The American Criminal Justice System

The process of American criminal justice is a system with three major components: police, courts, and corrections. However, such a viewpoint is useful primarily for the reduction in complexity it provides. A more realistic approach to criminal justice may be the nonsystem approach. As a nonsystem, criminal justice is depicted as a fragmented activity in which individuals and agencies within the process have interests and goals that at times coincide but often conflict.

Defendants processed by the justice system come into contact with numerous workers whose duty it is to enforce the law but who also have a stake in the agencies employing them and who hold their own personal interests and values. As defendants wend their way through the system, they may be held accountable to the law, but in the process, they will also be buffeted by the personal whims of “officials” as well as by the practical needs of the system itself. A complete view of American criminal justice must recognize that the final outcome of any encounter with the criminal justice system will be a consequence of decisions made not just at the legislative level but in the day-to-day activities undertaken by everyone involved in the system. Hence the quality of justice is determined just as much by pressures on the system as by idealistic notions of right and wrong.

Multiculturalism complicates the practice of American criminal justice still further because there is rarely universal agreement in our society about what is right or wrong or about what constitutes “justice.”

An alternative way of viewing the practice of criminal justice is in terms of its two goals: crime control and due process. The crime-control perspective urges rapid and effective enforcement of the law and calls for the stiff punishment of lawbreakers. Due process, on the other hand, requires a recognition of the defendant’s rights and holds the agents of justice accountable for any actions that might contravene those rights. The goals of crime control and due process are often in conflict. Popular opinion may even see them as mutually exclusive, which contrasts the need to balance the rights of individuals against other valid social interests, especially the need for public order.

The central theme is represented by two opposing groups: individual-rights advocates and public-order advocates. The fundamental challenge facing the practice of American criminal justice is achieving efficient enforcement of the laws while recognizing and supporting the legal rights of suspects and the legitimate personal differences and prerogatives of individuals. This goal is made all the more difficult by changing social values and by rapid advances in the kinds of technology available to criminals. Nonetheless, the American mandate of crime control through due process ensures that criminal justice will remain an exciting and ever-evolving undertaking well into the twenty-first century and beyond.

Criminal Justice Online Courses – Making it Simple

Before we go in to the depth of the subject, it is necessary to understand what is criminal justice. Criminal Justice can be defined as the study of criminal behavior and the system to control the nature of delinquent activities. Of course, the subject is very vast and dense and includes aspects of different dimensions which are to be covered over the course of studies. To make the program available to a great percentage of citizens, criminal degree online courses have been started with the only view that people would be able to study the same at their home at their own time of convenience.

This dense and intense subject of criminal law includes various topics. The most popular specialization subjects offered by different online colleges includes topics of Corrections, criminal law, Justice administration, law enforcement, legal and paralegal studies, crime scene investigation and forensic sciences. Courses in this field are provided at different levels in the associate’s, bachelors and master’s level and certain institutions also provide certificate programs. A deep knowledge of the subject along with a master’s in the same subject with specialization at a specific field will surely help an individual to even be recruited in the finest legal firms like the FBI or the CIA.

The courses provided at different colleges and universities vary but the essence of the subject still remains the same. Kaplan University is determined as the finest universities providing the highest number of degree plans in the subject and the courses provided by them are A.A.S in Criminal Justice/Corrections, M.S. in Criminal Law, B.S. in Criminal Behavior, B.S. in Criminal Justice/Computer Crime, B.S. in criminal law/Law Enforcement, A.A.S in Criminal Justice, & M.S. in Criminal/Global Issues.

University of Phoenix is known all over the nation as the finest online education house and also provides various degrees in criminal justice. American Intercontinental University is popular for its financial grant program which allows students to gain benefit and join the criminal justice online courses like B.S. in Criminal Law: Special Population and B.S. in criminal Law: Forensic Science. Colorado Technical University is also extremely famous as a great online institution which provides unique online courses in criminal law. University of Cincinnati, Everest University Online, Ashford University, Westwood University, Rasmussen College, Liberty University and Argosy University are mentioned in the top-ten list of the best colleges and universities of the nation who are providing such great degrees programs to the masses.

The recent incidents and threats of war and security issues require an in-depth knowledge of the criminal law system to deal with what is actually happening around the world and in the nation. Criminal Justice online courses will surely help the individuals to gain maximum benefit and also to know the legal system of the nation.

Careers In Criminal Justice

About Criminal Justice

Criminal justice is one of the most interesting career options to explore as it deals with criminal psychology and the social implications, including its influence on the criminals. Highly evolving and dynamic at the same time, the field offers a number of areas of specialization. Starting from the forms of social justice to methods of committing crimes, everything has undergone a sea of change. Laws have changed, new philosophies have emerged, and new techniques of advocacy and forms of punishments have been brought into practice. Therefore, a career in criminal justice requires the right kind of educational background, adequate training, and a mind and attitude to evolve with time while maintaining the basic standards of law and order. Practitioners of criminal justice are, therefore, expected to gather expertise in administration, law enforcement, forensics, criminal psychology, and sociology.

Careers in Criminal Justice

Students holding criminal justice degrees can explore a lot of areas related to justice and law including police investigator, defender, prosecutor, judge, and administrator. Jobs in criminal justice may also include prison guard, security guard, and probationary officers. Employers often favor candidates with a background in sociology, psychology, criminology, law, social work, or political science, during the selection process. However, before opting for a career in criminal justice, it is important to remember that it is not enough to learn about general laws and enforcement techniques. Specialization is important to develop a specific career path.

Joining a police force as a police officer or working as an agent for the Secret Service, FBI or Homeland Security are some of the popular choices often made by students of criminal justice. The job of evidence experts, criminal profilers, and crime scene investigators are some of the other interesting and challenging careers offered in the fields of crime, law, and justice. These profiles are particularly preferred by those who love to take challenges and have a knack for solving puzzles using their wit and intelligence.

The Changed Scenario

Unlike the 50s and 60s when the punishment of crime only meant suffering through imprisonment, the present practice has adopted rehabilitation as one of the fundamental principles of incarceration. While criminals were kept away from the masses for posing a threat to society, they are now being given the opportunity to correct themselves and once again come back to a normal life. Thus, one of the other jobs in criminal justice also involves expert practitioners who utilize their knowledge, experience, and skills in planning correction facilities. There are also experts who participate in the policy-making for prisons and adjustment of procedures to accommodate changing policies. If you are ready to work in a public sector, you may also opt for the post of a researcher or an analyst in the courts.

Eligibility and Training

Adequate specialized training is essential while choosing a career in criminal justice. Students with a suitable educational background and relevant degrees can apply for the various posts available in this field. An undergraduate degree is the minimum requirement to specialize in any of the related areas.

For earning their degrees through proper training and guidance, students need to either attend classroom lectures or opt for online training modules. Aside from the theoretical modules, hands-on experience leading to real-life situations and case studies are keys to attain employment and success in this field.

Finding The Right Criminal Defense Lawyer In Your Area

People seldom hire the services of a criminal defense lawyer. This is only when they get involved in an unexpected incident. This is usually their first time to seek the services of these attorneys. Though they may be new to this, it does not give them an excuse to make the wrong choice. It is also good to mention that, during the hearings, legal defense services play a vital part. If you make the wrong choice of services, this will greatly affect your family and your future. In this respect, it is crucial to choose the appropriate criminal defense lawyer with some particular things in mind. Read on to know the following tips that can allow you to find the appropriate defense attorney.


Before ever hiring an attorney’s legal services, you should take his experience into consideration. As a matter of fact, this feature has been divided into three categories:

As you may have expected, first you have to focus on are the years of experience. Without a doubt, it is easy to see the difference in the representation of a lawyer with only a year of experience, and another lawyer that has decades of experience. A lawyer that has more experience in a particular field knows more about courtroom practices and techniques to let you get faster results than new recruits. It is easier for them to deal with the unexpected events that they face in the courtrooms.

While more experience is always preferred, you should distinguish the experience of lawyers based on the trial’s geographical area. To be more accurate, a lawyer from one state is not quite suited to fulfill the requirements of a client from a different state. In addition to this, there is a difference of laws in the two places. So, you have to make sure to find a lawyer from the trial’s geographical area.

There are a number of practice areas and subjects. You should hire the services of an attorney who has mastered the specific area of specialization that you are interested in. If you are looking for representation in criminal cases, you should not expect to get this done by a lawyer specializing in bankruptcy.


You can make the right choice when you study the details on the principle and representation style of a criminal defense lawyer. However, these are not easy for every client to grasp, but still need to be considered for effective representation. The traits of lawyers that clients should focus on are as follows:

  • Check if they are actively involved in the case. They should always be prepared to work on the provided minor details with full focus and specialization. Just the same, lawyers should value your discussion and theories.
  • You can also see the caliber of a lawyer that is responsive, especially when it comes to preparing strategies. They should show their responsiveness as they make strategies and plans. They should be quick to respond every time you ask them a particular question.

Once you have short-listed a few lawyer names that you find suitable for your needs, the next thing you should do is to compare their track records in the past.

By using the tips listed in this article, you have a better chance of choosing the finest criminal defense lawyer for your case. You should not make this decision too easily, as the outcome of your trial can decide your life in the future.

The Benefits of Getting a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice

It is said that real learning starts at the graduate level of education. At this level, you are required to do more in-depth research and study. Society expects more out of you.

But are there benefits for the individual that embarks on this level of study? The answer is indeed yes. In this article, I discuss the benefits of getting a graduate masters degree in criminal justice.

With no particular importance attached to the order of presentation, they are:

1. A master’s degree in criminal justice prepares you for leadership, administrative, and management positions in the criminal justice system. You will become a leader, administrator, and manager of such criminal justice systems as the courts, correctional facilities, law enforcement organizations, private and public security organizations.

This gives you the power to chart the direction of such organizations. You will set the pace for other criminal justice personnel. You will be looked upon to set ethical standards and develop new methods of tackling criminal justice problems and issues.

This is just reward for attaining this level of education. It is a position and benefit that should not be taken lightly. The right person will use it to become an agent of change for the good of society.

2. It goes without saying that being leader, administrator, and manager of criminal justice organizations comes with the benefit of more money. A master degree holder makes $61,000 per year to start. This is compared to about $58,000 per year for a bachelor degree holder. When you attain the leadership position I discussed above, you stand to make well over $100,000 per year. A master degree in criminal justice does indeed have its rewards.

3. A masters degree in criminal justice gives you the opportunity to specialize in one area of criminal justice. While a bachelor degree program is broad in nature, a master degree program gives you the chance to become an expert in one area of criminal justice.

For example, you can get a masters degree in criminal justice with specialization in corrections. Your research and study will give you the opportunity to do in-depth study and analysis of the correctional system. Needless to say, with this type of in-depth study, you will come to be an expert in corrections.

This will put you in a position to benefit as your opinion is sought in issues relating to corrections. You maybe called to give your expert opinion in legal and legislative issues concerning corrections. You can make money as a consultant in such situations.

There you have it…..the benefits of getting a masters degree in criminal justice. What I have outlined above is by no means exhaustive. There are other benefits to getting this degree. Covering all of them is beyond what I can do in this short article. If you are still interested in finding out more benefits of getting a master degree in criminal justice, I urge you to look into it some more. You can do this by visiting websites that deal with the subject in more detail.

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