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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Delegation of Authority

What are some of the types of authority that you might delegate to the various members of your staff? Explain the rationale for each delegation.
What are some of the types of authority that you might delegate to the probation officers in your department? Explain the rationale for each delegation.
What are some of the qualities and skills of the officers that you would assess to ensure that delegation works appropriately? Why?
How and why would this delegation of authority benefit you in your role as the probation administrator?
What are some of the pitfalls that you might come across from this delegation? Why do you consider them as pitfalls?
Explain the steps you would take to make your officers feel more empowered in their jobs. Provide your reasoning.

I don't think this would be a situation in which I would be delegating authority. I would maintain an consultation decision-making process. I would take this approach because I feel that my staff is already overloaded due to the understaffing issue. I wouldn't want to add an additional strain to their load with decsion-making responsibility that they weren't originally hired for. By holding the reins, I could evaluate which staff were not able to meet the additional load, and assign some work to other staff or possibly cover it myself. Having said that, I would be open to suggestions from the staff, including from staff members that wanted to take on additional responsibility, and after evaluating their ability, I might decide to delegate some authority to them. However, that would not be a strategy to deal with the workload situation.

In the cases where I would delegate authority, I would be looking for the following personal qualities: responsibility, initiative (especially in helping others), the skill to make effective reports, and tact. If workers are going to lead, they have to get things done, make sure their people get things done, be able to communicate their results and roadbloacks, and finally, to maintain personal relationships.

Considering that my strategy is not to delegate authority unless there is an appropriate person to delegate it to, I think my model benefits me by knowing that the level of responsibility is going to be high going in. IF there is a suitable canditate for delegation, that will aid me by reducing my workload. In addition, by developing experienced leaders in my office, the office as a whole will become moe efficient.

The greatest potential for negative consequences would be from incorrectly identifying a potential leader who does not have the people skills to maintain the level of influence he should carry. A “leader” that alienates his workforce is going to lower productivity through poor morale and greater turnover.

In using a consultation process, I am letting my PO's know that their knowledge and experience is valued. In my view, part of this process includes discussing with them the methods of my leadership and what I expect from them; this also entails taking their input on what they expect as followers. It is best to identify potential areas of conflict before they occur. I may not agree with any given PO on a work decsion or leadership process, but if we already know that we disagree that there is a process for how that disagreement is handled, and I'm not discipling employees for actions they don't understand are problems.


The ability to delegate can be an effective tool for a leader as can the ability to take charge. We see leaders using both strategies in various leadership positions today.
Discuss the use of participative leadership in the following criminal justice leadership positions:
  • Judges
  • Prosecutors
  • Victim advocates
  • Prison administrators
  • Examine the suitability of these positions—judges, prosecutors, victim advocates, and prison administrators—for participative leadership strategies. Compare the strengths and weaknesses of each position.
Each of these positions can use participative leadership stratgeies to make better organizational decsions; each has staff to draw upon and provide expertise.
Judges would be expected to use a more directive model, as the class notes use the examples of Hughes and Stone to demonstrate. But judges can certainly take advice from their clerks, who may have the same time in the courtroom as the judge has...or more. However, with the power vested into them by law, judges are perhaps best suited for the authoritarian model.
Prosecutors may be led by the District Attorney, but the environment in which they work, and their shared goals make them excellent candidates for participative leadership strategies. Indeed, the plea bargain process is an example of a participative leadership process in conjunction with external agencies, the public defenders.
Victim's advocates have to use participative leadership strategies due to the nature of their responsibilities. A victim's advocate who ignored the suggestions of their clients, the victims, would not last long.
Prison administrators can use partcipative strategy by taking the experience and expertise of the guards into consideration. This is important due to a field wide shortage of guards, who experience the highest level of job stress and turnover of all professions. It has been suggested that the inmates may also play a part in this process.
Other areas in the CJ system that can use participative leadership strategies are law enforcement agencies, as well as corrective services such as probation and parole officers.

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