Consensual and Conflict Model of the Justice System

There are two major models of the criminal justice system, the Consensus Model and the Conflict Model. Discuss these models, how do they relate? How are they different? Do you see any issues with them? Please support your answers. According to our reading there are two models to today’s Justice System, the Consensus model, and the Conflict model.

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The Consensus Model of Criminal Justice is “a criminal justice perspective that assumes that the systems’ components work together harmoniously to achieve the social product we call justice. ” The other model,the Conflict Model, is “a criminal justice perspective that assumes that the system’s components function primarily to serve their own interests. According to this theoretical framework, justice is more a product of conflicts among agencies within the system than it is the result of cooperation among component agencies. Both of these models or beliefs, are evident in everyday of our society, whether found by watching the evening news, or spending the day in the courtroom The Consensus Model, summing up the quoted text above from this week’s reading, is simply put the full cooperation and collaboration of all agencies stages of our Justice System and Government, providing a smooth, predictable, fair, and efficient experience for all. However this does not happen all the time, but unique examples of this model being utilized can perhaps be found after the 11 September 2001 attacks on our country.

Shortly after, with the development of the Department of Homeland Security, agencies coordinated and centralized information and intelligence, in achieving one common goal. The Conflict Model, summarized, is the basic concept that the Justice System is not as fair as theorized, and law enforcement agencies act more over by their goals rather than that of the common interest of the people in which they protect. An example of this model, which was found in Chapter 1 of this week’s reading, was when a law enforcement agency detained a suspected burglar.

Once this individual was found to have committed this robbery, police asked him to confess to a string of other burglaries, over 400, and in return the District Attorney and Detectives would go to “bat” for him per-say and speak on his favor in pursuit of a lighter sentence. This example shows the agencies desire to lower unsolved crime rates, perhaps a goal of the new administration, maybe stated as a political strategy. These two models are similar and yet different. The Consensus and Conflict Model both have the ultimate goal of solving crimes, and serving their constituents.

Where they differ though is pretty much their defining presence in today’s systems, and our Justice System interchanges everyday with the use of these models. Issues with the consensus model would definitely be all the channels that would have to be gone through with cooperation of law enforcement agencies. There are too many places to mess up when you increase the size of a group. With the conflict model, the biggest issue with that would be the assumption and possibly the premise that the goals of the agency would be more important that the people and issues the people they protect face every day.


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