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Three Major Components of the Criminal Justice System in the USA

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Table of Contents

  • Professionalism and Ethics in Policing
  • Community Policing Strategies
  • Importance of Stress Management to an Officer’s Health and Safety

The criminal justice system is a composite part of our community, and many recognize its significant role in society. The persons accountable for applying that rule of law are the devoted system members. The three key components that make up the U.S. Criminal justice system are law enforcement, courts, and corrections. Law enforcement includes the department of the local police with all of its police officers and investigators (Neubauer & Fradella, 2018).  These individuals head the criminal justice system since they are the ones in charge of arresting individuals who do not follow the laws presented by the state, national government or the military. The second component is the courts. Courts are run by judges who ensure that the rule of law is followed and decide what transpires in the courts. Together with adjudicators, judges hear evidence offered by attorneys who dispute for the guilt or innocence of the defendant (Pearson-Goff & Herrington, 2013). At its best, a reasonable and truthful court system explores all proof in a peaceful and rational way and then extracts a fair judgment.

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The corrections element comprises probation officers, parole officers, and corrections officers. These people guarantee that an imprisoned criminal serves his or her sentence as directed by the courts and oversees the offenders as they service their verdicts. Moreover, they frequently report the probationer’s progress to the courts and make references for possible withdrawal (Neubauer & Fradella, 2018). Each of these three components of the criminal justice system is important to the efficient running of the larger system altogether. They were all made to guarantee a just system for the accused. Therefore, they work together and join forces with each other on lots of levels, and none would be useful without the other.

Professionalism and Ethics in Policing

A police officer must behave in such a way as to maintain the confidence and deliberation that his obligations necessitate. Police ethics is the system of ethical standards that are commonly acknowledged as specialized values in policing (Ortmeier & Meese, 2010). Ethics comprises of values like loyalty, trustworthiness, devotion, and bravery. Officers swear to be open, honorable citizens and promise to deliver a solution and not create a problem. Above all else, they assure to stick to the rules, irrespective of whether they agree or disagree with them. Understood within the notion of performing morally is the impression that officers should take the blame of their faults (Martin, 2011). Besides, respect is set aside for those who go wrong and confess it than those who attempt to hide their crimes or put it on others for their faults.

Briefly, the code of ethics necessitates that officers are not only ready to implement the law but to follow it. Police must team up to be the constables that the public desires and anticipates them to be (Martin, 2011). They must lead by example, following the codes of policing, and they have to make the hard choices to act rightfully under every situation. They have a very reputable job, and thus, they have to be professional always. Professionalism and ethics are very important to them because they have a duty to protect and serve the public (Ortmeier& Meese, 2010). Since they use most of their time in the eye of the public, they are expected to uphold professional conduct.

Community Policing Strategies

Community policing highlights practical problem-solving in an orderly and predictable manner. Rather than being combative to law-breaking, community policing inspires the growth of solutions to the situations that lead to crime, social complaint, and crime fear. Community policing can be mapped out back to the 19th century (Ellison, 2006). It was intended to raise the police officer’s engagement with the community members employing techniques like foot patrols and the start of the community. Foot patrols enabled officers to be allocated to a region and became answerable for stopping and bettering crime in those parts (Skogan et al., 2019).

Furthermore, foot patrols allowed officers to become acquainted with their communities and people from the area. Currently, divisions have developed to employ social media and public engagement structures to share info with the community. This sort of policing has enlarged police officers responsibility to the communities that they work for. The law enforcement depending on community-centered crime stoppage has also increased by growing crime education among citizens.

In the future, police power will be reorganized (Skogan et al., 2019). This will enable more preference among lower-status officers and deliver a chance for more creativity from them. Community policing policies have decreased the insight of the public concerning unsystematic behavior, and it has established to raise citizen satisfaction and decrease crime. Although there is no modest answer to guarantee the community policing sustainability, it is very required (Ellison, 2006). Laws help preserve order and offer individuals a sense of safety. Community policing is expected to turn into a consistent part of policing by bringing into line sector policy and practices with coordination toward community service.

Importance of Stress Management to an Officer’s Health and Safety

Policing has been described as the most stressful job in the United States. However, recent studies have contradicted that claim with proof proposing it may be no more stressful than several other occupations (Burke, 2016). A lot of the stresses police officers encounters are unique to their work. The stress commonly arises from numerous structures of police work. Stress can put an unwarranted impact on families of police officers and can badly influence the stability of family relationships. Financial influences, separation, and divorce are characteristic of the pressures and worries of policing (Jesilow & Parsons, 2000). Research has advocated dissatisfaction by partners of police officers. Acute stress can regularly trigger an illness referred to as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), in which memories, hypervigilance, and hallucinations are common. PTSD can result in withdrawal, and when left untreated can be devastating. At its worst, severe or long-lasting anxiety can result in suicide. This would interfere with one’s ability to perform his or her job as a police officer. Therefore, they should try to avoid consuming alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine as managing mechanisms in an effort to reduce stress.

Officers should also consider employing several strategies that have been put in place in responding to the issue of police officer stress (Burke, 2016). These include spotting, evaluating, and delivering interventions intended to reduce the level of stress or increase coping abilities. Besides, they can make use of the pilot programs established by the agencies to assist officers to manage stress (Jesilow& Parsons, 2000). This includes having therapy sessions that offer confidentiality to assist one to manage stresses outside the control of the police administrative organization. Stress management is significant to avoid the start of problems with home life, health matters, and mental fitness.

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