Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Create a plan of assessment for either a jail/prison, courthouse, or police agency. How would you successfully assess if an agency is effective? How would you assess if they are meeting | Wridemy

Create a plan of assessment for either a jail/prison, courthouse, or police agency. How would you successfully assess if an agency is effective? How would you assess if they are meeting

Create a plan of assessment for either a jail/prison, courthouse, or police agency. How would you successfully assess if an agency is effective? How would you assess if they are meeting

Create a plan of assessment for either a jail/prison, courthouse, or police agency. How would you successfully assess if an agency is effective? How would you assess if they are meeting their goals? What types of measures would you use for evaluation (crime rate, court cases processed, overcrowding rate are some examples)?

Discussion Board Guidelines:  Submit an answer to the discussion board. Each discussion board post will be between 200 – 300 words long. Refer & cite current resources in your answer. 



Criminal Justice Organizations: Administration and Management

Learning Objectives

 Be able to define decision making

 Understand the basis for decision making rules of criminal justice practitioners

 Understand the garbage can theory of decision making

 Be able to briefly discuss the four types of criminal justice decision makers

 Understand the major themes to improving criminal justice decisions

What is a Decision?

 A decision is a judgment, a choice between alternatives (Houston, 1999).

 Decisions are often made within the context of a theory or broad framework (paradigm).

 Three kinds of information

o An awareness of the alternatives

o An awareness of the possible consequences of each alternative

o The subject of the decision

What is a Decision?

 Decision rules govern how the elements of the decision are combined.

 In criminal justice many decisions are clinical and based on the decision makers education, training, and experience.

 All decisions should be based on goals or preferred outcomes.

 Feedback provides the opportunity to correct previously made decisions.

What is a Decision?

Decision Making Theory Rationality to Garbage Cans

 Initially, decision making was thought to be a rational process.

 Later, March and Simon (1958) proposed that decisions are based on bounded rationality

o Decision makers are unable to collect all the information they need to make a completely rational decision.

o The result is satisfycing – taking the first acceptable solution that comes along.

 “Garbage can” analogy – decision makers keep previously made decisions and use them as needed.

Decision Making Theory Organizational Culture

 Decisions are often influenced by the organizational culture.

o “We’ve always done it that way.”

o “It worked in the past.”

o “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

 Organizations tend to define problems and identify solutions to problems based on deeply rooted values and beliefs.

Decision Making Theory Politics

 Politics is power and power influences decision making. o Internal politics – processes by which interested parties

within the organization express their concern and seek implementation and acceptance of their ideas and practices.

o External politics – consist of the influence that outside parties exert on the organization’s definition of mission, the appropriate types of operations the organization exhibits, and the directions it takes.

Characteristics of Decision Makers

 Sequentialists – use their experience to determine what items of information are the most important to the decision.

 Ah yes! – collect large amounts of information and search for patterns in that information.

 Simplifier – reduces complex problems to their simplest form.

 Ratifier – wait for comments by someone else and then associate themselves with that person’s viewpoint.

Decision Making Styles

 Directive – make decisions and announce them, highly task oriented and a low tolerance for ambiguity.

 Analytical – high tolerance for ambiguity and tend to overanalyze situations.

 Conceptual – work well with people and rely on discussion with others to consider the problem and possible solutions.

 Behavioral – like to interact with others and welcome open discussions.

Decision Making Styles

 Decision making styles can also range on a continuum from o Autocratic – boss makes and announces the decision, to

o Laissez-faire – totally subordinate centered.

 Some decision makers are democratic or participative and encourage input from subordinates.

 Police chiefs tend to o Be autocratic,

o Be directive, and

o Rely on traditional beliefs and assumptions

Characteristics of Information

 Accuracy – most important, but often least attainable because information is; o Complied from numerous sources, o From people with a vested interest in the outcome,

and o Often only summarizes information about groups.

 Order of presentation – affects sequentialist the most, but overall does affect the outcome of a decision.

 Availability of alternatives – often there are only two possible outcomes. Additional alternatives complicate the process.


 “a situation in which an official has latitude to make authoritative choices not necessarily specified within the source of authority which governs his decision making” (Atkins and Pogrebin (1992:1).

 Often essential in criminal justice decision making.

o Complicated nature of job

o Incomplete information

 Others argue that discretion is “uncontrolled decision making”.

 Recent attempts have been made to objectify decision making through weighted questionnaires.



 Prediction of the future influences criminal justice decision making.

o The decision to arrest or not arrest

o Criminal sentencing

o Probation conditions

 Recent applications of statistical techniques have improved this, but have not removed all unintended outcomes.


Improving Criminal Justice Decisions

 Themes for improving decision making

o Equity – similar decisions for similar situations

o Accuracy – making correct decisions

o Consistency with theory – adhering to a consistent paradigm or framework

o Consistency with resources – pragmatism

o Contribution to future decisions – use prior decisions and their outcomes to influence future decisions

Ethical Considerations

 Decisions are often made under: o Time constraints,

o During conflict, and

o With personal bias.

 Close and Meier (1995) pose four questions. o Will the decision violate Constitutional rights?

o Does the decision treat individuals as mean?

o Is the decision illegal?

o Does the decision violate policy or a professional code of ethics?

Chapter Summary

 A decision is based upon goals and is the process of making a choice between alternative paths toward the goal.

 Information can exhibit the alternatives available.

 The consequences of a decision can be estimated.

 Decision rules are clinical in nature.

 Decisions are influenced by the decision maker’s education, training, and experience.

Chapter Summary

 Decision makers keep a repertoire of solutions in a “garbage can” and pull the solutions out as when they encounter a problem.

 There are four types of criminal justice decision makers.

o Sequentalist – make decisions based on experience

o Ah yes – search for patterns in large amount of information

o Simplifier – reduces complex problems to simplest form

o Ratifier – waits for comments and feedback from others

Chapter Summary

 The important themes in criminal justice decision making are:

o Equity – similar dispositions across similar cases

o Accuracy – separating the guilty from the innocent

o Consistency – applying the same decision rules over time

 Improved decision making should contribute to future decisions.

Thinking Point and Question

 Your department has just received $2,000,000 from an asset forfeiture fund. This money may be spent in any way the department chooses.

 You call a meeting of the command staff to decide how this money should be spent. During the meeting your four supervisors make the following statements.

 Classify these decision makers as either sequentialist, ah yes!, simplifier, or ratifier.

Thinking Point and Question

 “The last time we got one of these checks we used it to upgrade our radios. That was ten years ago. I think it is time we do that again.”

 “Let’s ask the city manager, city council, mayor and maybe even have a town hall meeting before we decide.”

 “Let’s just put it in the bank and wait for a rainy day.”

 “Let’s look over our strategic plans for the past ten years and identify a need that we have not yet addressed.”




Criminal Justice Organizations: Administration and Management

Learning Objectives

 Be able to define organizational effectiveness

 Understand the issues underpinning measuring organizational effectiveness

 Discuss the difficulties of the goal model

 Be able to briefly discuss the three significant elements of the process approach

 Understand variable analysis

 Understand why ethical problems arise out of attempts to measure effectiveness

What is Organizational Effectiveness?

 Effectiveness – the degree of congruence between organizational goals and some observed outcome.

 Alternative views of organizational effectiveness, is it: o Organizational survival,

o Environmental adaptability,

o Based on multiple indicators, or

o Based on multiple perspectives?

What is Organizational Effectiveness?

Cameron (1981) Reasons for confusion o There are important differences in the way

scholars conceptualize organizations.

o Goals are often complex, multiple, and conflicting.

o Researchers often use multiple and overlapping measurement criteria.

 Effectiveness cannot be measured as a single phenomenon.

What is Organizational Effectiveness?

 Why assess organizational effectiveness?

o Scholars

• Account for the growth or decline of an organization

• Investigate interactions between organizations and their environments

• Seek to understand the antecedents of effectiveness

o Practitioners

• Effectiveness influences how organizations are managed.

• Accountability

• Can lead to the redistribution of resources within the agency

What is Organizational Effectiveness?

 Effectiveness studies (evaluation research) occur in a political context. o The organization, program, and offices are creatures of a

political process.

o The results of the study feed into the political processes that sustain or change the organization

o The studies themselves are political because they involve implicit statements about the legitimacy of goals and interests within the organization (Lovell, 2004).

 Effectiveness studies reflect the perspective of the organization’s dominant coalition.

Theories of Organizational Effectiveness

 Some theoretical perspective must underlie any discussion of effectiveness (Hannan and Freeman, 1977).

 Even the question of whether an organization is regarded as succeeding or failing will depend on theory.

 There are seven commonly used models for assessing organizational effectiveness.

Theories of Organizational Effectiveness Goal Model

 The most common assessment model

 Defines effectiveness by the extent to which the organization achieved its goals

 Difficulties

o There are limitations to the rationality of organizations.

o Cannot differentiate between official and operative goals

o Activities not related to goals are not measured.

o The relationship between goal attainment and consequences is not straight forward.

Theories of Organizational Effectiveness Alternative Models

 Internal process – effective organizations work efficiently

 Participant-satisfaction or strategic-constituency – effective organizations serve the interests of the key constituencies.

 Process approach – effectiveness is a process, not an result

 Systems view – incorporates concern for change in the environment

 Behavioral emphasis – focuses on attentiveness to the contributions of individual employees

 Systems resource model – extent to which the organization can attain the resources it needs

Methods of Assessing Effectiveness

 Variable analysis

o Highly related to the goal model

o Studies involve the identification and measurement of some goal or goals

o Most common method used to assess organizational effectiveness

o Attempts to examine causal links in the attainment of some goal

Methods of Assessing Effectiveness

 Gross-malfunctioning analysis o The target of inquiry is failed of failing organizations.

o The analysis examines the reasons behind the failure

o Usually done following a major event (e.g. prison riot)

 Revelatory analysis o Asks who is getting what from an organization

o How organizations are used by internal and external groups.

Variable Analysis in Criminal Justice

 What domain or activity is the target of assessment? o Using a single dimension is difficult because criminal justice

agencies do so many different things.

 Differentiate between; o Performance appraisal – processes central to the

evaluation of an individual’s performance

o Performance measurement – the relationship between performance and actual goal accomplishment

 Effective studies incorporate multiple dimensions.

Variable Analysis in Criminal Justice

 After settling on the domain to focus on, the next stop is to identify the variables that will be used to measure performance. o Validity in variables is the key consideration – does the

variable measure what it purports to measure?

 How the variables are measured is the next consideration. o Levels of measurement

o Other measurement rules and procedures (e.g. recidivism)

Variable Analysis in Criminal Justice

 Alternatives to outcome measures

o Process measures – measure the activities assumed to cause effectiveness within organizations

o Structure measures – measure the organizational features or participant characteristics that are presumed to have an impact on effectiveness

Variable Analysis in Criminal Justice

 Multiple measures o Overcome the difficulties associated with single measures

of effectiveness

 Multi-goal/multi-measure designs give a more comprehensive view of organizational effectiveness that single measures.

 Skogan’s (1996) logic model of the program

o Intervention – level of effort involved

o Mechanism – how the program is to affect the outcome

o Outcomes – anticipated outcomes of the program

Ethical Considerations

 Data can be produced to make it appear that the organization is effective.

 The motivation to manipulate the data o Fear of reprisal

o Competition for resources (internal and external)

 Avoiding ethical problems o The assessment must make sense

o The goals (evaluative criteria) are realistic

o Reduce fear of reprisal

o Judge managers within their domain

Chapter Summary

 Organizational effectiveness is the degree of congruence between organizational goals and some observed outcomes.

 Organizations are complex and have complex and conflicting goals.

 The goal model assumes that o organizational goals can be identified,

o members work toward goals,

o and that goal attainment can be achieved.

Chapter Summary

The three significant elements of the process approach are:

o Multiple goal attainment must be optimized

o Changes in the organization’s environment and goals will change,

o Considers the contribution of employees.

Chapter Summary

 Variable analysis is: o Selecting separate domains,

o Finding variables that provide measures of success within each domain, and

o Finding variables that are specific to effectiveness within each domain.

 Ethical problems in organizational effectiveness occur because it is relatively easy to produce numbers that make an individual or group look good, like the goals have been attained.

Thinking Point and Question

 In cooperation with area agencies your department recently created a Fusion Center designed to collect and disseminate information relating to potential terroristic activities.

 The Fusion Center is staffed with numerous intelligence analysts.

 Using the goal model approach, develop a method for assessing the Fusion Center’s organizational effectiveness.

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