The Criminal Justice System Process - An Overview
What It Is?
1. The Criminal Justice System is the name given to the governmental process by which we deal with those persons who commit crimes in New Jersey. The system is composed of parts of all three branches of our state government: Legislative, Executive and Judiciary. Each has specific responsibilities.
2. The Legislative branch is the body of elected officials who write our criminal statutes. A Statute is nothing more than a written expression defining types of behavior or conduct we as a society say are wrong and members who violate these should be punished. These statutes also set forth the type of punishment for each violation.
3. The Executive branch includes the Governor, the Attorney General, the 21 County Prosecutors and the various police agencies and correctional facilities in New Jersey. These are charged both by our state constitution and statutes with the investigation, apprehension, prosecution and incarceration of those who violate our criminal laws.
4. The Judicial branch is composed of Judges and has two levels, the Municipal Courts and the Superior Court. These Judges are responsible for conducting the trial process through which those who are charged with violating our criminal laws are determined to be guilty or not guilty. These Judges are also those who determine the appropriate sentence to be imposed.