The Importance of Federalism

The Importance of Federalism

a. Federalism implies that government powers are shared by the national (federal) government and the states

b. Division of powers allows states to create their own police power, enacting whatever laws are necessary

1. Law Enforcement

a. Local Law Enforcement

1. Duties are split between counties and municipalities

2. Chief law enforcement officer of the county is the sheriff

i. Elected post

ii. 2 or 4-year term

3. Bulk of local police officers are employed by municipalities

i. Investigate crimes

ii. Attempt to deter crime

iii. Apprehend criminals

iv. Participate in trial proceedings

v. Charged with “keeping the peace”

b. State Law Enforcement

1. Hawaii is the only state without a state law enforcement agency

2. Two general types of state law enforcement agencies

i. State police

ii. Highway patrols

3. Other state law enforcers include fire marshals and fish, game, and watercraft wardens

c. Federal Law Enforcement

1. Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)

2. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

3. U.S. Secret Service

4. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF)

2. The Courts

a. Dual court system with two independent judicial systems

1. Federal level

2. State level

b. 52 different court systems

1. One for each of the 50 states

i. Trial courts at local and state levels

ii. Intermediate courts of appeals

iii. State supreme courts

2. One federal court system

i. District courts

ii. Circuit courts of appeals

iii. The United States Supreme Court

3. One court for the District of Columbia system

c. Criminal court work groups are charged with responsibility of determining innocence or guilt of criminal suspects

3. Corrections

a. Offenders may be placed on probation, incarcerated, or transferred to community-based corrections facilities once they have been delegated to the corrections system

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