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Most countries have streamlined their Criminal justice system. The definition that perfectly describes the system is the administration of lawfulness to individuals that have committed acts contrary to the stipulated laws of the nation. Criminal justice system is a system where criminal justice is found as one of the components and it entails core government agencies and institutions. The key purpose of the criminal justice system of any particular nation can be stated as the rehabilitation and correction of offenders, prevention of other crimes as well as the provision of moral support for the affected individuals. The police department, the law courts, the trial and defense department, and correctional facilities make up the core faculties of the criminal justice system. The mentioned government agencies work hand in hand to maintain law and order in the country. Law and order is defined as the command and control of the law in the society. The interconnection of principle government agencies working to ensure order is maintained, the law is enforced, the transgressors are identified, the guilty are charged and the criminal behavior is taken care of demonstrates what a criminal justice system entails. Hence, the society sees the criminal justice system as a definite instrument of social control. The paper compares and contrasts the criminal justice system of the USA, England and Japan


The systems of the three mentioned nations have some similarities from the police or the law enforcement unit, the courts and the correction facilities. The similarity is often clear on the duties of this very institutions. In the USA the police department is the first government agency in the criminal justice system and it is defined as the first contact where a perpetrator meets the criminal justice system. The police are tasked with the responsibility to investigate the suspected wrongdoing and to go ahead to make an arrest. In situations where the suspect is a danger to the entire nation the help of the national level law enforcement agency is sought. When need be the police are forced to use force and other means of legal compulsion to restore order in the state. The law enforcement in England is similar to the law enforcement in USA in that, the police in England are also granted powers to carry out their duties which include; safeguarding of life and people’s material possessions, maintaining peace and inhibition and uncovering of criminal offenses. In Japan the prefectural police departments provide the essential services on matters security they maintain of law and order. The National Police Agency has the mandate oversee the functions of the police departments. The police in Japan have the mandate as the core investigative agency, and the stated responsibilities in the police Act include; the protection of life, the law enforcement in the three countries mainly involves peace keeping and enforcement of criminal law.

Court is the other core institution making up the Criminal justice system and it is termed as a venue where disputes are resolved and justice is served. In the three countries the courts are organized in different levels. The courts consist of people both professionals and non-professionals. In United States the courts are organized at the federal, state and special-jurisdiction levels. In Japan the structure of the courts is as follows; the Supreme court, the High court, District court, family court and summary court. In court people found to be knowledgeable of the law of the land are appointed as judges and their key function in the courts is to accurately administer the legal actions and make the final decisions concerning the cases. Hence the role of the courts in the three countries is administering the legal proceeding in a bid to find justice as well as to dispose the case.

The correction is the third component of the system of the three countries. Correction in the three states entails reform and rehabilitation. The individuals found in the correctional facility are the accused found guilty and hence they serve time in prison. It is termed as correction and rehabilitation because when the inmates are in the correctional facilities they are given a chance to reform and become better individuals through vocational training where they learn skills that will help them earn a living once they are out of prison. In all the three countries also there is the provision of juvenile and adult correctional service.


The visible contrast in the criminal justice system of England, USA and Japan is mainly seen in many instances. In The USA for example the system is procedural and the constitutional rights of the accused are protected, the Japanese judicial system on the other hand is substantive justice which mainly emphasizes on obtaining just results not a just process. CITATION DeS15 l 1033 (DeSombre, 2015). The U.S criminal justice also allows conviction without trial while the Japanese system on the other hand prohibits conviction without trial.

The United States of America and England are mainly common law states while Japan on the other hand is a civil law country where the laws are codified and can be found in all the levels of the legal system. Compared to England and the United States, Japan has the least number of lawyers per person. Statistics show that it is 1 lawyer to 4000people compared to 1 to 250people in the United States. CITATION Piy13 l 1033 (Syam, 2013). The role of lawyers in each of the countries is different however the lawyers in Japan do not have prominent roles in court proceedings like the American or the English lawyers. The difference between England’s legal system and the United States legal system is seen in juries where in England any British resident between the age of 18-70 and are registered citizens on the electoral roll can serve in the jury, in the USA however the members of the jury are pre-selected and the counsellors from the prosecution and the defense teams must agree upon the pre-selected members.

The United States as well as United Kingdom have quite similar principles when it comes to prison systems. There principals are however implemented in a dissimilar manner. US Federal Bureau of Prisons have their mission statement which is “To protect the society confining offenders in controlled environments of prisons and community based facilities which are humane, cost0-efficient and safe.” The statement ends with that the rehabilitated citizens will be able to resume their life after serving their sentence dully. United States have re-entry programs that aims at helping those who have served their sentence get back to society. Reentry programs are often quite important as they provide a platform to the offenders to support themselves through both productive and legitimate work. Reentry programs have helped in reducing recidivism among the offenders thus leading to an improvement of public safety. It has been argued however that prisons in the united states are quite harsh as compared to the U.K

Prison population is one of the main difference between the United States and United Kingdom. Incarceration is the main form of punishment in the United States. Statistics has showed that prisons in the United States has the highest number of prisoners in the world and ranks second in terms of per-capita incarceration just behind Seychelles. In the year 2013, there were approximately 698 people who had been incarcerated per 100000 population indicating that the number of arrests are quite high (Institute for Criminal Policy Research). The population in the US federal, state and county prisons are at approximately 2.1 million adults according to the Prisons Policy Initiative report. The crime rates in the United States are said to be quite low but despite this fact they still hold the largest prison population “it’s a stark fact that the United States has less than five percent of the world’s population, yet we have almost 25% of the world total population. The numbers today are higher than 30, 40 years ago despite the fact crime are at historic lows” CITATION Lee15 l 1033 (Lee)These were the words of Hillary Rodham Clinton while giving a speech hon criminal justice. Different reports released have showed that arrest rates dropped in the year 2016 and 2017. States notorious for producing the highest number of prisoners include Louisiana, Texas, Arizona, Alabama and Oklahoma. Louisiana has often been referred to as world’s prison because it has the highest number on incarcerated individuals.

Britain too use prison as main form of punishment but also use other forms such as electronic monitor where convicts do not have to serve in prisons. Their convictions laws are not that strict when compared to the united states. In 2013, incarceration rate in Britain stood at 66 persons per 10000 populations (Institute for Criinal Policy Research). US ranks above Britain with approximately 632 convicts per 100000 populations. The total number of prisoners in Britain is said to be approximately one million including pre-trial detainees and prisoners. The arrest rates are quite low in United Kingdom and the crime rates too are quite low.

State of the prisons is another thing that clearly shows the difference between prisons in the US and those in Britain. Prisons in the United States are crowded and lacks the social amenities that the prisons should have. There has been an historic evolution of institution which has resulted in a system that has accomplished incapacitation. “Tough on crime” policies have resulted in the overcrowding of prison cells, inflated budgetary costs, increased number of repeat offenders as well as failure to lower crime rates. This means that the US prison system is almost a complete failure (Larson, 2014). Though some people have complained of the improbable conditions, there are others who are complaining of how prisons in the United States have been made so comfortable that is why the number if repeat offenders are high. Individuals such as Ben Carson and Bradford are among the people who have raised concerned that US prisons are becoming too comfortable. “I was flabbergasted by the accommodation, the exercise equipment, libraries and computers” Ben Carson said this in a speech to Republicans in Arlington. Bradford on the other hand claimed that when she interviewed ex-prisoners some said that they would commit crimes to go back to prison as their retirement plan. This is because the US prisons provided them with palliative care. This really creates a dilemma for the National Justice system. They do not know if the poor conditions should serve as the basis for the punishment or should they improve the living conditions because the prisoners too are human beings

England and Japan.

In addition to the differences and the similarities mentioned above, England and Japan’s criminal justice system differ when it comes to the juvenile justice. The Age specifically is significantly different in the two countries, in Japan individuals under 21years are considered juveniles while in England 10 is the age set for criminal responsibility and any individual above the age of 18 is dealt with as an adult if they commit a crime. CITATION Chr09 l 1033 (Lewis, Brooks, Ellis, & Hamai, 2009) The youth justice system is centrally controlled in England and the local visibility is minimal whereas in Japan, the youth justice system is dominated by the integration of other important components of the criminal justice system such as law enforcement coupled with informal social control and great emphasis is placed on local visibility. The difference bring about the difference in the success of the systems in the two countries.

In conclusion, it is necessary to remember that the criminal justice system of every country is unique in its own way and that it touches all aspects of people’s lives in ways that may be difficult to comprehend. Criminal justice system is important because it is a system that includes; the enforcement of the law, the legal systems or the courts and the correctional docket.


BIBLIOGRAPHY l 1033 DeSombre, J. C. (2015). Comparing the notions of the Japanese and thr US Criminal Justice System: An Examination of Pretrial Rights of the Criminally Accused in Japan and the United States. UCLA Pacific Basin Law Journal, 103-145.

Institute for Criinal Policy Research. World Prison Berief. n.d. 22 March 2018. <>.

Institute for Criminal Policy Research. World Prison Brief. n.d. 18 March 2018. <>.

Larson, April Llamas & James. (2014). “Prioritizing Restorative Justice in United States Prisons.” Journal of Criminal Justice and Legal Issues: 18-26

Lewis, C., Brooks, G., Ellis, T., & Hamai, K. (2009). Comparing Japanese and English Juvenile Justice: Reflections on Change in the Twenty-First Century. Crime Prevention and Community Safety, 75-89.

Syam, P. (2013). Major Difference Between the Japanese and American Legal System. St. Louis School of Law Journal, 12-18.