Roles and priorities of three agencies in criminal justice system

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This essay will be looking at the roles and priorities of three agencies that are engaged in the criminal justice system. The first agency that will be explained is the Police Service. The second agency that will be getting looked at is the Prison Service. Thirdly the essay will be explaining roles and priorities of the Youth Offending Service. Lastly a conclusion will be conducted to sum up the three agencies explained, and look at if the three agencies have similarities.

The first agency that the essay is going to look at is the police. The police service was found by Sir Robert Peel in 1829. He established 1,000 police officers within a seven mile radius from Charing Cross. Now according to the Metropolitan Police, there are 'than 33,000 officers together with about 14,200 police staff, 270 traffic wardens and 4,700 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs).' According to the Home Office they suggest that 'The UK police force is a modern, responsive institution responsible for building safer and more secure communities for us all. The Home Office is responsible for policing in England and Wales and the Scottish Executive are responsible for policing in Scotland.' The word "Police" means in general, the arrangements made in all civilised countries to ensure that the inhabitants keep the peace and obey the law. The word also denotes the force of peace officers (or police) employed for this purpose

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Within the police force there are now three different types of police officers all these work very closely with the public, and help fight against crime. First one being is a regular police officer, who has full police powers and make up the minority of the police services. Second one being is special constables who are volunteers who also have full police powers like a regular police officer. Specials, as they are commonly known, are an unpaid trained force of volunteers who support the police's work, especially in terms of public disorder. Finally the third one being is a Police Community Support Officer who are known as PCSOs and they only have partial police powers. PCSO'S are there to focus on the safety of the community and stopping anti-social behaviour, supporting victims of crime, helping with house to house enquiries, dealing with truants, graffiti, abandoned vehicles, litter and protecting the public from security threats. As a police community support officer (PCSO) it is known that they are the eyes and ears of your force on the street.

Major priorities of the police service include tackling antisocial behaviour, reducing theft, robbery and street-related crime, combating organised crime, countering terrorism, supporting victims and providing a reassuring presence in the community. The main role of the police service is to uphold the law fairly and firmly and to prevent crime. Another purpose of the police service is to pursue and bring to justice those who break the law within communities, to protect, help and reassure the community. The police service works in partnership with responsible authorities to tackle crime and disorder and substance misuse in the local area.

According to the North Wales Police the policing plan for 2009/2010 is to give people with whom we come into contact a higher quality of service, improve the safety of children, young people and other vulnerable people. Improve the prevention, investigation and detection of serious and violent crime, provide a highly visible community policing service, to reduce levels of alcohol related anti-social behaviour. Each police service has aims to follow each year to improve on anything that may be needed improved. Some police services throughout the United Kingdom have a three year strategic plan.

The second agency that will be explained is the Prison Service. Prisons were put into place in society to protect the public by keeping offenders in custody. According to the ministry of justice they suggest that 'The duty of prison staff is to look after offenders with humanity, help them lead a law-abiding and useful lives in custody and after release. In doing so, prisons provide public protection, rehabilitation and work to reduce re-offending.' The HM prison service has five values. According to the HM prison service the values are: independence, impartiality and integrity are the foundations of our work, the experience of the detainee is at the heart of inspections, respect for human rights underpins our expectations, we embrace diversity and are committed to pursuing equality of outcomes for all, we believe in the capacity of both individuals and organisations to change and improve, and that we have a part to play in initiating and encouraging change.

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The prison service has been in since the 17th century. There have now been a lot of changes to the prison services. In the 17th century prison wasn't seen as a punishment, offenders went there to await trail. Men, women and children were all held within the prison as there wasn't any arrangements for individuals to be separated. Nowadays, within prisons women are not held in the same prisons as men. For children there are now youth offending prisons. This is to reduce to risk of sexual abuse, child abuse, men and women becoming a couple

Prisons now have sections for offenders and put people who have committed the same crime or a similar crime in the same section. They now have categories for offenders in prison. However women and young offenders sections are different to male prisoners. Women and young offender categories are: Category A - This is for prisoners who are considered to be dangerous or a threat to other prisoners and staff. The closed category is for prisoners who cannot be trusted in an open prison. The open category is for those who can be trusted to stay within open conditions. Alot of prisoners are normally within the closed category. For male prisoners there are four categories within the prison system Category A is for prisoner who again seem to be dangerous towards other prisoners or staff. Category B is for prisoners who wish to escape must be made very difficult. Category C is for those who cannot be trusted in open conditions and Category D is for prisoner who can be trusted in an open prison.

The prison service have expectations that prison officers have to meet. These criteria are used to examine every area in prison and the life whilst being in prison. According to Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons the expectations are: safer custody, health services, good order, work, diversity and resettlement. Nowadays in prisons, being healthy is now a major part of being in prisons across the United Kingdom. When an offender first arrives at the prison they see one of the healthcare team, where they can tell them if they have any addictions or HIV. The healthcare team are there to support prisoners if they have a problem with health or think they have a problem. However, as the healthcare team are working within the prison they do not have the facilities as a NHS hospital has. Therefore if the healthcare team believe that the prisoner is in need of hospital attention then the prisoner will be moved to another prison that has the facilities to provide care for the prisoner or a specialist will be called in to treat the prisoner. However, if the prisoner is in need of hospital attention then they will go to a NHS hospital.

The third agency that will be explained in terms of roles and priorities is the Youth Offending Service. The organisation youth justice broad (YJB) works with children and young people under the age of 18 years, they work to prevent individuals who are at risk of offending and re-offending. The youth justice board also gives help and support for the victims of crime and families. The youth justice board gives help and support from the beginning of a young person committing a crime to the end of a sentence. This means they support the young people throughout the court process, custody, bail and remand.

This organisation was put in place for children and young people to keep them safe and secure from re-offending. The YJB has a variety of different departments of which they help young people in. One of those is that that YJB helps offending young people by making sure they have accommodation. According to the Youth Justice Board 'One in five of the young people seen by youth offending teams (YOTs) are assessed as being in housing need. The YJB has therefore put together an accommodation strategy, which addresses the issues around identifying or developing suitable accommodation for young people who offend.' Another part that they help in is Education, Training and Employment for the youth offenders. This is where youth offenders who are in custody may not have any education so the youth offending teams help them get qualifications so they are less likely to re-offend in the future. The youth offending team also provide health care for those who may be suffering from substance misuse and mental health issues. According to the Youth Justice board they suggest that 'research has identified very high levels of mental health problems among young people who offend, which can lead to increased risk-taking and self-harm or suicide, and to the misuse of drugs and alcohol.' The health professionals help the offenders overcome their behaviours within substance abuse. Another part of the youth justice board is that they help young offenders with Prevention; this is where the youth offender teams help the youth to not commit more crimes or to want to commit a crime. It is believed that there are factors that make youths offend. These factors are poor family relationships, substances abuse, having people within the family or peers that commit crimes and lack of education. According to the Youth justice board 'The programmes aim to engage young people's interests from an early stage, increase their knowledge and consequently divert them from offending, and include: the Youth Inclusion Programme, which works with those young people who are most at risk of offending and runs positive activities that can open up new opportunities for them. Youth Inclusion and Support Panels, which help YOTs and other local and national agencies to identify the problems affecting each young person and tackle them in a targeted way.

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To conclude this essay, all three agencies play important roles in protecting the society, as the essay has looked and explained the roles of the agencies. The three agencies chosen are all completely different from each other and all have different roles and responsibilities. However, all the agencies work very closely to protect the public from offenders and being victims of crime within society. The police service helps protect society buy catching those who are committing crime, the prison service helps society by keeping the offenders away from society and lastly the youth offending service help offenders overcome their behaviours.