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Sunday, November 15, 2015

ONDCP' Evaluation

Many organizations conduct this type of self-study utilizing a technique known as SWOT analysis. The acronym stands for: 
  • S = Strength
  • W = Weakness
  • O = Opportunity
  • T = Threat 
SWOT analysis allows planners to learn about the internal qualities of the organization—strengths and weaknesses—and external forces—opportunities and threats—that may have an impact on the organization. 

Assignment 1: Discussion Questions
Are there any problems with ONDCP's goals or objectives? Why?
Are there any forces that you think will ultimately hinder the ONDCP's ability to achieve its stated goals and objectives? Why?
There are too many problems with the ONDCP's goals and and objectives to discuss fully in this format, so I will limit discussion to the most egregious problems. The policy goals were not realistic in terms of results and they were not analyzed via the SWOT model for weaknesses. The biggest weakness of this policy being a “hostile political climate towards clients”(South University Online, 2014, main graphic). Specifically, the clients are every American citizen:

Despite such warnings, most Americans have yet to appreciate that the War on Drugs is necessarily a war on the rights of all of us. It could not be otherwise, for it is directed not against inanimate drugs but against people—those who are suspected of using, dealing in, or otherwise being involved with illegal drugs. Because the drug industry arises from the voluntary transactions of tens of millions of people—all of whom try to keep their actions secret—the aggressive law enforcement schemes that constitute the war must aim at penetrating the private lives of those millions. And because nearly anyone may be a drug user or seller of drugs or an aider and abettor of the drug industry, virtually everyone has become a suspect. All must be observed, checked, screened, tested, and admonished—the guilty and innocent alike” (Wisotsky, 1992, para. 11). Speaking of admonishment of the innocent, here is what the Drug War ultimately results in: “In Georgia, a SWAT team broke into a house searching for drugs and threw a flash-bang grenade inside a child's crib. The excessive force was disgusting to begin with. Even worse is the fact that the police had the wrong house and there were no drugs” (Rasmussen, 2014, para. 4). I was going to mention asset forfeiture as another punishment without due process, since I'm going to a seminar presented by the Texas Public Policy Foundation on that subject today, but I think that the last example serves well enough.

Finally, the goals did not take into account the old saw that you can't legislate morality. Like Prohibition before it (for a great read on Prohibition and the negative consequences it had on American liberties, see Okrent's Last Call), the Drug War is doomed to fail; "National survey shows a rise in illicit drug use from 2008 to 2010" (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration [SAMHA], 2011, para.1). The policy was, and is, unrealistic in it's goals.

Discussion Assignment II
Among the four tasks, which do you consider the strongest ingredient for success? Provide a rationale for your explanation. Also, are there any other factors that will improve the success of the program or policy that were not discussed in the textbook? Discuss.
The most important task is studying; without correct knowledge, the information that is communicated will be wrong, the people carrying out the activities will be spinning their wheels on activity that is wrong, and efforts to balance the needs of the environment with the capacity of the organization will be based on wrong parameters.

I will echo Glenn on the importance of organizational leadership as a factor in making planned change work. Sometimes it takes a little human understanding to make pieces in a policy work, and sometimes it takes that little extra push that effective leadership can provide.

National survey shows a rise in illicit drug use from 2008 to 2010. (2011, September 8). SAMHSA News Release . Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration . Retrieved January 30, 2014 from http://www.samhsa.gov/newsroom/advisories/1109075503.aspx
Okrent, D. (2011). Last call: The rise and fall of Prohibition. New York. Scribner.
Rasmussen, S. (2014, August 4). Nanny-state mindset leads to police brutality. Real Clear Politics. Retrieved August 8, 2014 from http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/08/04/nanny-state_mindset_leads_to_police_brutality_123537.html

South University Online. (2014). MCJ6004: Criminal justice planning & innovation: SWOT Analysis. Retrieved December 8, 2014 from myeclassonline.com

Wisotsky, S. (1992, October 2). A Society of Suspects: The War on Drugs and Civil Liberties. Cato Institute. Retrieved February 1, 2014 from http://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/society-suspects-war-drugs-civil-liberties

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