Virtual Museum of Public Service

Criminal Justice & Investigative Services (B-4)

"I was having a better time at my job than were those of my peers who had opted for private practice. Life as a public servant was more interesting. The work was more challenging. The encouragement and guidance from good mentors was more genuine. And the opportunities to take initiative and to see real results were more frequent." 
- Sandra Day O'Connor, U.S. Supreme Court Justice
The United States’ civil justice and investigative services give people a fair chance to receive justice through legal processes. Th­e U.S. is renowned for ha­ving one of the most sophisticated criminal justice and investigative systems in the world and it is remarkable how this system operates successfully across a country as large and diverse as the U.S.. One of the keys to this success is a balanced and carefully ordered hierarchy: several different federal courts control issues relating to federal law and each state has its own set of courts that can adapt to the needs of its people for criminal justice and investigative services. Because of the civil justice system, our cars are safer, the environment is cleaner, and foods and medicines are safer.
The U.S. criminal justice system comprises courts, corrections, defense attorneys, prosecution and law enforcement. The courts are supervised by judges who are responsible for ensuring that the law of the land is correctly interpreted and applied. Corrections oversee convicted offenders.  Defense attorneys represent the accused against prosecutors, who represent the state or federal government. Prosecutors are lawyers whose task it is to review evidence brought to then by law-enforcement, they then present that evidence to the court concerning a particular trial. It is the role of the law-enforcement officers to take reports of crimes that occur in their precincts, gather and protect evidence, arrest offenders and give testimony in court during trials.
(Source: National Center for Victims of crime: The Criminal Justice System