Criminal Justice Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Criminal Justice, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Criminal Justice?

It is a term used for the series of steps involved in proving any criminal activity like gathering evidences, arresting the accused, conducting trials, making defense,pronouncing judgement after the crime is proved, carrying out punishment.

History and Meaning of Criminal Justice

Criminal justice is a term that refers to the law enforcement, legal and social system that is responsible for enforcing criminal law. The criminal justice system has been in existence for centuries and has evolved as societies have changed. The criminal justice system in the United States is made up of a number of different components including law enforcement, courts, and corrections.

The history of criminal justice is rooted in the development of laws to regulate individual behavior. Throughout history, societies have created laws to protect their citizens and to maintain order. The earliest known code of law is the Code of Hammurabi in ancient Babylon. This code was created around 1750 BC and contained over 200 laws designed to regulate various aspects of society.

Over time, the criminal justice system has developed to become more complex, with specialized roles and responsibilities for law enforcement officers, judges, attorneys, and correctional officers. Today, the criminal justice system is an essential part of modern society, protecting citizens and upholding the rule of law.

Examples of Criminal Justice

  1. A person is arrested for driving under the influence and is charged with a criminal offense. The criminal justice system will then carry out the necessary steps to determine whether that person is guilty of the crime.

  2. A robbery takes place at a local store, and law enforcement officers use the criminal justice system to collect evidence, identify suspects and bring them to trial.

  3. A murderer is brought to trial, and a judge and jury use the criminal justice system to determine whether the person is guilty of the crime and to carry out the appropriate punishment.

  4. A person is incarcerated for a criminal offense, and the correctional system uses criminal justice practices to ensure that inmate safety is maintained and that they will be able to reintegrate back into society upon their release.

Legal Terms Similar to Criminal Justice

  • Law Enforcement: Refers to departments or agencies responsible for the prevention, detection, and investigation of criminal activities.

  • Court System: A system of courts that interpret and apply the law in legal disputes.

  • Corrections: Refers to the punishment, rehabilitation, and reintegration of individuals who have been convicted of a crime.

  • Criminal Law: Laws that define crimes and their punishments.