Article

Prosecution and Courts

Brian Forst

in Criminology

ISBN: 9780195396607
Published online December 2009 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396607-0035
Prosecution and Courts

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Prosecution and courts are at the heart and center of our criminal justice system. They serve as stages of case processing that follow the police arrest and precede the delivery of convicted defendants to correctional authorities. The prosecutor, usually a politically elected official, is the chief law enforcement officer in a jurisdiction (county, state, federal) yet carries out an administrative function within the executive branch of government. To put the prosecutor and court in perspective, it is useful to think about the 2 million or so felony arrests made in the United States annually. About a million end in conviction and sentencing each year. What happens between arrest and sentencing is driven by the prosecutor and court adjudication system. Yet remarkably little scholarly attention is paid to prosecution and adjudication, relative to the stages before (offending and policing) and after (corrections and subsequent offender behaviors). The information that follows aims to help interested people to learn about prosecution and adjudication and the forces that shape practices in these two critical and largely overlooked stages of the criminal justice process.

Article.  8085 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Criminal Justice ; Criminology

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