Governor Should Also Seek Advice From the Case Study

Excerpt from Case Study :

governor should also seek advice from the Department of Corrections in states that have dealt with the same type issues, such as Arizona and Colorado (Movement Against Corruption and Complicity, viewed 2005). The governor should also talk to criminologists who could support her college professor's statement, and possibly to state and local police departments to determine what steps would need to be taken to increase cooperation.

She should appoint a criminologist, someone from the Department of Corrections, state and local police officers, someone from the district attorney's office as well as a public defender, and perhaps a few people from the community, possibly crime victims or activists. Since her ultimate goal is financial, she might also want to appoint someone from the Department of Treasury and Finance.

In speaking to those task members from the community and the criminal justice system, she should praise police efforts and add that she would like to see even more cooperation and coordination so fewer criminals escape punishment. Using tough on crime rhetoric, she could tell them what her college professor said, that it is the certainty of punishment that deters crime. She might use the metaphor of justice currently being like a hawk, striking very hard at a few select criminals but letting the majority go free. She could then say that ideally the justice system should be a boa constrictor, inexorably coiling around those who stray outside the law.

Once the panel was convinced of her toughness on crime, she could then add that punishment need not always mean long jail sentences and bring up advances in community corrections such as electronic house arrest, sex offender control programs, substance abuse screening and intervention programs, etc. (North Carolina Department of Corrections, viewed 2005). She could also add that often the only thing prison teaches people is how to be better criminals and that the recidivism rates for jailed non-violent offenders are shockingly high, in some cases higher than 70% (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2002). She should exhort the panel to use their expertise and imaginations in coming up with a system that does work

She might then pull the member from the Department of Treasury and Finance aside and explain that her ultimate goal is to substantially cut funds from corrections. She could ask the member of the Department of Treasury and Finance to make sure that the task force was "fiscally responsible" and to veto any ideas that seemed too costly. She should, of course, ask him or her to do this discreetly, as it would be very bad press if it leaked out to the press that the governor's new tough on crime initiative was nothing but a way to save money.

Thus, every member of the panel will have heard exactly the same thing, except for the representative from the Department of Treasury and Finance. He or she will have heard the tough on crime talk too, but he or she will also have a hidden agenda, to make sure the task force does not go too far off base financially.

There should be little confusion for the task force going into its mission.

4. There are two possible ways to announce her plan to the public. She can either take the initiative with press releases -- "Governor of Utopia Gets Tough on Crime!" -- and a full scale publicity blitz, or she can wait until a problem arises with the current system. Perhaps due to lack of police cooperation, a robber escapes to another town where he plies his trade for several more months without being caught. She could then say that she was aware of this very problem and even now has a task force working to increase coordination between police officers from different jurisdictions. Each plan has its advantages.

If she announces her new plan on her own, she has complete control of the timing, the circumstances, etc. If she waits for a media opportunity to go forward with her plan, she will look very proactive in that she was working on the problem before it ever occurred, but she won't be able to control the timing or circumstances. Suppose, for instance, that before being caught…

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