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The ministry of Justice formerly know as the Department for Constitutional Affairs is a government agency designed to uphold the peace, and safe guard human right, by preventing the occurrence and extent of crime, through the use of a number of strategies, in partnership with other criminal justice agencies such as the police. The department work also covers criminal, civil and family justice, democracy, rights and the constitution. This essay will attempt to examine the role of the Ministry of justice thoroughly and explain in detail the methods and ways it helps keep the peace in England and Wales.
The ministry of justice and the Home office are two of the largest government departments, which are responsible for criminal justice in England and Wales. The Ministry of Justice came into existence in 2007 to take control of probation, prison, and re-offending services from the Home Office, and replace the work of the Department of Constitutional Affair. Jack Straw was appointed in 2007 as Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice and his team of ministers are responsible for courts, prisons, probation, criminal justice policy, sentencing policy, and prevention of re-offending in England and Wales.
One of the main roles of the Ministry of justice is to protect the public from dangerous and belligerent behaviour and activities exemplified by individuals, which has been deemed criminal by law. The department is responsible for managing all suspected offenders from the point of arrest, until the end of their sentence and provide support and supervision to rehabilitate them back into the community. A team of qualified professionals in the prison and probation service carry out the sentence issued via the court and integrate offenders back into society. There are many modes of punishment available to the courts, such as prison and community sentences and which one an offender is subjected to largely depends on the degree of his/her offence.
It is essential that the punishment issued by the court fit the degree of the offender's crime and they receive the upmost support from the probation and prison services in order to reduce re offending and crime. However issues of overcrowding in prisons and lack of resources are making it harder for judges to issue appropriate sentences, thus offenders are receiving less server punishments, in order to cut the numbers of prisoners. Also there is an on going debate on how long sentences for certain crimes should be and the quality of re-offending services such as the probation services has been questioned in the recent high profile case "Venables". Nonetheless the process protects law abiding citizen in many ways, for instance for every criminal that is rehabilitated means a safer environment and reduction in crime and dangerous criminals are incarcerated to ensure public safety. It also helps the offenders change their behaviour and develop the necessary skills they need to make a contribution to society and repay their debts.
The Ministry of Justice is also responsible for providing an effective justice system for the public, which deals with different types of legal problems in a variety of different ways. Independent judges in court ensure that both sides of the party receive fair and equal opportunities to present their cases. In some non criminal cases it is not always necessary to go to court to get justice. The criminal law covers the activities and actions that have been criminalised in society and it is the duty of the police and court to prosecute anyone who breaks the law. The Most serious cases such as murder and manslaughter are held in the Crown Court with judge and jury, whilst less server cases are held in Magistrates Court.
The victims of crime play a key role in bringing offenders to justice by reporting crimes, giving evidence in court and telling the judge about the impact of a crime on them and their families. It also provides support for victims and witnesses in each step of the justice process to ensure that they feel safe. Legal aid is available for those who can not afford legal advice and representation to ensure everyone has fair access to justice. The justice system is in place to protect the public by punishing criminals and reducing crime in conjunction with the police, prosecutors, courts, prisons, probation services and other partners - work together to keep the community safe.
Furthermore the department has an active role in delivering the government's constitutional, rights and legal reform programmes, which include work on institutional reform, data protection, sharing, electoral modernisation, human rights and devolution. It also encourages people to take an active part in the democratic process by ensuring those who have the right to vote are able to exercise it in accessible and secure elections and it seeks to establish a closer relationship between the government and citizens by providing a democracy which the public can influence decision, which affects their daily life's.
In conclusion the Ministry of Justice has a number of responsibilities, which span out in all different areas of crime and justice. The department's main aim is to protect the public and reduce crime through various modes of punishment, judicial policy and rehabilitation strategies available to the courts and re-offending services. Further responsibilities include modernising constitutions, law and revitalising democracy to ensure its fits the values of modern society and to uphold human rights. The system is in place to keep the peace by punishing offenders through the help of crime victims, witnesses, courts and police, who bring offenders to justice and change the behaviour and environment of offenders by supporting and providing them with continuous help. It s also in place to help victims of crime receive the justice, support and advice they deserve and improve the criminal justice system so the public can achieve a safe and well run environment, which guarantees our rights and freedom