Policing Services and Programs Even as Policing Essay

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Policing Services and Programs:

Even as policing services and programs are being restructured across the globe, understanding this change in customary terms is rather difficult. In these new policing services and programs, the difference between public and private domains of policing is also problematic. However, understanding the ongoing changes is dependent on distinguishing between the authorization of policing and the way these services are provided. This is because of the fact that those who authorize policing services and programs may differ from those who provide these services (Bayley & Shearing, 2001). The restructuring of policing incorporates the weaknesses of the public police and is due to increases in crime, social structure, ideas and culture, character of government and the nature of economic systems. Due to the ongoing restructuring of policing, the role of the public police is significantly changing adopting a governmental rather than individual agenda. Furthermore, policing services and programs are now specializing on criminal investigation and secret surveillance. Consequently, policing operations are now being carried out in groups and continuing to be militarized in equipment and viewpoint.

While undergoing restructuring, policing services and programs need to emphasize on safeguarding justice, equity and providing high-quality service. The integrity of police agencies is upheld when these services and programs deals with issues of public concern like racial profiling, corruption and excessive use of force. In the implementation of their services and programs, police departments should ensure that they have established healthy relationships with their respective communities, governmental and non-governmental leaders and citizens. The capacity to facilitate, regulate and audit policing services and programs by the government is essential to safeguarding public interest in policing. Generally, policing services and programs are centered on maintenance of law and order, safeguarding justice and protecting citizens.

Criminal Justice Organizations:

The modern criminal justice organizations are political agencies whose structure and role are founded within the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the government. These organizations are typically divided into three main components i.e. police departments, courts of law and correctional agencies. The law enforcement agencies or police departments basically investigate criminal offenses and arrest suspects whereas courts are responsible for conducting trials and issuing sentences. The correctional agencies are the final component of the criminal justice organizations which incapacitates convicted criminals and tries to assist in their rehabilitation and treatment.

As criminal justice organizations that provide the initial contact between the criminal and the criminal justice system, police departments are considered as the first line of defense. While their main role is to enforce criminal law and maintain peace in the community, these criminal justice organizations arrest criminals for further processing by other organizations. On the other hand, courts are criminal justice organizations which provide a place for the resolution of legal disputes. These criminal justice organizations have three key participants in the settlement of a legal dispute i.e. The defense, prosecution as well as the judge and/or jury. The final main criminal justice organizations are the correctional agencies which include jails and prisons among others. These institutions provide a venue for either the short-term or long-term containment and punishment of convicted criminals.

In the recent past, there have been significant changes in many criminal justice organizations due to the restructuring of policing services and programs. For instance, the use of excessive force by public police has come under criticism and correctional agencies have began initiating programs that focus on rehabilitation of criminals rather than punishment.

Processes in Criminal Justice Organizations:

The three main components of the criminal justice organizations are involved in various processes in the criminal justice system. The major processes in the law enforcement agencies or police departments are contact, investigation, arrests and custody. These organizations have the responsibility of apprehending offenders and handing them over to other organizations in the criminal justice system. The arresting process sometimes involves the use of certain forms of legal coercion, confiscation of goods and well as searches. However, these departments have sometimes used excessive force in their arresting procedures. This use of excessive force has been a major concern to civil rights groups, human rights activists and the entire public.

Courts of law are involved in the processes of adjudication, disposition and appeal or post-conviction measures. The prosecution and defense during the settlement of legal issues in a court of law may be involved in complaints/charging, grand jury / preliminary hearing, plea negotiations, arraignment and bail/detention. In this process, qualified judges consider the suitable choice for objective decisions in legal matters that either lead to the conviction or acquittal of a suspect. On the other hand, correctional agencies are involved in retribution or rehabilitation, release and post-release processes in the criminal justice systems.

Due to the various conflicting theories of punishment and corrections, there are no common grounds to the social goals of sentencing (Cohen & Leinen, 2009). This has proven to be the major problem of judicial decision-making process since the recommended goals of sentencing include retribution or incapacitation as well as deterrence or correction. The effectiveness of penal and correctional procedures to attain sentencing goals is yet to be sufficiently proven. Therefore, judges choose what they personally feel is the appropriate goal since policies have failed to determine the clear purposes of sentencing.

Group Behavior in Criminal Justice Organizations:

Group behavior in criminal justice organizations involves the application of ethics in the criminal justice system which is a major concern to criminal justice professionals and the general public. These professionals and the general public would like police officers in the street, lawyers and judges in courts as well as correctional administration officers to apply equality and justice while being committed to ethical standards. Group behavior in various criminal justice organizations vary because some of these personnel are forced to work in environments with a culture of moral ambiguity (Siegel, 2009). For instance, there are several concerns on whether a police should be forced to arrest, a prosecutor charge and a correctional administrator punish.

One of the notable group behaviors in law enforcement agencies or police departments is the use of excessive force during arrests and detaining of suspects. These departments usually employ such means in order to coerce the suspect and achieve their mission. On the other hand, group behaviors in courts of law are observed in situations where conflicts in court management arise. This is particularly when the role of a prosecutor in the determination of a certain legal issue causes conflict resulting in the test of prosecutorial ethics. While a prosecutor plays the role of representing the people through presentation of evidence, maintenance of law and acquiring convictions; they also take the side of victims. Defense attorneys are confronted with contradictory obligations to their client and profession because of the fact that they serve as defensive advocates and court officers.

For correctional officers, the key behavior is the need preserve their legal and professional obligation not to employ excessive force or take advantage of the inmate's lack of power. This is regardless of the fact that these correctional officials have significant coercive powers over these inmates.

Organizational Effectiveness:

Since the criminal justice system is the society's instrument of social control, there is need for criminal justice organizations to be effective in their missions. The need for organizational effectiveness of these agencies also emanate from the fact that there has been a continued increase in criminal activities in the recent past. Criminal justice organizations are effective when they ensure a relentless dedication for justice to prevail is maintained regardless of the numerous challenges that they face. Organizational effectiveness of these agencies is also achieved when they depend on qualified, committed and ethical professionals in tackling crimes, enforcement of laws, protection of constitutional rights and protection of civil liberties of people. Notably, these organizations face several challenges that are impediments to organizational…[continue]

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