Monday, October 29, 2012

Criminal Justice System Research Paper

Research Paper on Criminal Justice System

Terrorism and Homeland Defense from the Perspective of the Criminal Justice System
Criminal justice, terrorism, and homeland defense are issues that affect every country at many different levels. Politicians, law enforcement agents, governments and citizens are all stakeholders that are affected by these phenomena. Although there are many common principles of engagement amongst different countries and their governments in regards to these matters, the criminal justice system of a respective country has its own structure, rules and procedures. In this paper, reviewed is the United States of America’s criminal justice system and its implications on the matters associated with terrorism and homeland security.

The United States criminal justice system has recently been growingly glorified in countless eye-popping dramas such as ‘Criminal Minds’ and ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’, spread over a variety of American television networks. However, it is also majorly misrepresented seeing as in its truest form, it is one of the most complex and intricate systems ever created. Because of this, this report merely discusses one function of the criminal justice system. The report profiles the activity of The Department of Homeland Security and its interdependent faculties in the fight against terrorism. The length of this article allows for only a brief overview of the major acts, bodies and functions and how they interact with the three-step process of the criminal justice system. In order to provide a clear understanding of this process, the author presents an overview of the US Criminal Justice System and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), before highlighting the collection and responsibilities DHS law enforcement agencies. The literature goes on to include a profile of The USA Patriot Act, the National Security Division, the federal court system, and the issues surrounding the corrections of terrorists.

We can write a custom research paper on Criminal Justice System for You!

An Overview of the US Criminal Justice System
The US president’s commission defined the purpose of the US criminal justice system is to “enforce the standards of conduct necessary to protect individuals and the community” (President’s Commission, 1967). Designed to uphold social order through sanctions and prevention, this system holds itself up on three pillars: law enforcement, adjudication, and corrections. This three-step model is the basis for execution and enforcement of all legal rules and regulations. Each of these agencies plays a specific role. The law enforcement body is responsible for the first contact with a criminal, in which an investigation may lead to an arrest. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an exemplar of a leading law enforcement agency in the US. Courts are responsible for settling disputes and administering justice. The process involves a judge, a prosecutor and a defense attorney, among other individuals. In the last step, correctional authorities administer punishment if necessary, for example, in the form of prison, exile or execution (Andreas & Price, 2003). The following profile of The US Department of Homeland Security and US anti-terrorism initiatives and laws should be taken in context of the aforementioned elements of the US criminal justice system.

The Department of Homeland Security
In response to the attacks of September 11th, the US federal government launched an initiative on the 25th of November 2002 called The US Department of Homeland Security. The goal of this department is to respond to domestic emergencies such as terrorism. Peter Andreas is a border theorist who, in his journal entitled Redrawing the Line calls the Department of Homeland Security “the most significant government reorganization since the cold war” as well as “the most substantial reorganization of federal agencies since the National Security Act of 1947” (Andreas, 2003). The following federal agencies all communicate directly with the secretary and deputy secretary of the DHS: Transportation Security Administration, US Customs and Border Protection, US Citizenship and Immigration Services, US Secret Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the US Coast Guard. However, there are even more bodies such as the National Cyber Security Center, Domestic Nuclear Detection office, as well as other advisory groups who are also in direct communication with the office of the secretary.

DHS Law Enforcement
Many of the aforementioned agencies service the DHS by providing law enforcement activities. CBP was mentioned in a list of agencies working under the umbrella of the DHS. In order to understand how the DHS operates from a criminal justice perspective, one can learn from a detailed breakdown of the responsibilities of different figures in CBP. For example, both CBP Officer and Border Patrol Agent (OBP) serve as a unit of law enforcement that contributes to the fight against terrorism. Border Patrol Agents aim to prevent entry of terrorists and terrorist weapons through activities such as “line watch”, which involves surveillance from a stealthy covert positioning, decoding and following tracks, and the operation of electronic sensor television systems. Some other forms of law enforcement within the DHS includes the Federal Protective Service, which provides security for federal buildings, assets and properties, and the aforementioned US Secret Service, which provides protective services for US currency and important government officials( Thessin, 2003).
Surprisingly, the government passed the bill so that law enforcement agencies, FBI and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) were not incorporated in the bill. This was received with a lot of controversy and criticism. However, soon thereafter the DHS and the US Department of Justice created fusion centers, which are terrorist prevention centers used to assist interaction and information sharing between the local government, state government, CIA, FBI, Department of Justice, and the US Military. The application of fusion centers can help law enforcement and adjudicating officers work as a team for a more swift and streamlined process, through which suspected terrorists are brought to trial without delay.

The USA Patriot Act
Enduring reauthorization twice in two years, the USA Patriot Act continues to play a major role in the USA’s fight against terrorism. The first time was in 2005 when Congress reauthorized provisions found in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. The notable changes included new requirements relating to the death penalty for terrorists, enhancing security at seaports, and new powers for the Secret Service. The USA Patriot Act consists of ten titles that summarize the aim of its fruition. They are as follows; Enhancing domestic security against terrorism, Surveillance procedures, Anti-money laundering to prevent terrorism, Border security, Victims of families and victims of terrorism, Terrorism criminal law, Improved intelligence, and Miscellanous (Yeh & Doyle, 2005). The USA Patriot Act received a lot of criticism for being rushed in a time of panic and widespread fear. In February of 2010, president Barack Obama extended three controversial provisions of the Patriot Act allowing courts to approve wiretaps/ surveillance of phones, to seize records and property in terrorist cases, and permit surveillance of lone-wolf terrorists.

National Security Division
The US Department of Justice, National Security Division was created along with the finalization of the USA Patriot Act Reauthorization in 2005. The main purpose of this department is to combine national security and intelligence labors of the Criminal Division as well as the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review. Initiatives such as the CounterTerrorism Section, Counterespionage Section, and most notably, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act were formed into one cohesive division.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978 has gone through recent amendments, particularly the Terrorist Surveillance Act and National Security Act of 2006 These acts respectively grant the President statutory authority to conduct electronic observation of suspected terrorists and retroactive amnesty for surveillance conducted without a warrant, furthering the autonomous structure of FISA. The Protect America Act of 2007 instated deregulations regarding the approval of wiretapping and surveillance of terrorist suspects involved in communications with foreign countries.

The Federal Court System
The federal court system is made up of the Supreme Court, the US courts of appeals, US district courts as well as courts with original and appellate jurisdiction over specific subject matter. The US Congress creates federal courts to be limited in their jurisdiction or to have complete independency from the Congress. However, Congress does not hold power over the Supreme Court. Different constitutional and legislative courts within the federal court system usually handle cases of terrorism (Wheeler & Harrison, 1994) .

In 1996, the Alien Terrorist Removal Court members were selected following the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 signed by Bill Clinton, incited by the Oklahoma City bombing (Moore & Turner, 2005). The court was modeled after a court created by Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and was given the authority to determine whether someone should be removed from the US on the basis of being an alien terrorist. The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is accountable for appealing decisions made in this regard. The DC Circuit is one of the most important appellate courts as it reviews many decisions made by independent US government agencies. The decisions of these courts will determine the measures necessary for correction and guide the correctional authorities in the correctional facilitation of the prosecuted persons.

Correcting Terrorism
One of the most controversial areas of criminal justice associated with terrorism is method of corrections. This is a job for correctional administrators, politicians, and law enforcement among many others. The responsibility of corrections in regards to terrorists is immense. It is at times difficult to know what to do with a terrorist once captured, especially when considering the many cases of terrorist inmates recruiting other inmates while in prison. Many questions arise in these matters, such as should the terrorist prison population be separated from the rest of the population? The regimes for terrorists in prison often aim to de-radicalize and disengage both the individual and the group (Sturgeon, 2005).

Once a terrorist is captured and convicted, the response of the counter-terrorist organization will often range from necessary to immoral. Depending on who is asked, different moral standards and opinions indicate different measures. In some cases, further interrogation is administered, in others immediate imprisonment or deportation. In recent cases, such as the Greyhound bus beheading, the public opinion has gone as far as to say that capital punishment is appropriate. US operations have been heavily criticized for their treatment of detainees held captive in Iraq. This type of criticism can be directly attributed to the The Protect America Act of 2007, which amended rules regarding surveillance of terrorist suspects. There have been many terrorist cases in the past that can be highlighted as a means of understanding correctional action. In the case of the Capture of Achille Lauro hijackers in 1985, the US military turned 4 hijackers to Italy, where the terrorists were convicted. Other situations call for more extreme measures such as targeted killing, commonly used by US forces against terrorist groups such as Al-Queda and Hamas. Often times, the orders for these killings are issued by the President (Shane, 2010).

It is evident that the government of the United States has ongoing concerns about the security of the country. It is also evident that there are a lot of measures which have been taken to ensure the security of the American people. The criminal justice system has been effective in law enforcement and ajudication through appropriately appointed officials. However, there are a lot of unanswered questions with regards to corrections. Although there has been much legislative change and reform in regards to homeland security and terrorism, there is still a lack of understanding of how to deal with terrorists as human beings. Those who educate, study, regulate and serve the field of criminal justice must continue to pursue the psychological understanding of terrorist groups and the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for their actions.
This is a free research paper on Criminal Justice topic. Keep in mind that all free research project samples and research paper examples are taken from open sources – they are plagiarized and cannot be used as your own research project. If you need a qualitative custom research project on Criminal Justice System for college, university, Master's or PhD degree – you are welcome to contact professional research writing company to have your paper written online by academic research writers.

________________Enjoy our custom research paper writing service!__________________