What Is the Difference Between a Consensus Model and Conflict Model of Criminal Justice?

The consensus model of criminal justice assumes the system’s components work together to achieve justice while the conflict model assumes the components serve their own interests and justice is the product of conflict, according to StudyMode. An example of the consensus model in action is the formation of the Department of Homeland Security and cooperation between government agencies after September 11, StudyMode says.

As an example of the conflict model is police coercion of innocent people into confessing to crimes in order to achieve higher clearance rates, Wikipedia cites. Clearance rates are the number of cases the police resolve. Those who believe in the consensus model often acknowledge that the criminal justice system currently works based on the conflict model, but that they would prefer consensus. System conflict theories purport that criminal justice agencies are concerned with fame, promotions, wages and success, which cause conflict, which in turn works to enhance the system, according to Wikipedia.

Jerome Herbert Skolnick, former president of the American Society of Criminology, has written that the conflict model exists in reality, but the consensus model would be ideal, according to Wikipedia. Skolnick has been quoted as saying that the law supports deception by police and that police culture justifies lying in the courtroom.