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Scales of Justice
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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Approximate location of Kengir camp in Kazakhstan
The Kengir uprising was a prisoner uprising that took place in the Soviet prison labor camp Kengir in the spring of 1954. It was distinct from other Gulag uprisings in the same period in its duration and intensity. After the murder of some of their fellow prisoners by guards, Kengir inmates launched a rebellion and proceeded to seize the entire camp compound, holding it for weeks and creating a period of freedom for themselves unique in the history of the Gulag. This situation lasted for an unprecedented length of time and gave rise to a panoply of colourful and novel activity, including the democratic formation of a provisional government by the prisoners, prisoner marriages, the creation of indigenous religious ceremonies, a brief flowering of art and culture, and the waging of a large, relatively complex propaganda campaign against the erstwhile authorities. After 40 days of freedom within the camp walls, intermittent negotiation, and mutual preparation for violent conflict, the uprising was brutally suppressed by Soviet armed forces. The story of the uprising was first committed to history in The Gulag Archipelago, a nonfiction work by former-prisoner and Nobel Prize-winning Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

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Alcatraz Island
Credit: David Corby

A stitched panorama of Alcatraz Island, in San Francisco Bay, California, as seen facing east. Alcatraz is most famous for its prison, which closed in 1963, but whose legacy lived on in films such as Escape from Alcatraz and The Rock. Today it is a National Recreation Area


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Albert Fish mugshot in 1903
Albert Hamilton Fish (May 19, 1870 – January 16, 1936) was an American sado-masochistic serial killer and cannibal. He was also known as the Gray Man, the Werewolf of Wysteria and possibly the Brooklyn Vampire. He boasted that he had "had children in every State," putting the figure at around 100, although it is not clear whether he was talking about molestation or cannibalization, less still as to whether it was true or not. He was a suspect in at least five killings in his lifetime. Fish confessed to three murders that police were able to trace to a known homicide, and confessed to stabbing at least two other people. He was put on trial for the kidnap and murder of Grace Budd, and was convicted and executed via electric chair.

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Dermestidae beetle




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Bust of Marcus Aurelius
Poverty is the mother of crime.

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