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
Conservatives and liberals are virtually defined by their commitment to either crime control or the U.S. Constitution, and together their divergent views continue to fuel the debate over which priorities ought to be emphasized in the criminal justice system. To conservatives, the most important function served by the criminal justice system is to ensure human freedom by allowing citizens to be secure in person and property from the actions of criminals; thus, reducing lawlessness should be the system's primary goal. This objective is to be achieved by implementing assembly-line justice, a crime control model that stresses efficiency, reliability, and productivity, as measured by increases in arrests, convictions, and incarcerations. Conversely, liberals endorse a due process model based on the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution. From this perspective, the greatest threat to social freedom comes from the government; if the criminal justice system is to maintain its integrity, it ...