An Overview of Criminal Justice.
Choose any four of the following eight questions and draft an essay that addresses each aspect of question. There is no expected minimum length of each essay—as long as you sufficiently answer the question. As usual, all essays are graded relative to the best essay provided for each question. These essays are due no later than Friday, March 9 by 11:59PM.
The following question is based on the readings from chapter 1:
(a) Using both a closed-system and an open-system analytical framework describe your local jail. (b) How might these frameworks lead to different views of the jail’s effectiveness or of the causes of jail violence? (c) Describe how jails are affected by their environment and how they may influence that environment.
The following question is based on the readings from chapter 2:
(a)What steps should an administrator take to build a partnership between the agency’s formal and informal structures? (b) In your opinion, what role, if any, do leaders of the informal structure have in building such a relationship?
The following question is based on the readings from chapter 3:
(a)Explain how legislator’s personal views on criminal justice issues can frame legislative outcomes. Use the criminal sentencing structure as an example.
The following question is based on the readings from chapter 4:
As we have seen throughout this chapter, law enforcement agencies, especially intelligence gathering agencies, keep information to themselves rather than share information. (a) Discuss why agencies horde information. (b) If you were giving advice to the director of Homeland Security, what steps would you recommend to promote the flow of vital information among intelligence agencies?
The following question is based on the readings from chapter 5:
It is often said that criminal justice employees are unmotivated. (a) Comment on this assertion and discuss possible ways in which the motivational levels of criminal justice workers can be raised. (b) In addition, examine what you believe to be the role of criminal justice managers in the motivation of subordinates.
The following question is based on the readings from chapter 6:
Consider a specific job within the criminal justice system. (a)What characteristics of that job are sources of motivation, and what characteristics may lead to dissatisfaction or burnout? (b) How would you redesign the job to emphasize the first set of characteristics and deemphasize the others? (c) Do you think others would agree, or are there important individual differences to take into account? Please qualify your position.
The following question is based on the readings from chapter 7:
Explore the findings of the Ohio State studies and the Michigan studies as they apply to the agencies of criminal justice. (a) Are their findings applicable or not? (b) What about participation in leadership in criminal justice systems? (c) Should criminal justice managers be concerned with the personal aspects of employees’ lives? (d) Will this concern necessarily translate into effective leadership and productive criminal justice employees? Why or why not?
The following question is based on the readings from chapter 8:
(a)What are some major problems with implementing the ideas of a human service model of employee supervision in criminal justice organizations? (b) How would employees react to such a supervision model?
An Overview of Criminal Justice.
Legislator’s personal view on criminal justice has the ability to frame legislative outcomes. This is based on legislative statements that they make. Some of these personal views include views on the fight on drugs and crime where they are of the view that these are serious offenders who need to be incarcerated for long sentences due to the nature of their crimes. Secondly, their views control the judicial discretion over certain decisions. Especially when sentences are being given for these crimes. Furthermore, these individuals have had a say on the use of mandatory minimum sentencing legislation and as a result of this, these laws have not been effective since they fail to meet their intended objectives. Leading to issues such as inequities in sentencing as well as sentences that are unduly harsh.
Law enforcement agencies horde information because these agencies are autonomous and are fiercely facing competition against each other. They therefore feel that such information should not be shared with any other organization since it is likely to compromise how they carry out their activities of fighting crime. Furthermore, these agencies are trained not to think outside their own jurisdiction and therefore they do not believe in collaboration with other organizations or non-police agencies since they feel that such a move is likely to compromise their ability to fight crime as well as carrying out investigations.
Secondly, their work is highly secretive in nature. Consequently, it comes out naturally that they should not share information with anyone and the scenarios in which they operate basically don’t have an allowance for other participants to be involved. Thirdly, these agencies only play a part of the multi-faceted agency that has the responsibility of carrying out law enforcement work. As a result of this each of these agencies has its own way of handling such matters and in most cases these operations do not allow for information sharing.
If I were to advice the director of Homeland Security on ways that he or she could adopt to enable flow of information among intelligence agencies, I would start by requesting him or her to first seek federal resources as well as policies that will enable intelligence sharing form federal government. Such funds would go towards creating or improving already existing information sharing and analysis centres, improving an intelligence sharing system by incorporating a position for coordinating intelligence gathering in the agency, creating a grant program that supports local intelligence analysts while at the same time creating capacity for capability to share information across all levels of government.
State funds should be made available to all states so that intelligence is efficiently carried out. Another integral part of this process would be strengthening of the Homeland Security Data Network (HSDN). This network needs to be accelerated and deployed since it plays a crucial role as a conduit for moving intelligence between agencies and data movement from the federal hubs to the state centres. This play a critical role in enabling information exchange. Another step would be to incorporate the Interagency Threat Assessment Coordination Group (ITAC-G) that would include officers from state intelligence office as well as the ITAC-G representatives from NGA, NSA and CIA who would form a task force whose mandate would be to review national level intelligence. To do this these organizations should be well staffed. The final step would be to expedite the security clearance process which also needs to be fixed. Consequently, the federal government would be able to process secret level clearances fast such as within a month while adopting a high level clearance for other types of intelligence such as compartmented intelligence within a maximum period of 3 months. Also states that are facing major threats should have the number of intelligence officers increased especially at the highest security level.
Criminal justice employees are unmotivated. This happens because of the relationship that they have with management and especially their supervisors. This results when these employees are not treated equally where management is lenient with some employees while being strict with other or where supervisor fails to compliment efforts of these officer but are quick to reprimand them for infraction of rules.
Furthermore, criminal justice employees may feel unmotivated when they are not well remunerated yet they have to work hard. This also applies to other benefits such as allowances. In other scenarios, these officers are likely to feel unmotivated if their pay has little to with their performance especially when it is compared to that of co-workers whose job descriptions match. Criminal justice employees play an important role as well as the important role they play should never be overlooked as a result of this, these individuals need to be motivated.
Criminal justice managers have an important role towards motivating subordinates. One such instance is leading by example. Therefore, they need to be motivated themselves so that they are inspired to remain on the pursuit of a common goal. If these managers are not motivate the effects may spread to the rest of the team which ends up derailing in accomplishment of tasks. Furthermore, if these leaders are unmotivated it would be illogical and impossible to expect exceptional performance from their subordinates.
These managers play a role in recognising efforts by their subordinates. In fact, research has it that recognition for work is a better motivator as compared to a pay rise. Moreover, money is an extrinsic motivator while recognition is an intrinsic motivator. It is important to stress intrinsic motivators rather than extrinsic since they are more fulfilling, and are important for growth and advancement in a career.
Finally these managers need to have a positive attitude towards works and their subordinates. Attitude plays an important role in the productivity as well as motivation of any individual. A positive attitude will ensure that these individuals maintain a cordial relationship when doing tasks in the justice system.
Implementing the ideas of the human service model of employee supervision in a criminal justice organization is likely to have certain problems. One such problem is that agencies might end up having conflicting goals since such a system accommodates the views of everyone consequently, it may lead to inefficient delivery of services since all players have certain regulations that they would the organization to adhere to. This also comes up with constraints in the delivery of services. Accountability is another problem. This is because in such a model various player are accommodated and therefore the chain command is not centralised which gives rise to lack of accountability, lack of fiscal integrity and reduction in efficiency of provision of services.
Employees in an organization that uses the human service model are likely to have a more sense of ownership to their jobs since the model accommodates the views of all employees and they have more say in the way the agency is run which will ultimately mean that they will have a positive attitude towards works and the morale will be high. This also arises from the fact that these employees will have more rewarding jobs and their jobs will be less stressful.