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Instructor Terence Bolden
12 February 2016
Bill of Rights and The Criminal Justice System: An essay about the administration of
Justice and how laws came to be in the United States of America.
“Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of men will not
conform to the dictates of reason and justice, without constraint.” Numinous words by Founding
Father of the United States, Alexander Hamilton. One of the many men who founded our country
and gave us the documents and tools which formed the set of laws that we all live by and honor
The United States of America has always had a colorful history, one with triumph and
failure, however it is widely understood that what makes a our country magnificent, in
comparison to others, is our firm belief in freedom and safety, which are two factors that are very
evident in our Constitution. A revolutionary document. A result of brilliant minds and the will to
give future Americans something to be proud of. The Constitution is the basis of all laws in the
United States and is the framework of our government. While the entire document is as
important as anything, our most crucial amendments take form in our Bill of Rights.
The Bill of Rights is the common name given to the first ten amendments that reside in
the United States Constitution. These ten amendments establish the basic rights and liberties
every citizen of the United States should enjoy. The rights afforded by the Bill of Rights
however are not without exceptions and limitations, which become evident in series of court
cases in all of our American History. It is also worth noting that the first four amendments of the
Bill of Rights have never been fully incorporated to the states. The individual rights afforded by
the Bill of Rights are federal rights not state rights, however there is “selective incorporation”
which is a process adopted by the Supreme Court that applies these specific rights to the states,
though it is not always done.
With the interesting process and incorporation of the Bill of Rights, the importance of the
document lies in what it grants United States citizens. The amendments are significant because
they prevent the government from overpowering the people of the United States as well as
providing said people with protection in form of rights. The Bill of Rights also addresses and
establishes significant issues for the American people, as the right to bare arms or the right to
freedom of speech. Essentially the Bill of Rights assures the freedom and protection that makes
America the country it is today, as well as the reason why our justice system is one of the most
developed in the entire world.
With a brilliant set of laws and rights, there is the great need to enforce and regulate
them. As a developed and educated country, while not perfect, we have a complex criminal
justice system. The three major components of our criminal justice system are police, corrections
and courts, there are a number and a steady array of subcomponents in our system, but they all
tend to fall in one of those three categories.
The largest component of the criminal justice system is our Police or Law Enforcement,
our police handle enforcing laws and maintaining public order and safety. Law enforcement is a
broad term for the individuals and agencies responsible for prevention, detection and
investigation of crime; as well as the apprehension and detention of those who violate the law.
The correctional component of the criminal justice system is our Corrections, this component
includes jails and prisons. Corrections is responsible for overseeing those individuals who have
been arrested, await trial, those who are convicted of a crime and are sentenced to serve time.
The last but, certainly not least, component of the criminal justice system is our Courts. The
judicial component is comprised of courts that operate on federal, state and local levels. The
court system in the United States has a variety of specialized courts, those courts being:
Criminal, Civil, Administrative, and others. Our courts operate on the same basic system but are
separated by federal and state levels.
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