A Brief History of the Criminal Justice System

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Criminal Justice System
The criminal justice system is the system of law enforcement, which is directly involved in prosecuting, defending, and punishing those who are convicted of crimes. Basically, the criminal justice system is a series of government institutions, and they are prearranged to control the crime of a country. There has three component of the criminal justice system which control the whole criminal justice system.

This modern criminal justice system evolved in ancient times for controlling crimes and inventing a new form of punishment. At that time, after developing the modern criminal justice system, there had a huge change in the economic system, rights of offenders and victims, and some other related policies. Anyway, I’m sure that you have come here to know about the history of the criminal justice system and you are in the best place for sure.

The History of the Criminal Justice System and its Evaluation Time to Time

The first criminal justice system was created by the British at the time of the revolution of America. They primarily selected their hanging system to punish the convicts and the criminals of their country. At that time, there has some divided area called the district, and the head of the district was a magistrate. In the modern age, that magistrate is known as a judge.

Those individuals were in charge of collecting pieces of evidence (on behalf of the British government) against a criminal and hung him or her for his or her crimes. The British government would not always hang for the crime. They would also be carried out to be locked up or by cleaning ships, prison ships, etc.

During American evolution, they used hanging as their punishment method, or they gave imprisonment by sending to a prison ship, for instance, the most notorious HMS Jersey.

Mainly these were the method of punishment for the criminals at that time in America. But the modern criminal justice system had started at an old age. At that time, some new forms of punishment for the criminals were established.

At the same time, some policies, political ideas, and economic development were changed for the new and modern criminal justice system. At that time, a lot of new form of punishment was invented—for instance, exile, branding wergild, mutilation, and flogging, as well as execution.

  • Exile was a common form of punishment in America, which means staying away from one’s home. If someone wanted to come back home, he was refused to return or being threatened with the imprisonment of death upon return.
  • Wergild was another common form of punishment, which was known as also the man’s price. This method was established on a person’s life paid as a fine.
  • Mutilation was a punishment method where a body-part was cut, so the part is permanently damaged or detached from the body.

These punishment methods were so much dangerous. Anyways, then it comes to the age of the police department.

The police department was established in 1829 by Sir Robert Peel in London. Then the criminal justice system was developing day by day. After passing a long time, the criminal justice system is replaced by today’s criminal justice system, which has three components, respectively, police, court, and correction.

Modern Criminal Justice System

After a huge historical discussion, now we are discussing some basic things about the criminal justice system. It is also an important thing for the citizen of a country. The criminal justice system is the legal authority against the crime of a country. They are the public institutions that deal with the crime and illegal problem of a nation.

Moreover, they deliver justice to persons who commit crimes. This system provides its services by a series of institutions. There are three components of the criminal justice system. Here we are discussing these three components. These are as follows:

Police Department:

The police department is a public agency that gives its services by fulfilling orders from the higher authority and enforcing laws of a nation. Police officers operate their services by controlling and preventing the crime of a community.

They basically work for implementing the law, rules, and regulations of a country. Police departments help prosecutors in various criminal investigations and gather necessary pieces of evidence in many cases. They protect people of every society from the culprits and criminals.


Courts are the judgment seats where persons accused of violating criminal law. Courts are significant because they help to protect our constitutional rights. The main purpose of the court is to discover the truth for the victim and provide justice to society.  The primary actors of the court are prosecutors, lawyers, judges, etc. One of the most significant functions of a court of any country is to keep the peace.


Correction is new probation, jail, prison, parole, and many other new varieties of sanctions. The primary function of the correctional agencies is to punish the criminals and provide public safety through the rehabilitation of the criminal. So, we can say that mainly these correctional agencies deal with the peoples who been convicted of a crime.

The primary duty of a correction officer is to supervise individuals who come in jail, probation, prison, and some other sanctions. The purpose of the correctional system is to separate the criminals from society.

Obviously, these correctional agencies are a very significant part of the criminal justice system, which provides housing for the criminals who have been convicted of some criminal offense.

What is the Purpose of the Criminal Justice System?

Among some of the main purposes of the criminal justice system are:

  • Fighting crime
  • Protecting the public
  • Offering help to crime victims, their families, and witnesses
  • Taking action to hold those responsible for crimes they have committed
  • Helping offenders return to society and join the ranks of law-abiding citizens

Criminal Justice System of Canada

The police, courts, and correctional services are the three main parts of the Canadian criminal justice system, and each one of them has a variety of official decision-makers.

The criminal justice system (CJS) ensures Canadians’ general safety, happiness, and productivity. The well-being of Canada is directly affected by efforts to make sure that it is a just and law-abiding society with an accessible, effective, and fair justice system. Improving Canadians’ sense of security in their neighbourhoods and their faith in the legal system enhances their quality of life and contribution to the country’s success.

Final Words

The criminal justice system is the chief protector of a country because they protect a state from the enemy and take the criminals under justice and, at the same time, arrange legal punishment for them.

The history of this criminal justice system is also very significant. In this article, we have discussed the history of the criminal justice system in detail. Hopefully, this article will help you a lot to remove doubts regarding these issues and increase the knowledge of the history of the world.

FAQ: History of the Criminal Justice System

What is the Main Idea of the Criminal Justice System?

Criminal justice aims to rehabilitate criminals through incarceration while also imposing consequences to deter future crimes. It is a system that “serves justice” by metes out punishment that is appropriate for the offence.

What are the 3 Processes of the Criminal Justice System?

The Criminal Justice System’s Three Elements are:

  • Law Enforcement.
  • Courts.
  • Corrections.

What is the Core of the Criminal Justice System?

In general, the criminal justice system is the method or system used in society to investigate crimes, capture suspects, prosecute cases in court, and punish guilty parties while also making provisions for their correction and rehabilitation.

When was Criminal Justice System Created?

The U.S. Federal government started to assume some law enforcement tasks in 1870 after the Interstate Commerce Act was passed, and the Department of Justice was created in the same year to handle these duties.