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Justice Administration

A study that encompasses all three components of the Criminal Justice system: police, courts and corrections and also other contemporary administrative issues.. Also include a look at the challenges of the future.

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Justice Administration


The United States of America has one of the most well-known justice administration systems in the world. The system is interlocked and consists mainly of the police, courts and the social service networks, along with correction systems or prisons (Yusef, Nelson, & Dix-Richardson, 2019). The system is meant to deter any and all wrong or criminal activities. The justice system is meant to ensure that any person who has been found to be involved in nefarious activities, or any wrongdoing is apprehended, and that society is able to be a better and safer place for people to live in (Carter & Phillips, 2015). There are many issues with the justice administration system in America, and there have been aspects of it which have been widely criticized as well. 

The following essay will look at some of the major aspects of the criminal justice system in the United States of America, and how beneficial they are. It will look at both the positives and negatives of the system and how the system can be improved as well. The following g essay will look at some of the contemporary administrative issues that plague the justice system in America and some of the future challenges that the system could potentially have. 

Justice Administration in the United States of America

The process of administration of justice in the system is extremely simple. In most cases, the law enforcement would take the lead. If there is a complaint that has been registered, or detectives have been gather evidence in a case, a person accused of the crime is taken into custody by the law enforcement and kept the night. They are granted bail and a court date is set. After the court date is set, the accused would be able to represent themselves in court by virtue of a lawyer. If they are unable to hire a lawyer due to financial issues, then the government provides a defense attorney to them. A jury of peers along with a judge would decide, based on the proceedings in court, if the person is deemed guilty or not. However, for minor infractions, there is no jury, and it would be up to the judge to decide if the person is deemed worthy of punishment or just a fine (Scanlan &Theoharis, 2016). If the individual is acquitted by court, then they are sent to the many prisons or correctional facilities, many of which are privately owned and operated across the country. There they are expected to serve the time given to them. However, they would be up for parole after a certain amount of time, and would be let out early on good behavior as well. 

Thus, the first part of the system would be the police. The police form a major part of the justice administration system. They are mostly owned and operated by the government. There are approximately 17,985 police agencies that are operating in various capacities in the United States of America(Braswell, McCarthy & McCarthy, 2017). This would include federal agencies, such as the FBI and Homeland Security, campus police, sheriff departments and the local police. The major purpose of the law enforcement agency within the country would be to deter criminal activities from taking place if possible, gathering of evidence of activities, detention of individuals pending court action and referring to the results of the activities in court as well. In many cases local law enforcement agencies are also the first responders in case of any emergency, such as a suspected shooting. The federal police, or the FBI, DEA, Marshalls, BOP and ATF are responsible to the Department of Justice, and are therefore controlled not by the state governments, but by the center (Keough,Cobb, Sinclair & Beckman, 2017). The Department of Homeland Security is another Federal Institution that consists of the ICE, Secret Service, the Coast Guard, among other agencies. In terms of broad areas, or multiple jurisdictions, or when the casualties are very high in number, it is often the federal agencies that are called in. Otherwise the case is completely in the hands of the local police departments. In many states, instead of the police department, there is a Sheriff’s office, which primarily does the same work as a police department. 

The next part of the administration system would be the courts. There are multiple hierarchal courts in the United States of America, where the Supreme Court would be the highest court in the land. It is in the courts that punishments for crimes are given out, and where an individual is deemed guilty of the crimes they have committed. There are both federal and state courts in the country, with the federal courts having a higher jurisdiction and power than the state courts. There are three main levels of courts in each state, though this practice may differ from state to state(Guarino-Ghezzi& Loughran, 2017). The first is the trial court, where the original case is heard and which may have primary jurisdiction in the area. The second level of court would be the appellate court, where the appeal of the judgement made by the trial court maybe heard. The last would be the state supreme court, where the ultimate decisions are made. Jurisdiction in state matters belong to the state supreme court, and the decisions they make in state matters are legal and binding. The courts often consist of a judge and jury, which is selected randomly, of 12 American citizens. The judge however, can overturn the decision of the jury if they so feel like it. A majority of the cases that come in through the courts are those that are related to theft, drugs, murder or homicide and abuse (Reiman& Leighton, 2015). There have been significant criticisms of the way that the court handles cases that are related to rape and abuse, and thus, it would be one of the major issues that would stand in the way of the justice administration system. 

The final part of the system would be the corrections. This is an umbrella term that refers to the government’s ability to punish, treat and supervise those that have been convicted of crimes in the court. A correctional institution would be a prison (Newbold, 2017). The United States of America has the highest incarceration rate in the world, and thus, in order to control on the prison population in the country, the government has made the decision to allow privatization of prisons(Henry, 2015). There are many prisons in the country that are owned by private companies, and they receive a certain amount from the government as part of the funds to upkeep the prisoners. However, it has been found that these prisons are severely lacking in infrastructure and in many cases, do not abide by federal guidelines in terms of activities for prisoners or employee pay. Thus, the prison system in the country has been found to be severely in need of reform, and there has been constant advocation of lack of privatization. This has been found to have significant impact on the criminal justice system as well, and not just on the correctional facilities. 

There have been many issues that could affect the justice administration process in the future. One of the most obvious issues would be racial inequality. It has been shown that black youth and men are more likely to be convicted with prison time in the United States than white youth, and thus, it has to be something that has to be changed. There is also the issue that is related to gender inequality, in which it is shown that rape and murder convictions, as well as abuse are not given importance in the court of law (Pound, 2018). This could have a significant impact on the future, since a lack of punishment for those accused, and due diligence would mean that the possibility of the crimes occurring would increase as well. Another issue would be the privatization of prisons, which has been found to have a severe impact. This goes hand in hand with corruption and most prisons pay a significant bribe to local law enforcement in order to make sure that the prisons are full (Reiman & Leighton, 2015). These are issues that could impact the future of the justice administration system and thus, are issues that have to be taken seriously. 


While the justice administration system in the country might sound like it is highly efficient, there is a major problem in terms of representation and acquittal of minorities in the system. It has been found that a majority of the prison population consists of African-Americans, which has been widely criticized. The lack of care that is given to racial issues is one of the biggest issues that can affect the justice system in the USA in the future. Another pressing issue would be the way that prisoners are often treated in privately owned prisons, and the restriction that they have. These issues would need to be solved in order to make the system more efficient. 

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