Criminal Justice

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  • A society's formal system of social control. It is a tool for implementing and executing the law, in addition to punishing those unable to follow the law. It begins with initial contact by the police and can end with the offender's re-entry into society; it involves a series of sequential steps, including investigating criminal activity, making arrests, gathering evidence, bringing formal charges, conducting trials, rendering sentences, and carrying out punishments. The criminal justice system consists of three main components: (1) the police, who are responsible for executing the law, investigate and deter crimes; (2) the court system comprises the prosecutor, the judge, and the jury, which is a legal forum for trying criminal cases; and (3) corrections is responsible for executing the sentence of a ...

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