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The criminal justice system in the US begins with a criminal investigation conducted to gather adequate evidence to arrest a suspect. Arrest and a prosecution come after this process. After the intensity of the crime gets determined, a jury conducts an indictment, and after a preliminary hearing the suspect gets arraigned before a judge in court to state his/her plea. The outcome of this can be either pretrial detention or he/she can be released on bail. The actual trial before a judge or a jury follows where the suspect gets the chance to prove either innocence or guilt. Based on these conclusions, the judge passes a sentence or sets the suspect free. If the verdict does not satisfy either party, the suspect can appeal within 14 days in the court of Appeal. These processes can be compressed into 5 components of the criminal justice system which include local law enforcement, court trial, court cases, trial with the grand jury and the decision and punishment. (Neubauer 2011)
Each of these components faces many challenges that hinder the smooth running of the justice system. For instance, the law enforcers have to rely on eye witnesses to point out to offenders. Some witnesses may be biased hence make wrong choices. On the other hand, corruption in this sector has interfered with proper criminal investigations leading to the conviction and imprisonment of innocent people. (Cole 2008)
A system consists of various elements coming together and operating as one unit. However this is not the case in the criminal justice sometimes. For instance, the law enforcers arrest individuals they believe are guilty but sometimes the court system sets them free. This creates disharmony in the system. Another instance of disharmony or disaccord is for a jury proves a suspect guilty but upon appeal, the suspect gets released, or his sentence reduced.
Another major setback in the criminal system, in the US, is the interference of influential individuals in the courts and police and detectives headquarters. This makes enforcing justice especially in a system clouded by corruption very difficult. The result of this is injustices against innocent people. (Neubauer 2011)
The failure of the criminal justice system is evident everywhere. For example, approximately 2.38 million Americans are living in prisons while million others are out on parole, not forgetting those who have already completed their sentences. This is a clear indication that something is terribly wrong with the justice system in the country. Another proof is the fact that the percentage of drug offenders and other petty crimes has been continually increasing over time. This shows that the criminal justice system is not effective, and reforms have to be implemented soon. Finally, the country lacks proper programs to help ex-offenders to settle back into the community. Thus, many ex-offenders end up going back to prison where they feel welcome than in the society where they get discriminated and judged. (Cole 2008)