The Goals of Criminal Justice: Doing justice, controlling crime, and preventing crime

Essay by arikun June 2007

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Criminal justice is the branch of law that deals with disputes or actions involving criminal penalties. It regulates the conduct of individuals, defines crimes, and provides punishment for criminal acts. More so, it means activities relating to the detection, apprehension, detention, pretrial release, post trial release, prosecution, adjudication, correctional supervision or rehabilitation of accused persons or criminal offenders. Also, the administration of criminal justice includes criminal identification activities and the collection, storage and dissemination of criminal history records.

"The criminal justice system is purposive of delivering justice for all, by convicting and punishing the guilty and helping them to stop offending, while protecting the innocent. It is responsible for detecting crime and bringing it to justice; and carrying out the orders of court, such as collecting fines, and supervising community and custodial punishment" (Garland, 2002). The key goals for the criminal justice system are to help reduce crime by bringing more offences to justice, and to raise public confidence that the system is fair and will deliver for the law-abiding citizen.

That includes increasing the satisfaction of victims and witnesses with the treatment they receive. Together with other partners, the criminal justice system works to prevent crime from happening in the first place, to meet the wider needs of victims, and to help turn offenders away from crime.

The National Criminal Justice Board has agreed a vision for the criminal justice system, which describes what the system will look like in the following years. Firstly, this system envisions that the public develop confidence on its being effective in serving all communities fairly. Also, it envisions for the victims and witnesses to receive a consistent high standard of service from all criminal justice agencies. It also wants to bring more offences to justice through a more modern and efficient justice process...