Application of Management Theory to Criminal Justice Organizations
In business, there are a lot of theories that can be used to boost up the efficiency of handling that particular business. In criminal justice however, some laws and theories can be also applied just like the way they can be applied in a business setting. A typical but accurate example of such is the management theory. First, let us first know what criminal justice organizations are in general. A criminal justice organization is, by virtue, an organization that deals with criminal management. An organization is defined by the Human Rights and Social Justice organization as a set or arrangement of individuals and their resources which are further grouped according to their tasks, areas of responsibility and most probably as it is what’s happening today, interests (More et al., 2011). Several justice organizations could also exist side by side depending on the element that binds them (i.e. interests, tasks and areas of responsibility). Thus, a criminal organization comes with a context that deals with works of considerable difficulty in analyzing problems (can be complex or not) in a justice system (Anonymous, 1987). This theory could be applied more if there is already an involvement of a single or more than one justice system component.
Background about Justice System Management
A justice system can be handled by a couple of organizations. Some of those organizations include the police and law enforcement departments. In the United States for example, police departments with varying sizes and structure can participate in such acts and be driven by different organizational elements (i.e. Purpose, structure, functions and people) as stated by More et al. (2011). In order to have a clearer view about this, we have to know the purpose and the objective of these organizations first before we dive in to the general and specific roles that a manager has to fill in for him to be able to handle a justice management system effectively. Basically, justice organizations are present (all over the place actually) as a provision for public safety. But the question is how can public safety be maintained if there are still a lot of criminals (e.g. thieves, robbers, hold-uppers, gangsters and mobs) out in the streets? Well, one of the roles of these organizations is to control the increase in crime rate by doing exactly the opposite of what the criminals are doing. In short, they are fighting it by promoting peace and order. As a result, crime and disorder rates will fall. However, these organizations have to be effective enough in all aspects of justice management and crime control to be able to reach their goals. These can most likely be possible via a subdivision or a decentralization process. In such process, organizations are further subdivided according to function (can be based on other factors too) so that they would be able to focus more on the specifics of their tasks. Some of the functions that usually need attention include investigations, patrol, traffic, staff support and special operations like raids and setup operations.
Managers are like the head of a specific organization. Likewise, if an organization is further subdivided into functions, chances are the resulting subdivisions will be headed by different managers as well. Now, there are processes and functions that these managers have to fulfill so that the department that they are heading could be efficient in serving its functions too. Otherwise, some positional switching could occur. It may be safe to say that the evaluation process in a criminal justice system is most likely based on the performance level and more importantly, the results. Important roles of a manager include planning, organizing, leading and controlling other’s work so that the organization or department can accomplish its tasks and goals (More et al. 2011). This statement further coincides with the general meaning of the word “management” which is defined as a continuous process that focuses from the point where the objectives are set going to the attainment of those objectives via application of organizational resources and finally, magnifying the results and effects of future accomplishments. An effective manager should actually be able to do this. If possible, he is even encouraged to play with the tasks he has to accomplish until he finally sees some good results. By playing, I mean serious play. Being in the justice workforce is not a joke after all (Anonymous, 2011). Also, it may be good to note that the way I defined the terms that I just stated is dynamic and primarily based on the positive management fundamental concepts of police organization. Perhaps you could see a lot of similarities between the role of a manger in the business world and in the justice system. Yes it’s quite true.
A good manager is a good planner. In fact, he should be well-versed in all police, emergency, disaster and security procedures. In the planning procedure, the manager should be able to assess all of the concerns that can directly affect the performance, effectiveness and efficiency of the organization he is managing. Otherwise, he is not a good planner. In this process, he will also be responsible in developing strategies that will either direct him and his subordinates towards success and as much as possible, make some improvements as time goes by. He should be able to answer what, when, how and who type of questions whenever he makes up plans for more effective and accurate results too.
Any organization needs an effective organizer. They key points that a manager should remember in this process is that he has to handle everything as if they’re part of him. There should also the incorporation of effective structure, strategy, process and different systems. Usually, the components that the manager has successfully planned will be implemented in this part. All of the tasks of the manager should actually work simultaneously and hand in hand for it to have the most qualitative effect in justice management system.
Leading and Control
These 2 processes are actually separate but I will try to combine them because as I have said, they should work hand in hand as much as possible and I find these 2 to be the most suitable elements to be paired. A good leader is a good controller and vice versa. You cannot be a good leader without knowing how to control your employees and officers. These processes typically involve other minor processes such as evaluation of the employees and the development and maintenance of certain standards (e.g. performance standards) which will most likely dictate how effective the whole justice organization would move. Just like any other personnel, there are higher authorities that control a manager too and these authorities are usually the ones responsible for monitoring his performance.
It is indeed true that there are similarities between the required principles and qualities of a business manager and a justice system manager. However, they do differ in major aspects such as the roles that they have to play and the fields that they have to be more effective in. Nevertheless, without a manager, any system would most likely end up being irrational and disorganized.
More, H., Vito, G. & Walsh, W. (2011). Organizational Behavior and Management in Law
Enforcement. Pearson Education Inc.
Anonymous. (1987). Criminal Justice Program Manager. Accessed October 2011. Retrieved
Anonymous. (2011). Roles and Responsibilities of a Manager in an Organization. Management-
Hub.com. Accessed October 2011. Retrieved from http://www.management-hub.com/hr-manager-roles.html.