The Role of the Criminal Justice System

For most that hold right wing perspectives the role of the police and courts is to catch and punish mainly working class criminals

For social action theorists the role of the police is to label some groups as more criminal han others, then to target and arrest them

The traditional Marxist view is that businessand state crime are often ingnored and the role of the police is to target those with less power

The Role of Prisons

Being sent to prison is the most common form of punishment in the worls. Given that the prison population is so large and expensive, it makes sense to ask what its puropse is.

Prisons have generally been seen as having four key goals. The importance of each goal varies with time and location

  • Protect the public - prisons lock away dangerous, violent, antisocial and generally undesirable people
  • Punish criminal behaviour - prisons are often described in the media…


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