Portal:Criminal justice

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Criminal justice is the system of practices, and organizations, used by national and local governments, directed at maintaining social control, deterring and controlling crime, and sanctioning those who violate laws with criminal penalties and rehabilitation. The primary agencies charged with these responsibilities are law enforcement (police and prosecutors), courts, defense attorneys and local jails and prisons which administer the procedures for arrest, charging, adjudication and punishment of those found guilty. When processing the accused through the criminal justice system, government must keep within the framework of laws that protect individual rights. The pursuit of criminal justice is, like all forms of "justice", "fairness" or "process", essentially the pursuit of an ideal. Throughout history, criminal justice has taken on many different forms which often reflect the cultural mores of society.
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Members of the Frontier Battalion, ca. 1885
The Texas Ranger Division is a law enforcement agency with statewide jurisdiction based in Austin, Texas, in the United States. Over the years, the Texas Rangers have investigated crimes ranging from murder to political corruption, kept the peace during riots, acted as detectives, protected the Texas governor, tracked down fugitives, and functioned as a quasi-military force at the service of both the Republic (183645) and the state of Texas. The Texas Rangers were unofficially created by Stephen F. Austin in 1823 and formally constituted in 1835. Although the organization went through periods of inactivity during the 19th century, it was never officially dissolved. Since 1935, the organization has been a division of the Texas Department of Public Safety, and currently fulfills the role of Texas' State Bureau of Investigation. As of 2005, there are 118 active Rangers.

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CRS in riot control gear
Credit: David Monniaux

The Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité (Republican Security Companies, CRS) are the riot control forces and general reserve of the French National Police. The CRS were created in 1944 and reorganized in 1948. The task for which they are best known in popular culture is crowd and riot control and re-establishment of order.


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Solution to Zodiac's 408-symbol cipher
The Zodiac Killer is a serial killer who operated in Northern California in the late 1960s. His identity remains unknown. The Zodiac coined his name in a series of taunting letters he sent to the press. His letters included four cryptograms (or ciphers), three of which have yet to be solved. The Zodiac murdered five known victims in Benicia, Vallejo, Lake Berryessa, and San Francisco between December 1968 and October 1969. Four men and three women between the ages of 16 and 29 were targeted. Others have also been suspected to be Zodiac victims, but there has been thus far no conclusive evidence to link them to the killer. In April 2004, the San Francisco Police Department marked the case "inactive", but reopened it some time before March 2007. The case remains open in other jurisdictions as well.

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Bust of Marcus Aurelius
Poverty is the mother of crime.

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