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Crime And Control Models Of Criminal Justice Criminology Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Criminology
Wordcount: 1562 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Throughout this assignment, it will aim to highlight the similarities and differences between the models of the criminal justice system, especially looking at the ‘due process’ model and the ‘crime control’ model. These models consist of challenging crime and allowing the right justice to be issued. Briefly, the ‘due process’ model was designed to make sure individuals had their rights portrayed and that they had a fair trial to defend themselves in court. In contrast, the ‘crime control’ model was established to try and ensure that weak criminal cases were dealt with quickly and “discarded at the earliest opportunity” (Packer, 1968). This meant that larger and more important cases would be dealt with leading to a conviction and punishment as soon as possible. Both models are significant to the criminal justice system and play a major role in identifying crimes and interpreting the criminal justice system. The criminal justice system is a complicated system and is constantly changing due to new laws and awareness of crimes. The system varies from country to country with the criminal justice being different and having many contrasts with the law by which each country governs and establishes their authority. In England and Wales, the criminal justice system is made up of several agencies including the police, prisons and probation services. These agencies are governed and funded by the government and have to keep to the rules and regulations which the government issues. As these models are only theories from criminologists, this assignment will look into how they could affect the criminal justice system and what advantages or disadvantages they might cause.

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The criminal justice system is a system which has been set up in response to crime and is made up of a series of agencies which enforce the laws given by a government. In England and Wales, the criminal justice system involves; agencies who enforce the law; the courts system; the penal system; and the crime prevention scheme (Malcolm, D). These are the mains aspects of the criminal justice system which in general try to safeguard people within society and condemn and punishes those individuals who commit crimes. The criminal justice system has many aims and objectives which try to deliver justice in ways to protect the innocent and punish and convict the guilty. The biggest aim is to try and bring offences to justice and reassure the public they are being protected from criminals. They do this through orders of the court, such as collecting fines, and supervising community and custodial punishment (stated http://www.cjsonline.gov.uk/the_cjs/aims_and_objectives/). Many criminologists would agree that the criminal justice system within England and Wales has been effective towards stopping crime and enhancing punishment to those who committed crime. This can be shown through the increase of confidence which the public have identified by studying data from the ‘National Criminal Justice Board’ (available at http://lcjb.cjsonline.gov.uk/ncjb/perfStats/confidence_e.html) which shows that there has been a 2% increase from March 2008 to June 2009 in the level of confidence among people in England and Wales. This indicates that the criminal justice system is gaining confidence from the public, however it is still a small proportion of people that have confidence, an estimated 39% in June 2009 (National Criminal Justice Board), had confidence that the criminal justice was effective and reliable.

As mentioned above, the due process model is the understanding that a person who has come into contact with one of the criminal agencies cannot have their rights rejected without appropriate legal measures. Therefore any individual who is being or has been charged with a crime, they have several rights in which the criminal agencies have to uphold as the individual is protected under human rights which could be said to co-inside and relate to the due process model. Packer (1968) describes the due process model as having less faith in the criminal agencies, such as the police, and believes that among few criminal cases mistakes can happen and additionally, there is a chance of agencies acting corruptly or dishonestly. For that reason, this is why Packer believes this model is useful as it limits the coercive powers of the criminal agencies and if there is an occurrence of any mistake or corruption, an individual has the right to defend them self. Therefore, the main aim of the due process model is to establish a system that an individual is innocent until proven guilty in court (Packer, 1968).

Also mentioned above is the crime control model which is a model that Packer (1968) describes as the part of the criminal justice system which condemns individuals for doing an action which is seen as criminal. Packer describes this model as prioritizing in the convictions of individuals who have committed a criminal act and not waiting for the courts to decide. In his theory, Packer believes that this model is concentrated on the conviction and would risk the conviction of innocent people to achieve its goal. The crime control model can therefore be said to be the scheme set to punish people and make a difference towards society in reducing crime and showing the public that by these arrests and convictions, it may show the criminal justice system being effective and beneficial to society.

As a result of these two models, which have been analysed and identified, it is possible to link each model together and highlight the similarities and difference which may be involved with each model. Firstly, a comparison that can be made about these models is that they are both essential in tackling crime and trying to reduce crime. Both models try to tackle crime and punish the people who have committed a deviant act. However, both models do this in different ways and how they approach a person who has committed a criminal act is contrasting. For example, the crime control model would say a person is guilty until proven innocent by the courts, whereas the due process model would say that an individual is innocent until proven guilty. Furthermore, there have been several more differences that have been identified compared to similarities which would suggest each model has taken a different approach in tackling crime. A difference which can be noticed is that the due process model believes that policing is the most effective way to tackle crime and it is essential in maintaining justice amongst society. However the crime control model believes that policing has a negative effect on society and more should be done to convict those who have committed crimes and reduce criminal activity.

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Throughout this assignment, there have been two models which have been identified and analysed through the theories of Packer (1968). However, there are other theorists, such as Michael King (1981), who have studied the criminal justice system and would argue that there were several more models which could make the criminal justice system effective. King (1981) has analysed the criminal system and has published a theory of six models which correspond to Packer’s theory but King has elaborated on it and argued that Packer’s work is too simplistic. King’s six models consist of; due process model; crime control model; medical model; bureaucratic model; status passage model; power model. Even though King agrees with Packer, he argues that these six models are essential to the effectiveness of the criminal justice system. King’s third model, which Packer does not include in his theory, is about rehabilitation which highlights that some criminals need treatment for their actions and need to be evaluated and treated in the correct manner to reduce them from conducting further criminal activities. This model is essential in identifying and reducing crime as it tackles the issues why criminals commit crime and how they should be punished depending on the mental ability. Therefore with this example, it shows that Packer’s theory may lack depth and could be said to be too bard and narrow minded which could lack creditability if put into place. However, King’s models do create some criticisms as it may cause further pressure on the criminal justice system to implement rules and procedures. Overall King’s extended models have highlighted that there are issues with Packer’s work and the models for the criminal justice system should be enlarged and taken into greater consideration. However, as these are only models and have not been put into place, it cannot be said to be more effective than Packer’s theory as neither of them have been placed into action.

In conclusion to this assignment, there have been several issues raised with the due process and crime control models and how these models could affect the aims of the criminal justice system. As stated above, the due process could be said to be essential to the criminal justice system as many criminologists, such as Packer (1968) and King (1981), agree with the idea that people should have their rights portrayed and given an equal chance to defend themselves through the courts and justice system.


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