Overview of the Criminal Justice System

Overview of the Criminal Justice System

The correctional component of the criminal justice system is composed of several aspects. Corrections can focus on incarceration, probation, and parole. After an offender is convicted, the correctional branch ensures the criminal serves his or her sentence. Correctional officers have the duty of supervising and providing care to inmates in jails and prisons. Correctional officials have the duty to protect officers, inmates, and the public. Probation and parole officers provide supervision and treatment services for criminals after incarceration or as an alternative to incarceration. The correctional system is responsible for reviewing inmates and considering whether the inmate can be released, remain incarcerated, or sent for further treatment.

One of the most important perspectives of criminal justice is the due process perspective. The due process perspective suggests every citizen deserves the protections of the Constitution, and preserving the democratic ideals of society takes precedence over the need to punish the guilty (Siegel & Worrall, 2014). In this light, the judicial branch of the criminal justice system is extremely important; the judicial branch of the criminal justice system may be the most important branch. The judicial system has the duty to provide every accused citizen the right of due process. Due process protections within the U.S. Constitution prevent corruption, legal abuse, and helps to prevent errors during trial. Every citizen in this country should be treated equally under the law no matter their socioeconomic status. The judicial system must ensure defendants are given proper process, defense, and trial. Ultimately, the court system decides the final fate of the accused.

The correctional branch of the criminal justice system should be evaluated. Many offenders entering the correctional system have disabilities, mental health issues, and physical health issues. Correctional agencies lack the manpower, funding, and facilities to properly accommodate these offenders. Our correctional system has been filled to capacity. In turn, states have hired private prisons to help manage offenders. These private prisons are more concerned with profit than the rehabilitation and safety of inmates. Similarly, probation and parole departments have been privatized. This privatization focuses on private probation and parole fees instead of rehabilitation and supervision. Privatization raises a question about the effectiveness of the correctional system.

To become more effective, privatization of the criminal justice system must end. The correctional system should deploy significant changes in providing mental and physical wellness to inmates. Furthermore, close review and evaluations of an inmate’s sentence should be considered. Ending privatization will place more focus on rehabilitation and boost the effectiveness of alternative programming. The lack of privatization will allow the law enforcement branch to focus on violent crimes; furthermore, the judicial branch can clearly evaluate the effectiveness of alternative sentences from properly regulated probation or parole departments.


Siegel, L. J., & Worrall, J. L. (2014). Introduction to Criminal Justice (14 ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage.

Translate »