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Posted: January 26th, 2022

Crime Control in Criminal Justice Administration

Crime Control in Criminal Justice Administration

Crime control is one of the main goals of the criminal justice system, along with due process and justice. Crime control refers to the prevention and reduction of crime and criminal behavior by enforcing the law and imposing swift and severe punishments on offenders. Due process, on the other hand, refers to the protection of the rights and liberties of individuals accused of crimes by ensuring fair and impartial procedures throughout the criminal justice process. Justice, in this context, means that the outcomes of the criminal justice system are consistent with the values and norms of society and that they are fair and equitable for all parties involved.

The crime control model and the due process model are two competing perspectives on how the criminal justice system should operate. These models were developed by Herbert Packer, a legal scholar who wanted to examine the tensions and trade-offs between the goals of crime control and due process. The crime control model emphasizes efficiency, speed, finality, and uniformity in the criminal justice system. It assumes that most suspects are guilty and that the main function of the system is to suppress and control crime. The due process model emphasizes reliability, accuracy, deliberation, and diversity in the criminal justice system. It assumes that suspects are innocent until proven guilty and that the main function of the system is to protect their rights and ensure fair treatment.

The crime control model and the due process model have different implications for how the criminal justice system should be organized and administered. For example, under the crime control model, law enforcement officers would have more discretion and power to investigate, arrest, and search suspects without worrying too much about legal technicalities or constitutional violations. Prosecutors would have more authority to charge suspects with crimes and to negotiate plea bargains without involving defense attorneys or judges. Trials would be rare, quick, and formal, with a presumption of guilt for the accused. Corrections would focus on incapacitating offenders through harsh sentences and minimizing opportunities for appeals or parole.

Under the due process model, law enforcement officers would have less discretion and power to investigate, arrest, and search suspects without following strict rules and procedures that safeguard their rights. Prosecutors would have less authority to charge suspects with crimes and to negotiate plea bargains without ensuring that they have sufficient evidence and that the defendants are fully informed of their options. Trials would be more common, lengthy, and informal, with a presumption of innocence for the accused. Corrections would focus on rehabilitating offenders through individualized sentences and maximizing opportunities for appeals or parole.

The crime control model and the due process model represent ideal types that are rarely found in practice. Most criminal justice systems adopt a mix of both models depending on the context, the type of crime, the characteristics of the offender, and the public opinion. However, some scholars argue that there is a dominant model that prevails over time or across jurisdictions. For instance, some argue that the United States has shifted from a due process model in the 1960s and 1970s to a crime control model in the 1980s and 1990s as a response to rising crime rates, public fear, and political pressure. Others argue that there is no clear trend or pattern in the adoption of either model and that there is considerable variation within and between states.

The debate over which model is more appropriate or effective for achieving the goals of the criminal justice system is ongoing and complex. There is no simple answer or solution to this question as it involves ethical, empirical, and practical considerations. Some of the factors that may influence one’s preference for either model include one’s values, beliefs, experiences, interests, expectations, knowledge, evidence, resources, constraints, incentives, outcomes, costs, benefits, risks, trade-offs, alternatives, etc. Ultimately, the choice between crime control and due process depends on how one defines and balances these factors in relation to one’s vision of what constitutes a fair and efficient criminal justice system.

References:

– Packer H (1968) The Limits of Criminal Sanction. Stanford University Press.
– Smith R (1998) Crime Control Due Process And i need help writing my homework ‘The Case For The Prosecution’: A Problem Of Terminology? The Modern Law Review 61(6): 743-758.
– Sanchez S (2023) 1.8 The Crime Control And Due Process Models – SOU-CCJ230 Introduction To The American Criminal Justice System. Open Oregon Educational Resources.
– Study.com (2023) Crime Control Vs Due Process Models | Definition & Examples – Video & Lesson Transcript | Study.com.

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