The Three Branches of the American Criminal Justice System

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This slideshow details the different branches of the American Criminal Justice System, the purpose of each branch, and some examples of agencies found in each branch.

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The Three Branches of the American Criminal Justice System

  1. 1. The Three Branches of theAmerican Criminal Justice System “Idaho Police Pay Respect,” 2009 by pnwguy. Used under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/
  2. 2. The American Criminal Justice System• Law Enforcement• Courts• Corrections
  3. 3. Law EnforcementOfficers must:• Enforce laws• Determine if a crime has occurred• Investigate the crime• Press charges, if appropriate
  4. 4. Three (3) Levels of Law Enforcement• Federal (FBI, DEA, ATF, Secret Service, Marshals, Postal Inspection Service)• State (VSP, TBI, CHiPS)• Local (Sheriff’s Deputies, City Police)
  5. 5. CourtsCourts must:• Review evidence• Determine if the accused is guilty• Determine if punishment is needed and, if so, what type is appropriate
  6. 6. Types of Courts• Federal: Magistrate Courts, District Courts, Courts of Appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court• State: Courts of Limited Jurisdiction, Trial Courts of General Jurisdiction, Intermediate Courts of Appeals, Courts of Last Resort, the U.S. Supreme Court
  7. 7. CorrectionsMonitors the sentence imposed by theCourt• Incapacitation (incarceration): Misdemeanor or Felony• Rehabilitation: trying to “cure” the offender
  8. 8. Jail or Prison?• Jail: for those convicted of misdemeanors and who are serving less than 1 year –Usually run by a local government• Prison: for those convicted of felonies and who are serving more than 1 year – Run by State or Federal government
  9. 9. Probation/ Parole• Probation: when an offender is monitored by a Probation Officer in the community instead of going to jail/prison• Parole: when an offender is monitored by a Parole Officer in the community after serving time in prison
  10. 10. Community-Based CorrectionsGoal: to rehabilitate the offender while keepinghim connected to the community• Boot camps• Intensive supervisor programs• Electronic Monitoring• Half-way houses• Faith-based programs• Day reporting centers

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