The legal structures established by governments to control crime and impose penalties on those who violate laws. The U.S. does not have a single criminal justice system but local, county, and state systems built on common principles.
Criminal Justice Reform
Proponents of criminal justice reform view mass incarceration as a civil rights issue and advocate for a comprehensive response to crime that considers factors like racial disparities, quality of education, and health inequities.
Tough on Crime
Proponents of a "tough on crime" approach believe rules and punishments for violations should not be subject to short-term political changes. They believe the criminal justice system should weigh public safety as the primary concern while observing constitutional protections of the accused.