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Criminal Justice Integration Project Essay

The development of improved interactions between the courts, private security agencies, law enforcement personnel as well as community and institutional corrections over the next 15 years requires delicate planning and focus. Agency policies of each of the above organizations must reflect the specific needs of the ever changing population. The budgets of these organizations play a sensitive role in the expansion of what can and cannot be provided to communities. Open and unobstructed transmission of crucial information between criminal justice constituents could present problems if they are not reliable. They must depend on one another for support. New advancements in technology occur almost on a daily in today’s society. It won’t be long until more useful and proficient means become available for enhanced functions in the field. The courts, private security agencies, law enforcement personnel as well as community and institutional corrections will have to require diverse training with the ever changing demographic populations of people in the country today.

In combining agency policies, revenue sources as well as expenditures, communications, technology, and cultural aspects of organizations, professionals can work together to create lasting as well as functional means to take the criminal justice field onward toward positive, rewarding change in the future. The court systems are made up of the county court, circuit court, district court, and the Supreme Court (Florida Court Systems, n.d.). The people of the court have to follow agency policies so that the cases can be tried accordingly. Private security and law enforcement need to work with the people of the court if to issue justice accordingly. Court personnel will have to work closely with institutional and community corrections so that criminals receive justice according to their crimes. The courts also need to work closely with correctional rehabilitative programs to include probation and parole officers to help when criminals are released into society. Recent and past writing indicates that a need for regulation of the public or commercial security sector needs development. Democratic institutions need to have some kind of control over private security. The growth of the private industry is far ahead of any regulation.

Many private companies operate overseas in the war zone and are subject to the laws of the country of operation. The US military has taken over control of contractors who work in these areas. For private security companies (PSC) in countries such as England there are no regulations. Most PSCs wish to operate openly through regulation. Measures are found at the national level in the United States that improve the regulations of PSC’s. Traditionally, there have been relatively few policies in the area of admissions. PSC’s are improving. Military or prior law enforcement is ideal but will seek to hire almost anyone to fill the ranks. Standards are not as though as those for public security such as the police force (Private Policing, 2008) The objective of law enforcement policies must be suitable to the particular community involved, employing methods that must be tested against an objective inevitably an uncertain one (Remington, 1965). Different agencies require different specific requirements for the communities they serve; the enacted policies must reflect that. Although the roles of law enforcement are ambiguous, their primary responsibilities include enforcing laws, protecting life and property, ensuring safety as well as apprehending law-breakers (Johnson & Gregory, 1971).

Enormous amounts of discretion are exercised in regard to rational decision-making skills. Police officers hold a renowned sense of social responsibility to components of the criminal justice system and constituents. Teaseley III (1978) dictates that police departments have presumed a particular role through their own departmental policies that are consistent with values communicated through government structure. This statement concludes that there is major intertwining of agencies in which law enforcement officials are a vital component of. States have added one million prison cells over the past 20 years, pushing the U.S. prison population to 2.3 million and the incarceration rate past one in 100 adults, the highest in the world. Still, more than 95% of inmates are eventually released. Add in offenders on probation, parole or other post-prison supervision and there are 7.3 million American adults under correctional control.

The corrections system costs states nearly $50 billion a year; federal and local governments billions more. More than 40% of probationers do not complete their probation period successfully and more than half of parolees end up back behind bars. Offenders who violate their supervision account for a significant portion of prison admissions, reducing space available for violent and chronic criminals. High failure rates stem in part from overwhelmed community supervision agencies haven’t received nearly enough resources or authority to keep up. The people of the courts cannot take every case to trial. The prosecutors need to work closely with law enforcement and private security officials to determine which cases are worth taking to trial and which cases are not. “Among the most important of the case-related factors that affect the decision to prosecute are the seriousness of the offense and the amount of harm that may have resulted, in terms of injury to a victim or loss involved in property offenses” (Adler, Mueller & Laufer, 2009, p. 10).

The cases that go to trial cost the courts and the personnel will be paid wages for the time that goes into them. The courts definitely need to work with parties to keeps costs down. Private security companies practically have unlimited resources. They are only limited to the company to which they work, spending what the company allows. After the events of September 11th around 22 agencies merged into the Department of Homeland Security. Washington spent 13 billion on security in 2000. Next year the government looks to spend about $50 billion, a 300% increase. The Government Accountability office has conducted investigations into the unwanted spending of money for unintended purposes (Marek, 2005). In today’s economy, the growing need for every aspect of society to save money as well as the lessening of wants compared with needs, is affecting citizens at every corner. Law enforcement agencies are no exception. Police confront problems of cutback management brought on by increasing demands and declining resources in which services have had to be prioritized and cut altogether (Stewart, 1985).

A large majority of police attention is being focused toward felonious crimes. Less attention is being paid on follow-ups of serious crimes. Solvability scales being set up for prioritizing cases to be investigated (Stewart, 1985). In relation to the bigger picture, law enforcement personnel are being put in a compromising moral and ethical position. Effectively to do their jobs while maintaining order, the decisions in which they are forced to make are not an easy task. The American correctional system is an incredibly costly enterprise. “Tough on crime” rhetoric comes and goes, leaving lasting impressions on the overcrowded prison systems, creating long term financial obligation for government budgets. America’s correctional system is a vast enterprise, in terms of the number of people it processes and services, the number of employees required for inmate care, custody, and control, the cost of outside contracting required to maintain and constantly enlarge facilities, and the burden to the taxpayer. The correctional system requires nearly one third of resources allocated to the criminal justice system. Yearly it costs over $64 billion to operate the correctional systems of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the federal government.

This sum is only one percent of all government spending. Per prisoner to feed, house, clothe and supervise costs $20,000 not including indirect costs. The yearly expenditure exceeds $30,000. The other significant cost is construction. They divide the total construction cost of any one institution by the number of prisoners it houses to arrive at the cost per “bed.” This cost is on average as low as $31,000 per year for a minimum security prisoner to as high as $80,000 for a maximum security prisoner. Of course the annual cost of incarceration varies from state to state. The lines of communication between the courts, private security, law enforcement, and the institutional and community correctional facilities need to be clear and open. The courts need to be in constant communication with its constituents (Adler, Mueller, & Laufer, 2009). If not, it could lead in cases lost and result in criminals going free.

The courts need to work hand-in-hand with institutional and community corrections because some cases are ongoing. The Internet has contributed to communication for everyone. PSC send out e-mails with schedules and training. Because of the budgets that private companies have, there is more to work with. Lobbyists in Washington continue to squabble about who has the better communications equipment and why. The communication of law enforcement agencies and personnel is extremely important to the criminal justice process. An influential feature to law enforcement communication is through the communities in which they serve and protect. The value to police of recognizing that people’s judgments of them are shaped by pre-existing attitudes carried into their encounters with the police as well as the behaviors of individual police officers daily encounters with people (Hinds, 2009). How police handle their everyday duties are being closely monitored. Maintaining a high level of professionalism as well as common courtesy of the respect for others can greatly effect present and future interactions.

Convicts within the prison systems formulate there own social system. The prison subculture and how inmates adapt to prison uses the term prisonization to describe the complex process by which new inmates learn the ways of the prison society and what is expected. To cope with pains of imprisonment, inmates need to live by the inmate code that only the other inmates understand. The prison social system also defines various social roles in terms of prison argot. Some roles undermine group solidarity. There are “rats” and “snitches” who can get inmates into trouble, “merchants” deal in stolen goods, “gorillas” use violence to get what they want, “wolves” coerce other inmates into homosexual relations, and “centemen” take the side of the custodians. The “real man,” is loyal, maintains dignity, shares possessions; remaining tough. Technology is especially important in today’s criminal justice system. Law enforcement, private security, and institutional and community corrections have surveillance all around them. Patrol cars, traffic lights, private security, and correctional facilities have security cameras.

This footage is especially important in the court setting. The surveillance could put a criminal behind bars or set one free. The enforcers of the law share information to keep society safe and criminals behind bars. Many other technologies will affect the criminal justice system such as new weapons. With almost inexhaustible resources the private sector has money to buy better weapons, radios, etc. Private security officers receive high-tech training with systems such as CCTV and anti-terrorism, which can detect suspicious activity. Officers can monitor locations within a building from farther away locations. Wireless technology allows them to stay in constant contact. Security personnel can use the Internet to maintain their training. “The e-learning system allows for quick deployment of new information to security personnel through courses added to the system based on new policies and procedures, State or Federal regulatory changes, new equipment procurement or modifications or environmental changes” (Rabena, 2010, p. 30).

Technology also plays a major role in law enforcement policies and procedures. It has helped to improve and accelerate criminal investigations; providing crucial data at the touch of a button. Walker and Katz (1008) list four major applications of consequence to police agencies in the future in regard to technology: * Database and information technology providing more comprehensive and detailed knowledge of criminal history, etc. * Computer-aided dispatch to more effectively respond to citizen concerns; providing the most appropriate type of aid. * Records management systems for more organized personal data aiding in faster investigations and gathering of crucial details. * Mobile commuting to aid in swifter communications between officers. Technology provides multiple ways to keep track of an offender. Two types of electronic monitoring systems exist, active and passive. Active systems provide constant monitoring. A transmitting device, or “tag,” strapped to the offender continuously signaling either a central tracking computer or a portable receiver. A computer, when the transmitter is in a predetermined range, indicates where the offender is.

Passive systems include less complicated techniques such as telephone verification. GPS is as of the present time being used in some places to track offenders. This technology was first used for electronic monitoring in 1997 generating maps indicating an offender’s exact location. The courts must know what cultures are involved within reference to certain crimes. The courts have to work with all personnel to include law enforcement, private security, and institutional and community corrections to know what cases to pursue and how the cases will affect the various cultures (Adler, Mueller, & Laufer, 2009). Courts need to realize and understand how their actions will affect a cultures future because of decisions the courts have made. In private security, there is some kind of sub-culture that develops. “System of shared values or beliefs that actively influence the behavior of organization members.” It helps members of a particular organization adapt and integrate. Organizational culture has three levels.

The first is assumptions, affecting the actions of individuals when they are given those values and beliefs, the second level. The third level, artifacts, influences a person’s mannerisms, behaviors, etc. This is why it is easy to spot people who are associated with organizations. Some people consider themselves safe concerning private security, believing that the government is selling their rights to the highest bidder in the name of additional safety (Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 2009). American society is experiencing a momentous demographic change. This growth is mainly a result of immigration, posing new and difficult challenges for law enforcement (Walker & Katz, 1008). Language barriers, cultural differences, customs and traditions all come into play when law enforcement apprehend, treat as well as punish offenders. Becoming proficient in other customs as well as languages can help ease the difficulties officers are coming into contact with. A major cultural aspect of the law enforcement organization is the concept of racial profiling. Minorities are targeted because of their difference from the majority, acquiring the stereotypes some law enforcement unfairly place on them.

The consequences can impact families and individuals in how they perceive the police. Dishonorable attitudes have been known to impact minorities; living up to the assumptions of the majority, thus being wrongfully accused. Inmates constitute a unique social group, living together not by choice. Experts say that the traditions, norms, language, and roles that develop in prison result from the deprivations of prison life. Inmates are reduced in status from civilians to anonymous figures, subjected to institutional rules and the prisons rigid hierarchy. After a while they accept the inferior role. Inmates are deprived of liberty and cut off from friends and family, resulting in lost emotional relationships. They are deprived of goods and services. Prisoners cannot keep or obtain material possessions. The “justice” enterprise is very diverse and unique. Few industries have such an abundance of communications equipment, new and emerging technologies, diverse training, community involvement and its very own sub-culture easily distinguishable to the lay person.

One common theme throughout the entirety of this paper is money; the enterprise could always use more or at least, be able to spread it out better. We have seen that the private industry has nearly un-limited cash flows, the public police needing constant continuous training or salaries and prisons cut programs because of the lack of funds. The national community bears the burden of this financial “beast.” Working together to get a hold of irresponsible spending and putting the money in places it is needed can add more programs to the community involving inmates toward their own rehabilitation. Another factor mentioned is the value of teamwork. The future will dictate that personnel of the “justice” system work together. If everyone is doing his or her own agenda and not helping to integrate the system, constant setbacks will keep turning up.

Adler, F., Mueller, G., & Laufer, W. (2009). Criminal justice: An introduction (5th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill.
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Johnson, D., & Gregory, R. J. (1971). Police-Community Relations in the United States: A Review of Recent Literature and Projects. The Journal of Criminal Law, Criminologist and Police Science, 62(1), 94-103.

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http://www.pewcenteronthestates.org/uploadedFiles/Policy%20Framework.pdf Total Quality Management & Business Excellence; Aug2009, Vol. 20 Issue 8, p787-798

Walker, S. and Katz, C. (2008). The police in America: An introduction. (6th edition). New York: McGraw Hill.

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