Bureaucracy and Justice: An Overview of Criminal Justice in the United States
Legislative bodies at all levels of government make criminal-justice policy. These include the US Congress, fifty state legislatures, and numerous county commissions and city councils. The nation’s law enforcement agencies, the most visible members of the justice bureaucracy, include 12,200 local police departments, 3,100 sheriff’s departments, 49 state police forces, and 1,500 special police forces. The decision to prosecute triggers the adjudication process. One of the most important terms with reference to adjudication is “dual court system.” State corrections are generally organized into a separate department of corrections or a division within a larger state department. The Norman kings formulated the modem conceptions of crime and criminal and, in the process, founded the criminal-justice bureaucracy. The Progressive Era introduced reforms that gave American criminal system its contemporary shape. The model has been referred to as the “criminal justice wedding cake”. Mediation programs decide minor disputes for criminal and civil justice.