Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The criminal justice system consists of three major components: law enforcement, courts, and corrections. Corrections has been defined as covering all of the official ways in which society reacts to persons who have been convicted of committing criminal acts. Corrections exists because society seeks to intervene when persons violate laws. It is one segment of the system whereby our society seeks to protect the public, punish offenders, change offenders' behavior, and compensate victims. The word corrections indicates that something must be fixed. Accordingly, many view the correctional component as that part of the criminal justice system that is charged with “correcting” those who have violated social rules. Others consider corrections as nothing more than that part of the criminal justice system that is charged with carrying out adjudged punishments. Corrections is primarily a function of state governments. The intake of persons into corrections is dependent upon their being processed The ...