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The Department of Justice and the Criminal Justice System

Updated: Mar 15

According to the Department of Justice website, the organization’s mission is “[t]o enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.”

The criminal justice system consists of the police, courts and corrections, all of which can be found in the mission of the DoJ. The police enforce the law and ensure public safety. The courts and corrections make possible the remainder of the DoJ mission. The courts provide fair and impartial trials for those who are believed to have committed unlawful behavior. Corrections provide options for the courts to administer appropriate justice to guilty individuals through imprisonment, probation and other correctional strategies. 

The Department of Justice encompasses the criminal justice system and includes  more offices and divisions to ensure the full reach and uniformity of justice in the United States. The DoJ influences the criminal justice system simply through its existence. It provides a mission, layout and hierarchy for justice to be administered to all Americans at all levels of government.


“About DOJ.” U.S. Department of Justice, Accessed Fall 2021, 

Cocklin, K.R. “Functions of Criminal Justice — Procedures, Tasks and Personnel.” Fundamentals of Criminal Justice — A Syllabus and Workbook 2nd Edition, edited by Dae H. Chang, U.S. Department of Justice, 1977.

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