Criminology : Criminal Justice System

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for Criminology

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Criminology

Which of the following is not a component of the state court system in the United States?

Possible Answers:

Intermediate courts of general jurisdiction 

Trial courts of limited jurisdiction 

Appellate court of last resort 

District courts

Trial courts of general jurisdiction

Correct answer:

District courts

Explanation:

The United States uses a dual court system. The dual court system is broken into two parts: the state court system and the federal court system. The state court system is composed of trial courts of limited jurisdiction, trial courts of general jurisdiction, intermediate courts of appeals, and the appellate court of last resort.  The federal system is composed of district courts, circuit courts of appeals, and the Supreme Court of the United States. Appeals can lead cases from both from federal circuit courts of appeals and state appellate courts of last resort to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Example Question #1 : Criminal Trials

Which of the following is not an action where prosecutors exercise discretion?

Possible Answers:

Filing charges or petitions for adjudication 

Dropping cases

Reducing charges 

Seeking indictments 

Imposing sentences 

Correct answer:

Imposing sentences 

Explanation:

Discretion in the criminal justice system refers to an agent's ability to have the authority to make decisions without reference to specific rules but rather by using their own judgement. This permits individualization in the administration of justice. Prosecutors cannot use discretion in "imposing sentences" this is left to the discretion of judges or magistrates. 

Example Question #1 : Police Officers And Law Enforcement Operations

Which of the following is not a primary duty of police officers?

Possible Answers:

Apprehending violators and combating crime

Providing social services 

None of these

Keeping the peace

Preventing crime

Correct answer:

None of these

Explanation:

The correct choice is "none of these." Police officers have four primary duties: keeping the peace, apprehending violators and combating crime, preventing crime, and providing social services. "Keeping the peace" involves the protection of rights of individuals in dangerous situations such as fights or domestic disputes. "Apprehending violators and combating crime" is most commonly associated with police work; however, it makes up the smallest portion of time in an officers career. "Preventing crime" or reducing the crime rate involves the education or the public about criminal threats and reducing the number of situations where criminal activity can occur.  Last, "providing social services" is a very important and often overlooked aspect of police work and it includes the following: returning stolen property, directing traffic, providing medical aid, as well as other social services. 

Example Question #1 : Criminology

Which of the following is not a component of community policing?

Possible Answers:

Changing the focus of police patrol activities to nonemergency services 

Decentralizing police policy decision-making to include residents

Maximizing the number of police interventions and observations in the community 

Community based crime prevention

Making the police more accountable to the public

Correct answer:

Maximizing the number of police interventions and observations in the community 

Explanation:

"Maximizing the number of police interventions and observations in the community" is the correct answer. This choice outlines the primary precept of  aggressive policing patrols. On the other hand, community policing attempts to involve neighborhood residents into policing procedures to make their own communities safer. it is based on the idea that citizens are concerned about crime in their local area and emphasizes cooperation between police and citizens in the identification of neighborhood needs and means necessary to meet them. 

Example Question #1 : Police

A person sees two young men in front of their neighbor's house and assumes they are "horsing around" until they break a window and begin to burglarize the home. After seeing this the person calls the police. This would be an example of which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Coping delay

None of these

Conflict delay

Traffic delay

Ambiguity delay

Correct answer:

Ambiguity delay

Explanation:

This scenario is considered to be an "ambiguity delay." It is considered to be an ambiguity error because the person was delayed in their ability to acknowledge a criminal act. They thought that the two young men were "horsing around" later they saw them break into the house; thus, they were delayed by the ambiguous nature of the behavior of the young men. 

Example Question #1 : Police

Based on the 1966 Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona, which of the following rights is not required to be read to a suspect prior to questioning? 

Possible Answers:

If they cannot afford an attorney, the state will not provide one

If they decide to make a statement, it can and will be used against them in court 

They have the right to remain silent

If they cannot afford an attorney, the state will provide one

They have the right to have an attorney present during interrogation or to have an opportunity to consult with an attorney

Correct answer:

If they cannot afford an attorney, the state will not provide one

Explanation:

In the 1966 Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona, the Supreme Court made a decision that stated that as soon as an investigation begins to focus on a suspect, the so-called Miranda warnings must be read aloud before questioning can begin. The Miranda warnings are composed of the following four components: they have the right to remain silent;if they decide to make a statement, it can and will be used against them in court; they have the right to have an attorney present during interrogation or to have an opportunity to consult with an attorney; and if they cannot afford an attorney, the state will provide one. The choice that stated "if they cannot afford an attorney, the state will not provide one" is not a part of the Miranda warning. 

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