Featured Post

Homeland Security: The Sworn Duty of Public Officials

Homeland Security: The Sworn Duty of Public Officials     The United States has a unique position amongst the countries of the world;...

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Minority Roles in CJ Management

  • According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics bulletin, "Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2005," nearly six in ten persons in local jails were racial or ethnic minorities. In the context of this information, do you think the field of criminal justice creates unique challenges for minorities who seek leadership positions? Why? Explain with reference to how leaders from ethnic minorities might manage diversity.
I don't believe that the criminal justice field is different from society in general in the leadership challenges that minorities may face. I have never come up with a consistent estimate of how pervasive racism is, or isn't, in society. Some people are racist, some aren't, and even racists can have weird applications of racism. I knew a guy that constantly used racial terms to denigrate black people, yet he had black friends, some of whom even put up with the language he used. I can't understand the behavior of anyone in that set up. But I don't believe that racially disproportionate crime rates have an effect on minority leadership. The cities in which arrest rates for minorities are high often have minority chiefs of police, for example. Minority leaders should handle diversity in the same fashion that CJ organizations should handle personnel issues; by selecting the best qualified candidates for any position; however, minority leaders should seek to groom minorities within their organizations for leadership by mentoring them. While this sounds exclusionary, it should be understood that all members of a CJ organization ( at least of the line component) should be given training and experience in leadership attributes. The second thing that minority leaders should do is raise the quality in the minority pool by opposing political policies that sabotage education in minority communities by lowering standards, and by advocating cultural shifts where cultural norms interfere with educational standards.
  • Minorities in leadership roles are essential to the perceptions of fairness of many who are being processed through the system. In this context, to what extent do you think programs such as affirmative action are required in criminal justice? Why? What can be done to ensure that there are no instances of reverse discrimination (in which the rights of the majority are sacrificed)?
Affirmative action policies exacerbate an issue that the CJ field suffers from overall, the lack of qualified applicants. Lott argues that lowered hiring standards reduced the quality of both minority and non minority applicants (2000, p. 239). Ethical leaders must instead make the proper efforts to recruit qualified officers of both statuses (and to groom them for leadership, as well). Affirmative action policies also prevent qualified applicants from selection; I once applied at the Austin Police Department during a recruitment drive and was told there were no openings, so I sent my ½ Black, ½ Thai girlfriend down...she was given the application papers. The way to prevent reverse discrimination is exactly the same way to prevent discrimination; set fair standards and uphold the best candidates. Leaders must ensure that qualified applicants are not being set aside for less qualified applicants, whether that attempt to do so be based on racism or on quotas.
  • Do you think women leaders in criminal justice, such as former San Francisco Police Chief Heather J. Fong, face greater challenges than those in other fields because criminal justice has traditionally been a male-dominated field where many still hold stereotypes of women working in criminal justice? Why? Assess whether or not the field of criminal justice will benefit from the presence of women.
I have a gut feeling that I don't like the idea of female officers working alone. While police work ultimately can come down to is the use of force across a wide range of force options in which a physical struggle can cost an officer his or her life; women are less suited biologically for pyhsical combat. Having said that, and having never worked in the LE field myself, I thought about x and ys' comments regarding female officers.. Thinking a little deeper, I realize that I don't like the idea of ANY officer working alone I hate the idea of single officer car patrols; cops need backup on hand at all times. This ties into x's point re: brotherhood/sisterhood and backing fellow officers up. In addition, use of force situations are simply one situation that police may encounter. As discussed above, there are situations that female officers do better in than do male officers. Part of leadership is recognizing the best option to use in any situation.
  • Is it more important for criminal-justice leaders to be ethical than leaders in business because monetary ambition and a cutthroat mentality can have benefits in business while they can only lead to corruption in criminal justice? Explain.
It is much more important for a criminal justice leader to be ethical then it is for a business leader. While an unethical business leader can make decisions that can cost an individual his life or some money, a CJ leader can do so as well. To make matters worse, a CJ leader has the power of the State behind him. Past the misfortunes an unethical business leader can inflict upon an individual, a CJ leader can inflict loss of freedom and rights.
Making the issue worse, the CJ leaders duty is to the public; in this the business leader does not compare, and does not betray an oath. This is an idea that goes past the issue of personal corruption. I attended a seminar today ( presented by the Texas Public Policy Foundation) regarding the use of civil asset forfeiture. This occurs when a citizen's property is seized and claimed by the State in cases where there is no conviction, or even indictment, of the citizen. This is causing a problem wherein agencies are focusing on attaining forfeitures instead of their primary mission; they are “driven” to so so because CJ agencies are underfunded. This leads to situations in which CJ officials are making unethical decisions based on the needs of the system; they are not “bad players” as much as it is a “bad game”.
The ethics of CJ leaders is far more important than the ethics of business leaders...besides, ethical CJ leaders can also arrest unethical business leaders!

Civil asset forfeiture reform: Fighting contraband, upholding civil liberties. (2014, December 8). Symposium conducted by The Texas Public Policy Foundation. Austin, Texas

Lott Jr., J. R. (2000). Does a Helping Hand Put Others at Risk?: Affirmative Action, Police Departments, and Crime. Economic Inquiry, 38(2), 239. Retrieved August 10, 2014 from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=3036446&site=ehost-live&scope=site


We can talk about the "strategies" that leaders employ to influence others, but what it comes down to is having the personal courage to speak up; to be able to say "Your'e wrong".


I had considered doing my thesis on the question of at what point an officer's oath to the community overrides his subordination to political leaders.  How often do we see policemen arrest political leaders for nonfeasance or misfeasance issues, for example?  Gov. Nixon failed to deploy the National Guard against rioters that burned down several business;  was he subject to arrest for such offenses?


I'm surprised that any of the New Left terrorists are still in jail...most of them have moved on to academia (Ayers, Dohrn, Boudin, Davis etc etc), but then again, most of them were from wealthy families to begin with.

And it is is true that politics interferes with every aspect of government (and through government into the daily lives of the normal person).  That's part of human nature, and played a part in society even when "government" meant he whom swung the hardest club. The point to consider is when that interference becomes too much for the society to absorb and continue to thrive.

Which is where leadership comes into play; Rome didn't fall on the day the Visigoths first sacked the city (or the subsequent drive-bys).  Rome fell when the equestrians and senators abdicated their leadership roles and military duties  to the Romanized, but not Roman, tribes; they did this many years prior to the first "invasion".  x makes a good point above, a leader has to be able to say "YOU ARE WRONG" when necessary.


Should a non-qualified person be hired to fulfill diversity demands?  Would it be possible to hire a less-qualified applicant and restrict that person's duties to the situations that person's skills are suited for?

For example, a (specific individual) woman wants to be a police officer, but she can not meet the physical requirements of the job;  however, recent retirements have left the department short of the quota of women officers that the city requires:
Is it fair to the applicant, to the city, and the to department to hire her and train her, but limit her duties to interviews and victim counseling?


A British police administrator once said: "Given the nature of police work, its no shame to find corruption within the service; the shame is not doing anything about it" (Haberfeld, 2012 p. 19).


Haberfeld, M. R. (2012). Police leadership: Organizational and managerial decision making process (2nd. Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

1 comment:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.