Differences Between the Crime Control Model and Due Process Model

Crime control and due process are two theories of criminal justice that aim to provide a framework for reducing crime and keeping people safe. These theories recommend different approaches based on two separate value sets.

The Role of Law EnforcementThe crime control model supports the use of methods like detaining suspects, questioning, and arresting individuals before they have been proven guilty. Law enforcement agencies have more leeway in what they can do to gather evidence and information.

The due diligence model protects the rights of suspects and criminals as stated by SociologyIndex.com. With this approach, a criminal wouldn’t be arrested if evidence is insufficient. There are strict guidelines regarding how law enforcement can gather evidence and information to make sure that the individual’s rights are respected.

The Role of the GovernmentA government that adopts the crime control model will take on the responsibility of reducing crime and will have more power according to USLegal.com. Due diligence aims to reduce the influence of the government, and mostly defines the government’s role as regulating what law enforcement agencies do and protecting citizens’ rights.

The Treatment of the IndividualCrime control puts an emphasis on protecting society as a whole. Punishing individuals is a necessity and it is better to imprison innocent individuals by error than to take the risk of letting some criminals run free, as explained by Herbert L. Packer in his essay Two Models of the Criminal Process.

In the due process model, criminals are seen as individuals who have rights. A criminal wouldn’t be punished if a law enforcement agency made a mistake when arresting them or gathering information, and it is preferable to let some criminals unpunished than to take the risk of arresting innocent citizens.

Reducing CrimeThere are differences between the crime control model and the due process model regarding the methods used to reduce crime. Crime control puts an emphasis on law enforcement and punishments being strong deterrents for would-be criminals. This approach is mostly about taking criminals off the streets to keep the public safe.

The idea that criminals can be reformed shapes the due process model according to USLegal.com. Criminals are punished in this model, but there are efforts made to reform and rehabilitate them. Crime is reduced by preparing criminals to become productive members of society instead of simply taking them off the streets.

The Role of PunishmentThe due process model regulates punishments. There needs to be an impartial judicial process that determines whether an individual is guilty and decides on a fair punishment. This model advocates for light punishments or even an absence of punishment in the case of victimless crimes as explained by SociologyIndex.com. A lot of crimes can be punished with fines rather than imprisonment. Suspects shouldn’t be detained before the trial, and their rights should be respected throughout this entire process.

Crime control takes a tougher approach when it comes to punishment. This model doesn’t support the idea that criminals can be reformed and sees punishment as a way of protecting society. Imprisonment is the primary method of punishment and suspects can be detained before their trial.

There are fundamental differences between the crime control model and the due process model regarding how citizens and criminals are treated, and regarding the role of the government and law enforcement agencies. In the U.S., law enforcement agencies tend to follow the crime control model while the due process model is what shapes the judicial system.