The structure and organization of criminal justice services is a critical element in the development and improvement of institutional performance. However, all too often the conflict between “form following function” or vice versa created further confusion for criminal justice administrators. In 1973, in an effort to address the issues surrounding the organization and structure of criminal justice services, national criminal justice standards and goals recommendations were issued by the National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals (NAC). Although its structural proposals evolved from prior concepts, models and trends, it exhibited some interesting variations and emphases regarding all of the components in the criminal justice system.
1. Explain the impact that the conflict of “form should follow function” or vice versa has had on the structure and organization of criminal justice services within the context of the National Advisory Commission (NAC) recommendations. (Include citations and references for your sources.)
Traditionally, public bureaucracies, particularly criminal justice agencies, have been viewed as apolitical or above politics regarding the performance of their duties. Public bureaucracies merely implement or enforce public policy. However, this perspective may be more myth than reality. Some argue that criminal justice agencies have the power to influence public policies within the political system. For example, the role that some administrators have over legislative decisions can translate citizens’ preferences regarding law enforcement issues into public policy.
2. Explain how criminal justice administrators can influence the political process and public policies. Provide a current example(s) and include citations and references for your sources.