Term Paper: Values Driven Organizations

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Values in Justice System Organizations

To create a balanced and violence free society it is essential to give importance to values in organizations that deal in justice. A good justice system ensures security and peace in society. A good justice system can help in preventing crimes and violations and without proper values they cannot perform their core functions. A number of organizations play their part to prevent injustice in the society. These departments or organization may include:



Correctional Facilities

Non-government Organizations

Core Values

Some of the important Core Values that can be part of the justice system are:

Aim of Justice and Peace: This core value lends a hand in the maintenance of a just, peaceful and safe society. Justice and peace are the main aims of any organization working in the justice system but these two factors can also be considered the core values without which no organization in justice system could function. These two factors are also the most universal and most needed in today's world. This particular core value provides rules and regulations to maintain justice, peace and harmony. The main functions of protection of the public and turning criminals into law abiding citizens are guided by the aim of justice and peace alone.

Dignity & Equal Rights of All Members: Application of this value secures dignity, honesty, nobleness and rights of all the members working in any justice system. It ensures that the right of each individual is protected and each person is treated in a manner that recognizes and responds to individual needs and characteristics. If these values are not inculcated than problems like racism and discrimination could surface. There is a great potential that people might abuse power if the do not consider all citizens as equal. Every citizen has equal rights awarded by the law and therefore justice system organizations can not afford to shun this basic value.

Qualified and Motivated Personnel: This value provides that all personnel of the department be it executives or chiefs or staff at any level or location within the organization should be qualified and motivated. All the personnel of the department should contribute to the achievement of the goals through the effective and efficient performance of their work. Organizations in the justice system should be strict in selecting and recruiting employees. They should raise the bar and make high standards of selection and recruitment and even promotions as their core value. This would ensure that only personnel with strong character and will enter the system.

Importance of Openness, Integrity and Accountability: This value sets the duty of all personnel of the organization to provide information about the performances, policies and processes. These core values ensure that all personnel pursue the attainment of same goal in a manner that reflects the value and principles identified in the mission statement. The most important aspect is that of accountability. Without accountability no justice system could succeed. All members of the organization should be aware of the basic value that they would be accountable for their actions. Genuinely held beliefs about and commitments to ethical practice should be encouraged at all levels and this could only be possible with accountability, openness and integrity.

Leadership: One cannot strive towards effective justice practice without applying values of leadership to their justice system. Strong leaders inspire loyalty, encourage personal achievement, commitment to the organization's mission, and promote dedication and hard work. The main objective of providing leadership is to encourage and support to all the members of the organization to work together towards the achievement of their goals. A leader with his character and values can inspire others into following the same set of values. Good leaders are needed in justice system more than anywhere else as the fallibility of humans can cause tremendous damage. Upholding human values is most important in justice system organizations than anywhere else and leaders can play a crucial role in this realm. "The CEO has to 'walk the walk' as well as 'talk the talk'. Criminal justice agency heads that stress ethical practice and turn away from it with impunity in their own activities will quickly lose the respect and compliance of their staff. Minor violations of ethical policy -- accepting a bottle of whiskey from a vendor at Christmas, taking pens and pencils home for school-aged children, or having secretaries take care of personal business -- do not go unnoticed. Being a flirt or philanderer compromises a leader's integrity, as does excessive drinking. Leadership has a strong symbolic function and effect within the organization" (Wright, 1999).

Significance of Values

Setting values for each department working for the justice can bring fruitful results. Values also play dynamic role in improving efficiency. In fact, these values can be basic elements in establishing the writ of the justice organizations. Values serve a variety of purposes. Values help in setting an organization's philosophy.

Each justice organization should develop a set of values that reflects its own community. An organization's executives and top members should first clearly explain the values to all others. Then the executives should also ask each member of the organization to understand these values and communicate if they find any complexity. Pre-established set of values must be well articulated throughout the organization. For this purpose there should be a proper channel of communication of the values. Each member of the organization should clearly and completely understand each and every value that has been set for the organization. This process ensures that the each member of the organization works for the common goals, have shred vision and as a result it helps in enforcing the organization's philosophy.

Values become the basis for developing policies & procedures. Well established values in a justice organization helps in developing policies for that justice organization which in turn helps in achieving their goals. When a justice organization has a pre-defined set of values the chief of justice organization does not have to face problems in establishing policies for their department

Values also become a basis of organization's flexibility and operational strategies.

Operational activities of a justice organization whether it is courts or police should result in an improved quality of life for citizens. Values help the executives of the a justice organization in establishing such operational tactics which will surely bring success to their operational activities.

Values also help in setting the standards for performance & evaluating performance. Evaluation of the performance of the department can be analyzed by comparing the performance with the set of values. The set of values provides support in the process of evaluation of performance.

Problems of Lack of Values

Values should have been the significant part of all social justice organizations but unfortunately most social justice organizations have encountered issues and problems due to lack of values. If core values are not made the part of the system then problems like corruption, use of excessive force, acts of brutality, human violations, exploitation and harassment of clients and fellow workers, and other unethical practices could plague the whole justice system. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, crime appeared as a social problem and political issue and so the problems with justice organizations came to surface with full force. "In the last 35 years, there has been a qualitative transformation of the American criminal justice system. It has become increasingly influenced by national politics and policies, with less and less local accountability. Police and prisons expanded at unprecedented rates in the 1970s and 1980s, paid for primarily by drastic cuts in public health, welfare, and education. Any pretense at "rehabilitation" has been abandoned and prisoners have been transformed from an exploitable commodity into dangerous garbage, to be quarantined out of sight, but never out of mind" (Platt, 2001).

Police and Correctional Agencies

Individuals working within police and correctional agencies due to individual propensity, organization culture and other job-related pressures may get involved in unethical practices. Due to the greater role of media the fallacies of these departments make headlines. The need for values is more in these organizations than any other in the country.


Police is one of the fundamental departments of justice system which first became profession in the year 1829. The police as an organization carries out different responsibilities which include; crime prevention, education programs, assisting in locating missing person, dealing with lost property, traffic control, victim assistance, accident investigation, drug enforcement, intelligence gathering, organizing crime and forensic work. They fulfill these duties through law enforcement. Efficiency of police department affects the rate of crime in the society. The more efficiently police department works the lower will be the rate of crime.

Lack of values has hurt the police as a key justice system organization. Police have been charging arrestees with violent crimes that they did not even commit. The issue of racism has also made headlines in the past when bulk of young African-American men have being dragged into the justice system after being charged with misdemeanors and lesser nonviolent felonies. "The… [END OF PREVIEW]

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