

This system is the maze of processes and the agencies which are responsible for controlling crime, reducing crime, and imposing penalties over crime. At each level, there is a different kind of system. Each court has its own court system. For example, the municipal court at the local level is responsible for hearing the violation at the lower level. You are also recommend to study about Juvenile Justice.

Components of the Criminal Justice System

The System is divided into 3 components and they are an important part of the American criminal justice system. They have been discussed below:

Law enforcement

It is the most dangerous and important systems. These can be the local police department consisting of police officers and detectives. They are responsible for the justice system. They find and capture the individuals who violate the laws set by the state, federal govt. and military authorities. The law enforcement authorities are responsible for placing charges against the perpetrators to ensure that the case presented is strong enough when standing up in the court.


Second component is the court that includes defense lawyers, prosecution, judges and juries. These are the individuals who make sure the victims go through fair trials. The judges are also called fact finders who hear the case and preside over participants for making sure they follow the laws even when the case is being tried. Some cases are presented in front of the judge while other cases are presented in front of citizens, usually 12 in number. It is the judge who decides on the sentence unless you have the guidelines for the sentence. The guidelines are presented by the federal justice system.


It is responsible for upholding and administering the sentences which were delayed by the judge. This system is tied with the previous 2 components. The corrections include jails, probation officers, prisons correctional officers and the parole officers. They are responsible for carrying out the stipulations.

How does Punishment apply to the Overall Criminal Justice System? 

Punishment is meant for preventing people from the crimes in future. The purpose of punishment is to show the criminals that their crimes or violation will not go unpunished. Criminal justice law has punishments which are meant to help in achieving the institutional objectives in the society by the application of punishments just appropriate to the crime.

The need of the hour is to make some Criminal justice goals. Higher standards are required for the criminal investigation such as the use of technological and logistic support. Trained and experienced investigators must be hired so that the security, law, order and maintenance work is performed in the most remarkable way.

It is important to win the confidence of people for performing investigation processes. People take police as the violators of law themselves. This confidence can be won if the police administration reviews the stats of the number of arrests made and ensures that the arrests made are not unnecessary.

There are many other steps that can be taken for preventing crime and injustice. The punishment of transgressors can be made severe and the offenders can also be expelled from the community because of the Criminal Act to ensure that nobody tries to cross the legal lines in future.