Essay on Components of Criminal Justice System

Published: 2021/12/01
Number of words: 1282

According to the United States Department of Justice, the major components of the criminal justice system are the police, the courts, and the corrections. The police are mainly tasked with executing the law selectively, public protection, arresting those suspected of violating the law, and intercepting crime. The individual responsibility of the courts is guaranteeing fair trials for suspected criminals and deciding whether the accused are guilty or innocent when the correctional subsystem is working independently; its objective is rehabilitating wrongdoers or altering their behavior so that they can be accepted in society and abide by the law. The desired outcome is that all three subsystems work towards reducing crime in the community.

The issue about these components of the criminal justice system working together in unity is a controversial topic; however, when they do, a gradual process is followed. The components of the criminal justice system, also known as it, may work differently, but the consistent aspect is the mechanism of cases moving through the criminal justice system. Typically, if an individual is caught on the wrong side of the law, the process is cops, courts, and then corrections (Burke et al., 2019). This means that the first step in the criminal justice system is after an individual is caught violating the law by calling law enforcement and involving the police. The following step in the process is proceeding to the courts, where guilt or innocence will be determined. The outcome of an individual being found guilty leads to sentencing, which is executed in the following step. Following conviction, the individual proceeds to the correctional system for official penalty and/or rehabilitation as decided by the courts.

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This process need not necessarily end with the correctional system; as a matter of fact, it may not even get beyond the police. This implies that there are isolated settings that facilitate this outcome. A classic instance is where a police officer settles on not citing you, and your connection ends there (Burke et al., 2019). Nonetheless, the district attorney may intervene and decide to drop your case prior to trial. All the outcomes in all these settings are focused in the best interest of the society and sometimes involve the discussion of the needs of the many versus the needs of the few.

The most rampant crime in East St. Louis is murder, where living in this location has become dangerous because of the reduced life expectancy. Reports indicate that the probability of being murdered in East St. Louis is 19 times extra compared to other cities in the United States. The portion of murders that get as far as the trials is a mere 25% compared to the national average, which is 60%. In the last decade, the population of East St. Louis has decreased by half and the number of murders annually shrunk from 7o to 24. However, the conditions that propel the possibility of violence have remained consistent, especially the mistrust between the police and the residents. The barrier that tops the list of the difficulties associated with solving these murders is the fact that they are random and haphazard, which means obtaining motives and suspects is extremely difficult.

Crime in East St. Louis has led to the shrinking of the police force by half to the extent where police officers no longer look into murders, and they just respond to violent crimes while patrolling the streets. Additionally, over the past decade, the prosecution rate in East St Louis has danced between 15% and 30%, in contrast to the ideal rate of 60% needed to have a disincentive impact. Unemployment rates in East St. Louis stand at 7.1%, which is double the national average which means it is reason enough to commit murder (Hundsdorfer & Pawlaczyk, 2019). It is also worth noting that evidence reveals that out of the nineteen times the East St. Louis police have engaged the services of the elite Major Case Squad for assistance, only nine cases were solved. Additionally, the prevalence of these murders appears to affect the male gender and the African-American race with 85% and 90%, respectively.

The least problematic crime in East St. Louis is property crime, with a rate of 42.3 compared to the national average of 35.4. In this category, robbery without violence is the case with the least rates of occurrences in East St. Louis. Data indicates that property crimes in East St. Louis, especially robberies, have been on a declining trajectory to date in the past decade. Compared to the United States average on robberies, the same trend is observed. This could be because most people living in East St. Louis are living in poverty and unemployment (Perkins, 2015). This being the fact, it is then safe to argue that the living standards for these people are well at the same level, and there are no social classes. It can also be because everyone is just trying to survive and make it through that day.

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The solution towards consistently alleviating violent crime in East St. Louis should begin by fixing the relationship between residents and the police, which will possibly take as much time as it took the problem. Police reforms aimed at enhancing accountability, training, and culture will be a great step at transforming East St. Louis law enforcement. Also, the idea of assimilating social service workers with law enforcement can be extremely helpful in mending this relationship and fostering trust in the community (Reardon, & Raciti, 2015). Additionally, high crime rates in East St. Louis are associated with inequitable resources linked to employment, housing, and educations. This means that the next solution lies in alleviating these discriminatory aspects to foster safety in East St. Louis. Strengthening Project Safe Neighborhoods in East St. Louis will contribute largely to reducing the rates of violent crimes, especially because of the parties that it comprises.

There is enough evidence revealing that gun violence propels the vast majority of serious violent crime matters in East St. Louis should ensure that addressing gun violence remains the core aspect of Project Safe Neighborhoods. The courts can contribute to these solutions by evaluating the best approaches to building or maintaining trust and justice, setting strategic enforcement preferences, and measuring success in reducing violent crimes. An economic opening is also a crucial solution towards reducing violent crimes because, through it, employment opportunities. The road to effectively attracting economic openings will be motivated by proper incentives, which will create a suitable environment for investors and entrepreneurs. Strict gun policies could go a long way in reducing the rates of violent crimes by a large portion. Strict policies mean strict penalties, which will translate to decreased ownership of guns. Reduction of guns translates to the reduction of violent crime committed by guns.


Burke, A. S., Carter, D. E., Fedorek, B., Morey, T. L., Rutz-Burri, L., & Sanchez, S. (2019). Introduction to the American Criminal Justice System.

Hundsdorfer, B., & Pawlaczyk, G, (2019). East St. Louis, IL has the highest murder rate of any United States City.

Perkins, T. (2015). School–community partnerships, friend or foe? The doublespeak of community with educational partnerships. Educational Studies51(4), 317-336.

Reardon, K., & Raciti, A. (2018). Building the Progressive City One Neighborhood at a Time: The Story of the East St. Louis Action Research Project (USA). Tracce urbane. Rivista italiana transdisciplinare di studi urbani, (4).

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