Thesis: Criminal Justice - Evaluations Evaluation Methods

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Criminal Justice - Evaluations

EVALUATION METHODS in CRIMINAL JUSTICE Introduction: As in the case of any other professional industry, policing and other criminal justice administration functions must maintain a system of agency evaluation to assess the effectiveness of its programs. Evaluations encompass effectiveness with respect to achieving specific strategic objectives, supervisory controls, program design, methodology, and fiscal efficiency.

In professional business administration, the criteria for evaluations generally relates primarily to profit margins and secondarily to most other elements of the venture.

Within government administration, there is no profit margin per se, although fiscal responsibility, resourcefulness, and optimization remain important concerns. However, because the measure of fiscal efficiency in government is operating within available budgets, performance is the primary measure of success and the criteria used for program evaluations are defined by factors like crime rates, prosecutorial efficiency, and criminal recidivism.

Policing also differs fundamentally from professional business administration in that exposure to dangers to life and limb and the responsibility to maintain the safety of coworkers is a necessary focus of concern. In that respect, evaluation criteria applicable to hazardous industrial operations management such as mining, large construction, steelwork, and logging are more closely related to criteria evaluation criteria within law enforcement. Still, law enforcement is unique by virtue of the perpetual focus on public well-being as the principal measure of its industry.

Many aspects of contemporary evaluations and review in policing reflect systems originally designed in the earliest era of American policing, long before policing organizational structure, operations, and capabilities resembled their modern counterparts. Supervisory review and crime mapping, for example, both date back to the 19th century. Other aspects of evaluations in policing and criminal justice administration rely on modern computerization, employing methodologies that would never have been possible previously.

Each evaluation methodology offers specific advantages as well as potential limitations, especially when relied upon exclusively. Combining different evaluation methodologies provides greater overall perspective, and may reduce the effect of any weaknesses inherent in individual evaluation design and methodology.

Narrative Evaluation within Traditional Supervisory Review:

Originally, policing modeled itself after the traditional organizational and structural components of military organizations. Many other aspects of policing have devolved substantially from elements of their original paramilitary design, most modern policing agencies still retain the paramilitary model, in principle (Schmalleger, 2008).

Throughout professional business administration and police administration alike, supervisory review is a main component of program and employee performance.

However, in policing and criminal justice administration, the structural hierarchy and various other aspects of interpersonal communications differ as they pertain to police supervision from supervision within traditional business models. Nevertheless, the essential element of narrative review by immediate supervisors is substantially similar (Coleman & Thomas, 2002).

The Problem with Traditional Supervisory Review:

The main limitation of traditional supervisory review, especially as the sole means of program or personnel performance evaluation is its degree of subjectivity. Ideally, supervisory review would be effected by supervisors but always strictly in relation to objective criteria. More specifically, the main responsibility of the supervisor during review would consist of applying purely objective criteria to program results and personnel performance.

However, whereas narrative evaluation by immediate supervisors often provides useful results, any review process that includes supervisory evaluation must do so within the framework of other measures of performance, because of the ubiquitous nature of human subjectivity. This criticism applies throughout modern business administration but policing combines high-stress, public responsibilities and criticism, and working conditions within a paramilitary structure that makes the policing environment unique (Coleman & Thomas, 2002). Therefore, both the risk of subjective contamination and the potentially detrimental impact of inaccurate or ineffective evaluations increases the need for multidimensional evaluation systems.

Predictive Modeling and Objective Crime Statistics:

One of the earliest innovations in municipal policing originated with the first American public policing organization in New York City within the first decade of the establishment of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) in 1845. Pin mapping consisted of simply using different colored thumbtacks to mark areas of the city's map on the wall of police administrators (Safir, 2003). In an approach to policing cities that is still used throughout modern policing today, police administrators assign patrol services and tactical details to particular areas based on the latest information of crime rates and specific types of criminal activity identified through police reports and calls for service (Conlon, 2004; Safir, 2003).

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Criminal Justice - Evaluations Evaluation Methods.  (2008, November 15).  Retrieved April 24, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/criminal-justice-evaluations-evaluation/999430

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"Criminal Justice - Evaluations Evaluation Methods."  15 November 2008.  Web.  24 April 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/criminal-justice-evaluations-evaluation/999430>.

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"Criminal Justice - Evaluations Evaluation Methods."  Essaytown.com.  November 15, 2008.  Accessed April 24, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/criminal-justice-evaluations-evaluation/999430.