Criminal Justice System

Category: Education

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Presentation Transcript

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CRIME IS MULTI-FACETED a social problem, a political problem, a spiritual problem, and an economic problem

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“the process in a community by which a crime is investigated, and the person(s) suspected for the commission thereof is/are taken into legal custody for prosecution in court and for punishment, if found guilty, with provisions being made for the correction and/or rehabilitation of the offender(s) to ensure renewed assimilation into mainstream society after service of sentence”.

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VIOLATOR Law Enforce- ment Prose- cution Judicial Correc- tional COMMUNITY Flow of Violators through the Criminal Justice System (Philippine System)

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The Five (5) Pillars of Philippine Criminal Justice System A. Law Enforcement members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) - prime enforcers of the law members of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) - which is under the Department of Justice.

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I. The Philippine National Police (PNP) Creation/Nature/Powers and Functions. The 1987 Philippine Constitution itself mandates that there should be one police force that is national in scope and civilian in character, and on the basis of this constitutional precept, Republic Act No. 6975 created the Philippine National Police as the premier law enforcement agency that has the following powers and functions :

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a. Enforce all laws and ordinances relative to the protection of lives and properties; b. Maintain peace and order and take all necessary steps to ensure public safety; c. Investigate and prevent crimes, effect the arrest of criminal offenders, bring offenders to justice and assist in their prosecution; d. Exercise the general powers to make arrest, search and seizure in accordance with the Constitution and pertinent laws; e. Detain an arrested person for a period not beyond what is prescribed by law, informing the person so detained of all his rights under the Constitution; f. Issue licenses for the possession of firearms and explosives in accordance with law; g. Supervise and control the training and operations of security agencies and issue licenses to operate security agencies, and to security guards and private detectives, for the practice of their profession; and h. Perform such other duties and exercise all other functions as may be provided by law.

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B. Prosecution National Prosecution Service * the prosecution arm of the government * composed of Provincial Prosecutors, City Prosecutor, Regional Prosecutors, and State Prosecutors * placed under the supervision and control of DOJ.

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Private lawyers should also be deemed part of the CJS Prosecution Pillar because they already represent the parties (the complainant or the respondent) even in proceedings before the Prosecutors. So also, public defenders - such as the members of the Public Attorneys Office (PAO) and other Legal Aid Lawyers (IBP, CLAO, FLAG, MABINI, UP, UST, etc.) - should also be considered as part of the Prosecution Pillar.

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C. (Judicial) Courts The final determination of innocence or of guilt is done by the Judicial Component (the Courts) through the adjudication of criminal cases Suffice it to say that, in the context of the Criminal Justice System, after a suspect has passed through the Prosecution Pillar, he is sent to the proper court of justice which shall belabor itself in determining either innocence or guilt.

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D. Corrections This pillar undertakes the reformation of offenders. The rehabilitation of offenders is aimed towards their eventual assimilation into society. The key government agencies responsible for institutional correction are the following : The Bureau of Corrections. Charged with the custody as well as with the rehabilitation of national offenders, that is, those sentenced to serve a term of imprisonment of more that three (3) years.

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2. Provincial Jails All provincial jails in the country are placed under the respective provincial governments pursuant to the provision of Section 61 of Republic Act no. 6975 which states : “x x x The provincial jails shall be supervised and controlled by the provincial government within its jurisdiction x x x.” 3. Municipal Jails/City Jails Municipal Jails and City Jails, on the other hand, are administered by the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) created also under RA No. 6975. BJMP is placed under the Department of the Interior and Local Government. BJMP is mandated to establish jails in every district, city, and municipality and to maintain secured, clean, adequately equipped, and sanitary jails for the custody and safekeeping not only of city prisoners and municipal prisoners but also of : fugitives from justice, detainees, and violent/mentally ill persons (Section 63, RA No. 6975).

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E. Community After convicts have passed through the Correction Component - either unconditionally (as by full service of the term of imprisonment imposed on them), or by parole, or by pardon - they revert to the COMMUNITY and either lead normal lives as law-abiding citizen in their barangays or regrettably commit other crimes and thus go back through the same stages of the Criminal Justice System. The community at large - through the appropriate legislative agencies, public and private educational institutions, parents and guardians, churches, religious organizations, civic associations, etc. - develops and exacts conformity with acceptable moral and ethical values, creates the environment for the development of civic-spirited citizens, and fosters respect for and observance of the Rule of Law. In particular, members of the community having knowledge of facts relevant to the investigation or prosecution of crimes, are expected to cooperate with law enforcers and investigators, by reporting crimes and giving evidence against the offenders.

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Attorneys in private practice, or pertaining to associations committed to giving legal aid to indigent or otherwise deserving individuals, should be reckoned as part of the fifth component of the CJS, the community. They participate directly or indirectly in the Criminal Justice System by rendering legal advice to, or representing, persons involved in criminal actions before the duly constituted authorities. The Community Component should also include key government institutions that play bit, albeit, important roles in the CJS, such as the Bureau of Posts which delivers court documents, notices, and other processes; the Bureau of Immigration & Deportation which may prevent the departure of suspects from the country; the Bureau of Telecommunications which transmits communications by telephone, telegram, or radio; and government hospitals and medical centers (like the National Psychopathic Hospital) which furnish experts who may enlighten the courts on issues involving medicine, surgery, or other sciences. Private institutions and civic organizations should also be deemed part hereof since they may also have significant roles to play in Criminal Justice System.

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Of late, serious efforts have already been started by the Philippine National Police, in cooperation with the Department of Interior and Local Government, to better empower the barangays (the smallest political unit in Philippine society) as well as other sectors of the community so that they may serve the Criminal Justice System more comprehensively. This is in line with the Community Oriented Policing System being adopted by the PNP pursuant to the provision of Section 2 of Republic Act No. 8551 (which amended RA No. 6975) which declared that : “The PNP shall be a community and service oriented agency responsible for the maintenance of peace and order and public safety.”

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Importance of Coordination Among the Five Pillars It should now be evident that the Philippine Criminal Justice System is not just the agencies charged with law enforcement; not just the prosecution arm of the government; nor just the courts; nor just the correctional system, nor just the community. The Criminal Justice System is all of these "pillars" considered collectively. So also, it should now be obvious that, for an efficacious Criminal Justice System to work speedily, it is essential for all these five (5) pillars to work with dispatch and in full coordination with each other. Any perceived failure of the CJS in a particular given case due to some deficiency in one pillar cannot be blamed upon any of the other pillars.

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