The criminal justice system is the system the Australian public look to for protection and justice against those that disregard the law but there are mixed opinions from the general public that the justice system is too lenient and that the public opinion isn’t taken into consideration when assessing crime and punishment. In this essay, I will argue that the Australian criminal justice system is in fact shaped largely by our society because if it doesn’t reflect social conscience, the justice system would fail. I will discuss this firstly by explaining how the criminal justice system works in Australia, how the justice system reflects community values and how it relates to today’s society, the budget and staffing levels of agencies of the
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The Australian criminal justice system, consisting of three large institutions working in conjunction for the same purpose (Sarre and Tomaino, 1999), comprises of eight state or territory systems and one federal system (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2006) and works to serve two purposes. The first purpose is crime prevention and crime reduction and is future orientated. The second purpose is symbolic and involves the state taking action on those that have committed offences, punishing and rehabilitating them. This is to reinforce what is understood as right and wrong behaviour in society (Sarre and Tomaino, 1999). In Australia the criminal justice system is made up of three large institutions, also known as ‘arms’, of the State. Firstly there is the investigative arm (police and the Australian Crime Commission), secondly the adjudicative arm (the criminal justice courts – the District, Magistrate and Supreme courts) and thirdly the correctional arm (prisons, community corrections and probation and parole services) (Sarre & Tomaino, 1999). Together, these three institutions work in conjunction to protect the citizens of Australia and serve justice to those who commit crimes according to the law.
As Australian society has progressed, so has the criminal justice system by updating legislation and introducing new rights and laws that reflect society’s values and opinions. In recent times we have witnessed the public denunciation of sex offenders, particularly