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CJ 311: Criminal Justice Administration

Welcome to CJ 311: Introduction to Criminal Justice

A Closer Look at Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice can be defined as the system though which crimes and criminals are identified, apprehended, judged, and punished. The criminal justice system is comprised of three parts:

  1. Law Enforcement: Law enforcement can be seen as the front lines of the criminal justice system.
  2. The Courts: The courts can be thought of as the part of the criminal justice system where guilt or innocence of a suspect is assessed at trial.
  3. Corrections:Corrections can be referred to as the administrative part of the criminal justice system due to its application of sentences and enforcement of punishments.

How does Criminal Justice Work?

The three pieces of the criminal justice work sequentially. For example, once a crime has been committed, law enforcement investigates. Once a suspect is apprehended, the courts take over. Although police and detectives may offer testimony in a trial, it is really the courts show until a verdict is reached. Then, if the accused is found guilty they are sentenced, and turned over to corrections. After release, law enforcement then works in conjunction with a parole officer if further attention is needed.


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