Role of CJS

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The role of the police is to enforce the law by protecting the public and catching criminals and the role of the courts is to determine guilt and impose appropriate sentences. For functionalists and sub cultural theorists, the role of the police and courts is to catch and punish mainly male working-class criminals. Most crime is committed by this group. For social action theorists the role of the police is to label some groups as more criminal than others, then to target and arrest them. The traditional Marxist view argues that business crime and state crime are often ignored, and the role of the police is to target those with less power, especially the working class. Some more contemporary Marxists add minority ethnics to the list of people targeted unfairly by the police and courts. On the rare occasions when the rich and powerful do go to court, they tend to receive very light sentences. Feminists would argue that the police and courts do not operate


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