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The US Criminal Justice Assignment

Society always expects a criminal justice system to be fair and efficient. At the same time, it needs to balance the need to enforce the law and the need to protect individuals’ rights. There are two models that have a distinct approach to serving justice. The crime control model was introduced in the late 1960s by Stanford University Professor Herbert Packer (Schmalleger, 2018). It focuses on suppressing and controlling crime to safeguard public security. In contrast, the due process model emphasizes the creation of a just system for all where everyone’s rights are protected. Even though there are apparent differences between the two types, figure 1 presents some similarities as well. The core one is the necessity of crime reduction and the inevitability of punishment.

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Crime Control and Due Process Models

 Differences and similarities between crime control and due process models.
Figure 1. Differences and similarities between crime control and due process models.

The crime control model implies that law enforcement officials and attorneys do all the investigations. As a result of the routine processes, many suspects will plead guilty, and there will be no trial. The main disadvantage, therefore, is the focus on achieving quick results. From this perspective, the due process approach aims to deter people from committing crimes by showcasing that fair punishment will be served. There are circumstances when one model can be regarded as superior to the other one. In the era of digitalization and technology-related crimes, it is becoming more vital to adopt crime-control mechanisms. Cyber-bullying, information theft, and bank fraud can be halted by applying strict punishment to establish public order.

Evolution of the Criminal Justice System

Criminal activities have always been present in U.S. society, igniting the debate about the transformation of the system. The period of 1960-1970 is marked by the upheaval of the civil rights movement (Schmalleger, 2018). Activists started to defend the rights of ethnic minorities, people of color, and women. I believe it is a significant point in history because it fostered the establishment of equal rights and opportunities for all. Many areas of life, including education and employment, were influenced by the values of the movement. The legal system had to respond to the demands of underprivileged communities.

Evolution in criminal justice timeline (Schmalleger, 2018).
Figure 2. Evolution in criminal justice timeline (Schmalleger, 2018).

According to Figure 2, the next critical stage in criminal justice evolution is connected to the growing public concern in the 1990s. The National Incident- Based Reporting System (NIBRS) introduced in the late 1980s allowed collecting and analyzing crime data (Rantala, 2000). This advancement has shaped public perception of growing crime rates and the need for tough prosecution. I reckon that American society stressed the importance of individual responsibility and crime control approach.

White-collar crimes have prevailed at the beginning of the new century. President George W. Bush signed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002 to improve the state of financial markets (Schmalleger, 2018). Despite this fact, more cases such as Volkswagen software manipulation followed. Corporate cases contributed to the debate over the nature of white-collar crimes. I assume it is essential to highlight that these crimes are not administrative violations but real crimes. Wide-spread use and availability of the Internet and various types of software define the current state of affairs. For example, parents express concern about sexual or violent content their kids can be exposed to (Kessler, Laser, Earls & Yamashiro, 2008). Crimes committed in the virtual world are hard to discover and investigate. It is a challenge that requires cooperation between branches of the government, the private sector, and the public.

References

  1. Kessler, J., Laser, R., Earls, M., & Yamashiro, N. (2008). The impending crime wave: Four dangerous new trends and how to stop them. Web.
  2. Rantala, R. (2000). Effects of NIBRS on crime statistics. Web.
  3. Schmalleger, F. (2018). Criminal justice: A brief introduction (12th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

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