Criminal Justice In England

Criminal Justice In England

One of the major public services in England is the criminal justice systems. The criminal justice systems in England is enhanced by various agencies such as the police, the courts, the prison service, the crown prosecution services and the national probation service which work jointly to deriver criminal justice process (Baker, John 2002). The work of the agencies is monitored by three government departments namely; Home office, the office of the attorney general and the department of the constitutional affairs. The work of the criminal justice agencies and the government departments is to reform, and improve criminal justice system to prevent and detect more crime, punish and rehabilitate criminals and provide victims and the witnesses more support(Baker, John 2002).. Criminal justices system is developed to react to the acts of crime or behaviors individual portray which are deviant from the society norms and culture.

According to Baker, John (2002) a crime is a deliberate act that ends up in causing harm physically or otherwise toward an individual or a group of people in a way forbidden by the law. Cultures and nations have varied historical ways of determining which acts are criminal and which ones are not. This is due to the fact that different societies regard various human actions differently, in some societies, some acts seems criminal but when done within certain legal limits they fail to qualify as crime while in some societies the same acts committed in similar capacity qualifies as crime offences and are prosecuted (Mason, David 2000).

Once a crime has been committed the criminal justice system is instituted by the agencies i.e. courts or police to investigate, trial, convict and punish the criminals. Criminal offences vary by jurisdiction as well as the punishments however; restitution and deterrence are common elements in criminal justice (Baker, John 2002).

A lot has been done in criminology in trying to study how crime can be eliminated but not even one criminal justice system has managed to eliminate crime completely from the society. This implies that for crime or deviant behaviors in the society to be eliminated or resolved, an understanding of the depth of human nature and societal relationships is needed. This has led to some people regarding family bonds and religious faith as some of the measures that play a major role in turning the ex-convicts of crime to meaningful individuals in the society. Briefly, although no criminal justice agency has managed to eliminate crime from the society, the criminal justice systems have managed to reduce criminal offences to a greater degree.

Aims and objectives of criminal justice systems in England

The main purpose of the criminal justice systems is to deriver justice for all citizens. This can be done by convicting and punishing the victims of crime i.e. the guilty and assisting them to stop criminal actions while providing protection to the innocent. The criminal justice systems are also responsible for detecting all criminal acts and bringing them to justice. The CJS further caries out the court orders such as fine collection, and supervision of community and custodian punishment.

Criminal justice systems main goals range from increasing public confidence by providing fairness and effectiveness in matters relating to crime. This is possible by the use of CJS agencies especially the court systems to deriver justice without influence from any source.

England’s CJS aims at increasing the victim’s satisfaction with the police as well as the witness and the victim’s satisfaction with the criminal justice system. In delivering justice satisfaction of the parties involved in the case is the major agenda. Also CJS is involved in collecting consistent and good quality data relating to ethnicity so as to identify and address the disproportionality of the race in the criminal justice system(Baker, John 2002)..

The working of the criminal justice systems

The working of the criminal justice systems in England and anywhere in the world is possible only with the support of the community. If the community cannot help in reporting crimes experienced within its boundaries then perpetrators/ offenders cannot be brought to justice. Therefore, in particular both the victims and the witnesses play a major role in justice delivery process. When the victims and the witnesses come forth and report the crimes witnessed it comes easy for the CJS to deriver justice accordingly. Thus, CJS is involved in enhancing reporting of the crimes. In UK CJS provide an emergency dial number that one can use to report the crime that is 999 also, it provides that for non-emergency crimes one can contact the local police (Knafla, Louis, 1990).

The CJS is also involved in investigating the criminal offences. When the crime is reported, the police are involved in carrying out the investigation. According to England CJS, the police investigate the crime, identify the suspects, put the suspects in custody and question them. When they complete the investigations, they will treat the suspects differently depending on the outcome of the investigation. For example, they may charge the suspect, release the suspects without charge, and release the suspect with a summons to return later or deal with them by using an out-of-court disposal (Knafla, Louis, 1990).

The out-of-court disposal is an alternative method of prosecution that include; for adults 18 years and above a, simple caution, conditional caution, penalty notice for disorder, fixed penalty notice and a cannabis warning. For youths 10-17 years old at, final warning, reprimand and penalty notice for disorder for 16-17 years of age (Mason, David, 2000).

The crown prosecution service CPS decides whether they or they should not prosecute people in the court of law. Although the police investigate the crimes and decide some out-of-court disposals, crown prosecutors decide on weather to charge the person with the criminal offence and determine the appropriate charge or charges. The crown prosecutors receive the cases from the police, they review them and then makes decisions if they cases are worth prosecution. If they weigh the case and find that it is not worth proceeding for prosecution then it is dropped but if they gauge it and finds it worthy prosecution then they decide under what charge is the offence before they take it to court. Crown prosecutors are the first after the police investigations to try as much as possible to deriver justice(Knafla, Louis, 1990).

In deciding whether, the case /offences ids worth prosecution the crown prosecutors give alternatives of prosecution accordingly. The crown prosecutors reviews the report from the police concerning the criminal offence committed and then decides if it has enough evidence against the defendant and if it is of public interest to bring the offender to trial before the court. In case the crown prosecutors thinks of stopping the case because of lack on enough evidence then they inform the police who may provide further evidence on the same which will change the decision of the prosecutor. Both the police and the crown prosecutor roles in CJS are different even though they work hand in hand (Knafla, Louis, 1990).

The final decision whether the case has to proceed to trial in courts is the responsibility of the CPS. The decision by the CPS weather to prosecute a given act as criminal is guided by the society’s values and customs. For instance, the youth 1-17 years of age are prosecuted under juvenile courts and are not prosecutable in adult courts. No matter what offence they commit. Prosecuting children in adult courts is viewed as one way of condemning the children or causing psychological trauma to the children (Davies, Croall, and Tyrer, 1998). More so, in England prosecution and punishment is intended for rehabilitation. So any form of treatment that does not comply with behavior change and rehabilitation is seen as another social crime committed to children. This society norm has helped in a great deal to shape criminal justice especially for children who might have committed crime without being aware of the charges or consequences.

Cases involving tort law are at most times governed by the negligence standard. The defendant is liable of the crime or injury to another if the injury resulted from her ignorance. Negligence is the failure of meting reasonably amount of care. In some incidences, courts have ruled that the actions that comply with the society norms meet the standard of reasonable care. In other context, the courts have held that since the defendant action was in conformity with the society norms meet the standards of reasonable care (Knafla, Louis, 1990). The above scenario provides that in CJS the norms of the society help in deciding what offences are criminal and which ones are not. In addition, to what extent an act can become offensive and the tried in the court of law.

England CJS involves punishment and rehabilitation especially when the defendant has been found guilty of an offence by the court law (Davies, Croall, and Tyrer, 1998). The courts determine appropriate punishment that is commensurate to the crime committed. Rehabilitation measures are also provided by the court to attempt to change the behavior of the offender not to commit the same crime as well as to prevent others from committing similar crime. Once some on is convicted of a crime, he/she is imprisoned for period that is reasonable according to the crime they commit (Davies, Croall, and Tyrer, 1998). While in prison, they are as well treated with fairness and humanity since human safety is paramount. The prison care and service is not only intended to reduce crime by promoting la abiding citizens but is also aimed at providing productive activities that will educate and rehabilitate the prisoners so that when they are released from prison the y do not re-offend.

National probation service is intended to work with offenders who have just been released from jail or who have been receiver community sentence. This program is intended to force the offender to understand the consequence of the crime committed and help the m make changes in their behavior. This service works together with other agencies to ensure the safety of the public and the offender after the dangerous offender release.

Community sentencing is another rehabilitation scheme or punishment that the offender is subjected to. This service is aimed at changing the behavior of the offender and making some direct amendments to the victims of the crime. Community sentences are not soft options but they include drugs, alcohol treatment and community projects or charity works during the times that the offender is likely to commit the crime (Davies, Croall, and Tyrer, 1998).

In summary, criminal justice systems in England work to deliver justice to all citizens with the aid of CJS agencies. Mostly, the courts are used to deriver justice according to the level of crime committed and its deviance from the society norms and values. USA criminal justice systems resemble those of UK because those two countries mostly share the same laws. The only difference with the USA CJS is that the agencies which work hand in hand with criminal justice services, are monitored by the congress unlike UK where it is monitored y three government departments namely the home office, attorney generals office and the constitutional affairs office (Baker, John 2002).

Works citedBaker, John Hamilton. An Introduction to English Legal History. 4th ed. London, U.K; Dayton, Ohio:Butterworths/LexisNexis, 2002. Bowling, Benjamin and Phillips Longman, Coretta. Racism, Crime and Justice. London, U.K; New York, NY:Longman, 2002.

Davies, M., Croall, H. and Tyrer, J. Criminal Justice: An Introduction to the Criminal Justice System inEngland and Wales (Second Edition), Longman, 1998Knafla, Louis A., Ed. Crime, Police and the Courts in British History (Essays from Criminal Justice History.Westport, CT: Meckler Publishing, 1990.

Mason, David. Race and Ethnicity in Modern Britain. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.