Paper Example on Criminal Justice System Model and Local Police

Published: 2021-07-01
1513 words
6 pages
13 min to read
University of California, Santa Barbara
Type of paper: 
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

The criminal justice system in the US consists of three major components, which are the law enforcers, the courts and the corrections. The police agencies that are the main law enforcement body have the responsibility of deterring the criminal activities and stopping the ones in progress from successful commission. The criminal justice system has two models that define how the police organization looks like as well as the mission they adopt. The two are the crime control and the due process models. Under felony control, the aim is to deter crime by any means necessary and therefore the rights of the individuals have less protection. It is for the notion that the idea that the constitutional rights of a person must sometimes be put aside in the interest of maintaining the safety of the public. The due process model on the other side insists on the defendant rights are of priority as there are principles on presumption of being innocent, the right to have a fair trial, the equality of all under the law and the need for justice to appear to occur. In this case, the police departments must always consider the rights of the suspect so that they serve justice as this model intends (Willits, 2014). For example, the New York Police Department considers models in its operations and that is why it aims at protecting the lives and belongings of the citizens in their jurisdiction while at the same time treating everyone with courtesy.

Neighborhood disorder and crime

The relationship between disorder in a neighborhood and crime can be complex because in most cases you are likely to find the disorder in the disadvantaged residential areas. The cause of this could be racial exclusion, lack of investment in the area or poverty in general. The disorderliness can be social or physical. The social one consists of the behaviors that are unsettling and sometimes threatening (Yamamoto, 2015). They could also be unlawful when done in public. These include having homeless people in abandoned structures, having street families sleeping on cardboard layers, people looking for food in dumpsites, having idle young people sitting alongside pathways and acts such as urinating in public. The physical disorderliness is visible through elements such as having abandoned, dilapidated constructions, old cars ditched everywhere, broken streetlights, loose syringes and litter on the streets among others.

Disorder plays a plays a part in the fueling of criminal activities in many ways. First, it affects the systems that help to sustain the health such as education and investment as people always desire to move out of such neighborhoods creating many abandonments. It also has an association with decline of trust among neighbors and reduction of the way people participate and interact within their community. Because of this, it undermines the processes of natural social control and the level to which the residents maintain surveillance of their space. The disorder also leads to fear of crime as the residents are always afraid of being victims and this leads them to engage in drug use as well as alcohol abuse as a way to calm the tension that they feel. Since in most cases disorderliness is high in the areas where there is a perception of discrimination over time and consequently higher levels of poverty, then crime is likely to be evidently high too because it thrives under similar conditions. It also attracts more criminals because there seems to be little intervention by the community of other government agencies to contain the disorder thus the chances of interruption when doing crimes in the area are low.

Role police in dealing with neighborhood disorder

The law enforcement has the role to educate the citizen on the security risk that the elements of disorder such as; abandoned property and streetlights that are not working, in the neighborhood pose. They can do this by engaging the leadership in the communities as well as community organizations such as churches and mosques on ways to eliminate these crime prone factors. The police could also take action of sealing off some of the abandoned spaces in order to restrict the unchecked access to such areas and to serve as a warning to the members of the community to keep vigil on what happens there. The police can also gather intelligence in areas where the disorderliness s likely to lead to crime creating a system where they collaborate with the community by having community support offices and having regular patrols in such places to discourage any criminal intentions.

Difference between urban and rural areas police department structures

The rural police department structures differ from those in the metropolitan areas in the sense that those in the in the countryside areas have a simple structure with a few officers who are generalists. The can take various roles such as taking patrol shifts, providing escort services for funerals, gathering of evidence , investigating accidents among others. The sheriffs are usually elected by the citizens and thus responsible to them whereas the police chiefs in charge of municipalities are appointees of the city councils. On the other hand, the urban police departments has a formal hierarchical structure that has various divisions that carry out different functions such as the special operations division in the LAPD that consists of the detective bureau and the counter terrorism bureau. The missions between the two would differ because while in the urban areas the police task is to maintain law and order in the countryside, the sheriffs undertake other activities in the welfare of the community such as administration of medicine to the elderly.

Social disorganization

Social disorganization is a situation where the members of certain community are unable to have any value that they share and therefore they cannot solve the problems that they face together. It contributes to crime because in a disorganized society, the neighbors have little acquaintance to one another and therefore they rarely interact (Kaylen & Pridemore, 2011). The children in such a neighborhood do not get their behavior influenced by other members of the society other than the immediate family and school. It also reduces the ability of the community to have its own informal surveillance where the people in the society share information on any activity that they find suspicious or wrong. The adults are also unwilling to intervene when they notice children behaving in unacceptable ways because there is no relationship. Non-conforming behavior is made worse by poverty where the struggles of the day-to-day life cut the ties in the community. However, this should not be a consideration during sentencing of people accused of committing crimes because it would amount to discrimination based on their origin. The gravity of their crimes should be the only factor put into consideration when sentencing the accused persons.

Role of politicians

The political class plays a key part in determining the structure of the local police because of their legislative function that enacts and amends the laws that give the structure and functions of the local police. The politicians in some instances appoint the heads of the law enforcement unit such as the municipal chiefs that are appointees of the local government. The politicians can also influence the ability of the local law enforcement to discharge their duties through the level to which they politicize the various work of the departments. If there is little political interference in the work of the police, then the force will carry out their responsibilities with ease. The politicians can also widen or narrow the roles that the local law enforcers through the amendment of laws where they increase their jurisdiction or limit it accordingly. Change of laws can legalize or illegitimate some activities thus affecting the scope of work of the police.

The local or state politicians can address crime by dealing with social disorganization through the policies that they adopt and the political utterances they make. The policies that address poverty and family welfares help the members of the community to come together and address the issue that affect them. By adopting policies that promote inclusivity of all people and implementing them, the quality of life of the disadvantaged neighborhoods improves and thus making the antagonism between them to reduce. The utterances of the politicians can also fuel animosity between members of society and increasing the suspicions between them. Therefore, it is necessary for political players to encourage justice for all and encourage coming together of the community through organization of community activities and forums where the people can interact and strengthen the moral fabric that holds them together.


Kaylen, M., & Pridemore, W. (2011). A Reassessment of the Association Between Social Disorganization and Youth Violence in Rural Areas. Social Science Quarterly, n/a-n/a.

Politics and the police. (2009). Retrieved 17 May 2017, from

Willits, D. (2014). The organisational structure of police departments and assaults on police officers. International Journal of Police Science & Management, 16(2), 140-154.

Yamamoto, M. (2015). Assessing the Role of Local Communication Networks in Neighborhood Disorder and Crime. Communication Research.

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the website, please click below to request its removal: