The mid-1940’s is a good starting point forexamining the evolution of the currentCriminal Justice System. Prior to World War II› Little national attention focused on CJsystem› Federal agencies and federal governmentwere not significant players› Crime rate low› Any problems with SYSTEM were generallyperceived as problems concerning localadministration, issues and reforms.
There are 4 phenomena that stirred interest in the criminaljustice system and led to its prominence as one of the mostexamined and criticized aspects of the government. The Civil Rights Movement The Vietnam War The rising crime rate and the public’s increasedawareness of it The Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001In many respects, these four influences wereinterrelated and cumulative in their effect on thecriminal justice system.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 Protests against institutional racism and U.S. involvement inthe Vietnam War posed major challenges to the criminaljustice system. Prior to the Civil Rights Act of1964, businesses, hotels, restaurants, and public transportationcould and did refuse service with impunity to Black citizens. Autherine Lucy – University of Alabama, 1956 Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. promoted the tactic ofcivil disobedience, which also challenged the criminal justicesystem. One of the most well-known examples of civildisobedience occurred in 1955 when Rosa Parks refused tomove to the rear of the bus, as required by law, and wasarrested. Although King advocated non-violence, therewere many who rioted.
The Vietnam War Political protests against U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War alsogenerated acrimonious conflict in which the police often werecaptured on film engaged in brutality against the protesters. Kent State University – 1970 During this period, the crime rate continued to climb to the pointthat, according to a 1965 Gallup poll, American’s viewed crime asthe most serious problem in the country. In 1968 31 percent of Gallup survey respondents said they wereafraid to walk in their own neighborhoods at night. By the end of1972, the number had risen to 42%. Most citizens thought that thepolice were part of the cause, not the solution, to the rising crimerate. The President’s Commission on Law Enforcement andAdministration of Justice concluded that most people had lostconfidence in the ability of the police to maintain law and order.
The criminal justice system appeared to be failing. Tocounter the attack of crime and social disorder, on July25, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson declared a War onCrime. He authorized a series of federal presidentialcommissions to study crime and justice in the UnitedStates and to recommend suggested reforms to restorepublic confidence.The findings of the President’s Crime Commissionconcluded that fear of crime had eroded the basicquality of life for many Americans. It also recognizedthe importance of crime prevention, as opposed tocrime fighting, and the necessity of eliminating injusticesin the criminal justice system.
In response to recommendations of the PCC and demandsfrom the public, substantial resources were added to thecriminal justice system.› To attract better-qualified personnel, police departments had toincrease salaries; as a result, policing costs skyrocketed in major citieslike Kansas City.› To help defray these costs, local and state governments soughtassistance from the federal government, whose response was topass the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968.This Act created the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration(LEAA)and the Law Enforcement Educational Program (LEEP).The LEAA acted as a conduit for the transfer of federal funds to stateand local law enforcement agencies. However, these funds werenot without “strings”.
The LEAA appointed the National Commission on Criminal JusticeStandards and Goals, which had the purpose of formulation specificstandards and goals for police, courts, corrections, juvenilejustice, and crime prevention. To receive the generous fundsavailable from the federal government, local and state agencieshad to show that they had implemented the commission’sstandards and goals. May of the advances made within lawenforcement agencies were a result of compliance with standardsand goals necessary to qualify for federal funds. The Law Enforcement Educational Program (LEEP) was a branch ofthe LEAA> The goal of LEEP was to promote education amongcriminal justice personnel. After massive amounts of federal assistance, numerous reformefforts, and the adoption of innovative strategies bypolice, courts, and corrections, public confidence in the criminaljustice system was restored and the crime rate dropped. Residentsof large cities reported that they felt safe using public transportation.Violent crime rates for nearly all categories dropped. Things werelooking up for public confidence in the criminal justice system untilSeptember 11th, 2001.
The biggest crisis in thetwenty-first century wascaused by a foreign attackon the United States. Just asPresident Johnson haddeclared a war oncrime, President Bushdeclared a War on Terrorism.
Legitimate government depends on theeffective operation of the criminal justicesystem. Citizens have granted the criminaljustice system great powers, including thepower of life and death.Criminal justice is a much more complexendeavor than simply enforcing the law orwaging a war on crime, drugs, or terrorism.When challenged with a choice betweensafety and liberty, people often chose safetyover liberty. The War on Terrorism poses one ofthe most serious threats since the 1960’s to thebalance between safety and liberty.
This concept of limiting freedom for thecommon good is very old, and datesback to Aristotle. The Greek philosopherargued that it was necessary thatpeople be governed by law because oftheir inability to govern themselves› 1. because of a tendency to react to fearand emotion rather than reason, and› 2. because people are subject to corruption
In the United States, it is argued thatindividual freedom is limited› 1. To ensure order within society,› 2. to protect citizens from one another› 3. to promote the common welfare
Society uses several means to achievethese goals: Informal sanctions (social norms) Family School Government Religion Formal sanctions Criminal justice system
For the most part, people conform to the rules ofsociety. However, when someone breaks therules of society, the “system” responds. Formalsanctions are carried out by the criminal justicesystem. In the United States, the criminaljustice system is based on the enforcement ofobedience to laws by the police, the courts,and correctional institutions.When group and society norms are codified intolaw, government has the power to compelobedience to the rules on the pain ofpunishment , including death.
The more homogeneous and stable thepeople and their belief systems, the fewerthe violations of social norms. In ahomogenous, stable society with acommon belief system, there is less need forreliance on a formal system of control tomaintain order and regulate interactions.Contemporary U.S. society is anything buthomogeneous and is characterized bygreat diversity inrace, religion, ethnicity, and values.
The criminal justice system has assumed animportant role in order maintenance.The criminal justice system is animportant part of conflict resolution,crime prevention, order maintenance,and the preservation of individualliberties.
Philosopher John Lock (1632-1704) arguedthat all human beings are endowed with“natural rights” given them by a powerhigher than government, and that peoplecannot be deprived of them. Governments exist to serve individuals. People surrender certain rights with theunderstanding that they will receive asmuch, or more, in other benefits, such as Safety Order Preservation of Property rights
Locke conceded that the governmentmust have the power of physical force toprotect people and their property fromthe physical violations of others. However, this power was to be balancedagainst the need to preserve individualliberty.
John Locke’s philosophies had a greatinfluence on Thomas Jefferson when hedrafted the Declaration of Independence.This document declares that people haveunalienable rights given to them by theCreator. This rights include life, liberty andthe pursuit of happiness. The Constitution of the United States reflectsa distrust of a centralized government.
The new government defined in theConstitution consists of threeindependent branches:› The executive› The Legislative› The JudicialThe Constitution divides power among thesethree branches and provides checks andbalances.
The Constitution also set up a federal courtsystem and gives power to the states to setup court systems as they deemappropriate. The original 10 amendments were added tothe Constitution in 1791. The Bill of Rightsdelineates certain guaranteed freedoms ofcitizens, such as trial by jury, freedom ofspeech, and the right to be secure in one’shome from unreasonable search andseizure.
What is the Law? Laws are rules for conduct that are established bygovernment. Citizens are to follow these rules and faceconsequences if they fail to do so. The severity of theconsequence depends on the nature of the law that theyviolate. The first known set of laws is the Code of Hammurabi, whichwas complied sometime between 1792 B.C.E and 1750 B.C.E.when Hammurabi was the king of Babylon. The Code ofHammurabi lists 282 rules and consequences for a variety ofactions. Included among these rules are the concepts of “aneye for an eye” and “a tooth for a tooth”. Why is it important for a society to have laws?Write two or three sentences for your answer.22
The Articles of ConfederationThe first document to draw the colonies together as a nation was known as“The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union” and was adopted bythe Continental Congress in 1777.This document established a federal government but gave it limitedpowers. The current U.S. government is comprised of three branches: thelegislative branch to make laws; the executive branch to enforce laws; andthe judicial branch to interpret laws. The “Articles” merely established alegislative branch and gave the federal government no ability to enforcethe law against the individual states. The states maintained control overmatters such as foreign affairs, defense, and public finances.The limited power given to the federal governmentunder the “Articles” made it difficult to bring the statestogether as a united nation. Why would this be thecase? Write two or three sentences for your answer.
The United States ConstitutionIn 1787, the Continental Congress gathered in Philadelphia for the expresspurpose of revising the Articles of Confederation. In the ten years since theArticles were adopted, it had become clear that a stronger centralgovernment was necessary. While the “Articles” established only alegislative branch of government and reserved a great deal of power to thestates, the U.S. Constitution created a legislative, and executive, and ajudicial branch, each with its own set of powers. The powers established foreach branch were intended to strengthen the role of the federalgovernment, while ensuring that no one branch of government held toomuch power.The U.S. Constitution is the oldest written constitution in theworld. Part of why it is so enduring is a provisioncontained in Article V that allows for changes, oramendments, to be made to the document. Since itsoriginal adoption, the U.S. Constitution has beenamended 27 times. Why is it important to allow foramendments? Write two or three sentences for youranswer.
The Bill of RightsOne of the early criticisms voiced by the statelegislatures that were asked to approve the U.S.Constitution was that it did not contain a list ofcitizen’s rights that were to be protected. Thefirst United States Congress remedied thisconcern by creating such a list. This Bill of Rightswas drafted by James Madison and wasratified, or approved, by the states in 1791. TheBill of Rights is contained in the first tenamendments of the U.S. Constitution.
The Bill of Rights: The First Amendment(Religious and Political Freedom) The first amendment to the constitution reads: Congress shall make no law respectingan establishment of religion, orprohibiting the free exercise thereof;or abridging the freedom of speech, orof the press; or the right of the peoplepeaceably to assemble, and to petitionthe Government for a redress ofgrievances.
The Bill of Rights: The Second Amendment (The Rightto Bear Arms) The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states: A well regulated Militia, beingnecessary to the security of a freeState, the right of the people tokeep and bear Arms, shall not beinfringed. The exact meaning of the Second Amendment hasled to a lot of debate. Some believe that itprotects the right of American Citizens to keep andbear arms. Others believe that it protects the rightof American citizens to keep and bear arms, butonly if they are part of a “well regulated Militia.”What do you think and why? Write two or threesentences for your answer.
The Bill of Rights: The Third Amendment(Quartering Soldiers) The Third Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states: No Soldier shall, in time of peace bequartered in any house, without theconsent of the Owner, nor in time ofwar, but in a manner to beprescribed by law. The Third Amendment is intended to prevent thegovernment from forcing homeowners to housesoldiers during a time of peace. British soldierswere quartered in colonists’ homes prior to theAmerican Revolution. During a time of war, isquartering allowed? If so, under what conditions isit allowed? Explain your answer.
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states:The right of the people to be secure in theirpersons, houses, papers, and effects, againstunreasonable searches and seizures, shall not beviolated, and no Warrants shall issue, but uponprobable cause, supported by Oath oraffirmation, and particularly describing the placeto be searched, and the persons or things to beseized. The Fourth Amendment protects an individual’s right toprivacy by prohibiting the government from conductingunreasonable searches and seizures. A local jewelry store is robbed, and the police suspect thatAlyssa has committed the crime. However, they have noevidence to support their suspicion. The followingmorning, they wait for Alyssa to go to work and then letthemselves into her home to look for the stolen jewels. Are
The Bill of Rights: The Fifth Amendment (Due Process andJust Compensation) The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution reads: No person shall be held to answer for a capital,or otherwise infamous crime, unless on apresentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, exceptin cases arising in the land or naval forces, or inthe Militia, when in actual service in time of War orpublic danger; not shall any person be subject forthe same offence to be twice put in jeopardy oflife or limb; nor shall be compelled in anycriminal case to be twice put in jeopardy of life orlimb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal caseto be a witness against himself, nor be deprived oflife, liberty, or property, without due process oflaw; nor shall private property be taken forpublic use, without just compensation. The ability of the government to take an individual’s privateproperty for public use is known as “eminent domain.” Does
The Bill of Rights: The Sixth Amendment (Rights ofthe Accused) The Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states: In all criminal prosecutions, the accusedshall enjoy the right to a speedy andpublic trial, by an impartial jury of theState and district wherein the crime shallhave been committed, which district shallhave been previously ascertained bylaw, and to be informed of the nature andcause of the accusation; to be confrontedwith the witnesses against him; to havecompulsory process for obtainingwitnesses in his favor, and to have theAssistance of Counsel for his defense. In the landmark case Miranda v. Arizona, the Supreme Courtruled that a person in custody cannot be questioned by policeuntil he or she has been told that, if he or she cannot afford anattorney, one will be provided at no cost. How is this differentfrom the Sixth Amendment right to have assistance of counsel?Write two or three sentences to explain your answer.
The Bill of Rights: The Seventh Amendment (Trial byJury in Civil Cases) The Seventh Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states: In suits at common law, where thevalue in controversy shall exceedtwenty dollars, the right of a trial byjury shall be preserved, and no facttried by a jury, shall be otherwisereexamined in any Court of the UnitedStates, than according to the rules ofthe common law. One of the most popular demands by those states who called fora bill of rights was the protection of the right to trial by jury. Thisright to a trial by a judge (who is a member of government)wasseen as a very important measure to protect against tyranny.
The Bill of Rights: The Eighth Amendment(Bail and Punishment) The Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states: Excessive bail shall not berequired, nor excessive finesimposed, nor cruel and unusualpunishments inflicted. The Eighth Amendment forbids the imposition of“cruel and unusual punishments.” Some states stillallow the death penalty, or capitalpunishment, when people who are convicted ofvery severe crimes (such as murder)are put todeath by the government. Do you think that theydeath penalty is “cruel and unusual”? Why or whynot? Explain your opinion.
The Bill of Rights: The Ninth Amendment(Rights retained by People) The Ninth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states: The enumeration in theConstitution, or certain rights, shallnot be construed to deny ordisparage others retained by thepeople. When debating whether or not to add a bill of rightsto the U.S. Constitution, some argued that providinga list of rights may lead the government to contendthat those were the only rights held by the people.What is the purpose of the Ninth Amendment?Explain your answer.
The Bill of Rights: The Tenth Amendment(Powers Reserved to States or People) The Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states: The powers not delegated to the UnitedStates by the Constitution, norprohibited by it to the States, arereserved to the States respectively, orto the people. The purpose of the Tenth Amendment is to make itclear that the powers not delegated to the federalgovernment in the U.S. Constitution are reserved tothe states and to the citizens of the United States.Why do you think it was important to the drafters ofthe Bill of Rights that these powers be reserved tothe states and to the people? Explain your answer.
There is no single agency that hasoversight control of the criminal justiceagencies. One of the values of the early foundersof the U.S. was a mistrust of astrong, centralized government and as aresult, the U.S. government was createdwith numerous checks and balances.This philosophy is mirrored in the CJsystem.
The main agencies in the criminal justicesystem are:› The police› The courts› The probation and parole agencies, and thejails, prisons, and other correctionalagencies.
One of the difficulties of capturing thedynamics of this multilevel systemis understanding that the local,state, and federal politicalagencies, although independent,are at the same time united andinterdependent. An analogy for the criminal justicesystem is a picket fence. In thepicket fence model, thehorizontal boards in the fencerepresent the local, state, andfederal governments, and thevertical boards represent thevarious functions within thecriminal justice system, such aslaw enforcement, courts, andcorrections. For example, localmunicipal courts have their ownmissions, personnel, andresources. However, a case canbe appealed from a localmunicipal court to a statecourt, and from a state court to afederal court. Thus, each courtsystem is separate, but each islinked by a vertical picket.Federal GovernmentState GovernmentLocal Government