Criminal Justice, The Nation State and Homeland Security
A vital application of the criminal justice system is that which is applied to security of the homeland. This of course starts at the national borders with the control of who is allowed in and indeed who is allowed out of the country. To this end it is important to recognise border control staff and even customs and excise officers and the Coast Guard as important parts of the criminal justice system.
The national armed forces only exist to ensure the security of the nation. It is the most fundamental responsibility placed upon all governments that their primary purpose is to ensure the safety of the nation and its citizens from external attack. The nasty shock of recent years however is that external attack can be launched from within. This has made the demands of national security a whole lot more complex. The federal security organizations have had to up their game to meet these demands. One of the downsides is many of our long standing social freedoms are now limited. It is a fine balance for a government to strike. The limiting of personal freedoms gathers few votes.
Another point to make is that governments and administrations might initiate their security a long way from home. This was why the US and the UK went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Whether or not one agrees with the politics or the wars, this is the reason it was done. It is aggressive defense, but it is now a moot point whether it works as it used to fifty years ago, and for reasons which are now well rehearsed. The dangers and effects resulting in attack from within in response to military campaigns overseas is all too familiar now.
And so the seas are patrolled by our navies and the skies patrolled by our air forces and our armies are held in readiness for deployment. But supporting all their actions has to be a robust system of criminal justice that gives the legal framework for all their operations and supplies a means of locating, arresting and processing all those who endanger national security.
But there is a whole lot more to homeland security that even this and in the US this is run by the Department of Homeland Security