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Introduction to criminal justice. Nature of Crime. Law Essay (Essay Sample)


This assessment involved completing a workbook. The workbook comprised two questions that must be answered:
1. Outline the different ways in which crime can be defined. What do these different definitions tell us about the nature of crime?
2. Outline the role that discretion plays in the early stages of the criminal justice process (investigation, charge, pre-trial).


Introduction to Criminal Justice
Introduction to Criminal Justice
Question 1
Outline the different ways in which crime can be defined. What do these different definitions tell us about the nature of the crime?
A crime can be defined as an act or omission of an act that has been proscribed or prohibited and it is punishable by the law of a federal statute. In this definition, four important conditions have to exist for an act or omission to be fully considered as a crime (Roman 2018). The act has to be wrong in the eyes of the society, the act has to cause harm to the society, and the harm has to be very serious, lastly, the remedy of the act has to be handled by the criminal justice system.
Crime can also be defined as an action or a given instance in which there is negligence that is deemed injurious to the welfare of the public or affects the morals and interests of the state (Burke 2012). The act is largely and legally prohibited. Lastly, crime can also be simply defined as a grave offence in opposition to existing morals, which is a gross violation of the law. Ideally, crime can be looked at as something reprehensible, foolish and disgraceful within the society.
Nature of Crime
The nature of crime is dynamic and keeps changing between the societies and the environment. Crime cannot be viewed with a single perspective alone. Two common views fully explain the nature of crime and include the condition as being an aspect of the social construct and second recline to being individual criminality. These two aspects go hand in hand with two other important elements that describe the nature of the crime. These two elements include the Actus Reus and Mens Rea. Actus Reus presents the physical act that is involved in committing an offence that has been described by the law (Molloy 2016). Mens Reus, on the other hand, has the meaning that an accused person had the intention of committing an offence or has the knowledge of what he or she is doing that is against the law. 

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