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What is the Criminal Justice System?

The Criminal Justice System (CJS) is the machinery which society uses in
the prevention and control of crime. The process is the totality of the
activities of law enforcers, prosecutors, defense lawyers, judges and
corrections personnel, as well as those of the mobilized community in
crime prevention and control.

What are the major components of the CJS?

Law Enforcement
Mobilized Community

What are the functions of the major components of the CJS?

To prevent and control the commission of crime;
To enforce the law;
To safeguard lives, individual rights, and properties;
To investigate, apprehend, prosecute and sentence those who
violated the rules of society; and,
To rehabilitate the convicts and reintegrate them into the
community as law-abiding citizens.
How does the CJS Operate?
The first four pillars, i.e., law enforcement, prosecution,
courts, and corrections, pertain to the traditional agencies vested
with the official responsibility in dealing with crime or in crime
control. The community pillar is the most broadbased. Under the
concept of a participative criminal justice system in the Philippines,
public and private agencies, as well as citizens, become a part of
the CJS when they become involved in issues and participate in
activities related to crime prevention and control.

Law Enforcement Pillar

The first pillar consists

mainly of the
Philippine National Police (PNP). The
work of the PNP is the prevention and
control of crimes, enforcement of laws,
and effecting the arrest of offenders,
including the conduct of lawful
searches and seizures to gather
necessary evidences so that a
complaint may be filed with the
Prosecutor's Office.

Prosecution Pillar
The second pillar takes care of the investigation of the
complaint. In the rural areas, the PNP may file the
complaint with the inferior courts (i.e., the Municipal Trial
Courts or the Municipal Circuit Trial Courts). The judges of
these inferior courts act as quasi-prosecutors only for the
purpose of the preliminary investigation. Once a prima facie
case has been determined, the complaint is forwarded to
the City or Provincial Prosecutor's Office which will review
the case. When the complaint has been approved for filing
with the Regional Trial Court, a warrant of arrest for the
accused will be issued by the court once the information has been filed.

Courts Pillar

The third pilllar of the CJS is the forum where the

prosecution is given the opportunity to prove that there is a
strong evidence of guilt against the accused. It is also in the
courts that the accused is given his "day in court" to
disprove the accusation against him.
The Constitutional presumption is the innocence of
any person accused of a crime unless proved otherwise.
This means that the courts must determine the guilt of the
accused - beyond reasonable doubt -- based on the
strength of the evidence of the prosecution.
If there is any reasonable doubt that the accused
committed the crime, he has to be acquitted.
The Rules of Court, however, provides that the accused can be convicted of a
lesser crime than the crime he has been charged with in the information. But the
elements of the lesser offense should be necessarily included in the offense charged,
and such lesser crime . was proven by competent evidence.
Primer on Criminal Justice System 3

Corrections Pillar

The fourth pillar takes over once the accused, after having
been found guilty, is meted out the penalty for the crime he
committed. He can apply for probation or he could be turned
over to a non-institutional or institutional agency or facility for
custodial treatment and rehabilitation. The offender could
avail of the benefits of parole or executive clemency once he
has served the minimum period of his sentence.
When the penalty is imprisonment, the sentence is carried out
either in the municipal, provincial or national penitentiary
depending on the length of the sentence meted out.

Community Pillar

The fifth pillar has a two-fold role.

First, it has the responsibility to participate in law
enforcement activities by being partners of the peace
officers in reporting the crime incident, and helping in
the arrest of the offender.
Second, it has the responsibility to participate in the
promotion of peace and order through crime prevention
or deterrence and in the rehabilitation of convicts and
their reintegration to society.
Rehabilitation takes place when the convict is serving his sentence. A convict
may be paroled or may even be placed on probation.
Under the concept of a participative criminal justice system in the Philippines,
public and private agencies as well as citizens, become part of the CIS when they
participate and become involved with issues and activities related to crime prevention.
Thus, citizen-based crime prevention .groups become part of the CJ within the
framework of their involvement in crime prevention activities and in the ns integration

of the convict who SJbtlf be reJessed from the corrections pillar mto the mainstream

of soccety.
Why should you be concerned about the CJS?
You should be concerned about the CJS because it affects your life, your work,
your activities and, in general, your pattern of behavior and relationship in the
This is why the community pillar is also the base of the entire CJS as there will
never be criminal cases, in the first place, if the community is healthy and law-abiding.
But for the few who may have gone astray, they should be reintegrated into the
community once they are released from the penitentiary and should be helped to
become law-abiding members of the community.
What is Citizen's Arrest?
Arrest may be effected with or without a warrant. Warrantless arrest may be
effected by a peace officer or a private person under any of the following
a. When in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually
committing, or is attempting to commit an offense;
b. When an offense has, in fact, just been committed, and he has personal
knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it; and,
c. When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal
establishment or is temporarily confined during the pendency of the case, or has
escaped while being transferred from one confinement facility to another.
The suspect, arrested with or without a warrant, should be immediately turned
over to the nearest police station for proper investigation.
What can you do to help in the CJS?
Organize anti-crime groups.
Report crime, suspicious strangers or events to your barangay or police.
If you are a witness to the commission of a crime, help in the prosecution of
the case.
Organize visits to correctional institutions. This is one way of instilling social

awareness on the part of the public. This could also be an instrument

whereby the public can extend material and morale support to the convicts
and inspire rehabilitation.
Help in the assimilation of released prisoners in the community to enable them
to be reintegrated into the mainstream of society.
Philippine National Police (PNP)
National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)
Presidential Anti-Crime Commission (PACC)
Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)
Land Transportation Office (LTO)
Bureau of Customs (BOC)
Economic Intelligence and Investigation Bureau (EIIB)
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)
Philippine Aviation Security Command (PASC)
Marine Industry Authority (MARINA)
Bureau of Fish and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)
Air Transportation Office (ATO)
Other regulatory bodies with law enforcement functions
National Prosecution service (NPS-DOJ)
Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP)
Office of the Ombudsman
Judge Advocate Generals Office (JAGO)

Supreme Court
Court of Appeals
Regional Trial Court
Metropolitan Trial Court
Municipal Circuit Trial court
Court of tax Appeals
Bureau of corrections (BUCOR)
Parole and Probation administration (PPA)
Board of pardons and Parole (BPP)
Bureau of Jail Management and Penology(BJMP)
Provincial Rehabilitation Center (PRC-DILG)
City/Municipal Rehabilitation Center (C/MRC-BJMP)
Regional Youth Rehabilitation Center (RYRC-DSWD)
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
National Economic Development Authority (NEDA)
Bureau of Local Government Supervision (BLGS-DILG)
Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC)
Philippine Information Agency (PIA)
Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB)
Public Assistance Reaction Against Crime (PARAC)
Non-government Organizations (NGOs)
Peoples Organizations (Pos)
Other government offices, institutions and programs whose principal functions
are geared toward the promotion of socioeconomic welfare.