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Criminal Justice Leadership Featured

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  • Introduction
  • Problem Statement
  • Criminal Justice and Organizational Culture
  • Behavioral Theory and Criminal Justice System Leadership
  • Criminal Justice Leadership and Planning
  • Criminal Justice leadership and Community Relations
  • Conclusion
  • References


            Leadership remains as one of the success determining factors when in all organization.  Particularly in state owned organizations, poor leadership do not only reduces public confidence but also reduces service delivery. Criminal justice system remains one of the institutions whose success gets influenced by leadership types.  The presence of strategic leadership in the justice system enhances service delivery and at the same time reduces chances of justice miscarriage. Policy making and implementation are therefore obliged to work on robust leadership in the criminal justice system to promote efficiency.

Problem Statement

            Criticisms continue to be directed towards criminal Justice System continues to in society.  The situation is mainly factored by the delay of justice dispensation, miscarriage of justice as well as poor resource management.  This situation always raises a question among citizens as to who is responsible and what the leadership does to avoid the same trend.  As a result, leadership in criminal justice system needs to develop appropriate and effective ways to help in improving their performance in policies and criminal justice administration. Leadership approach always determines the system culture which in the end exerts an effect on performance. Supportive leadership style remains to good effect on performance in much organization (Silvestri, 2006). Similarly, criminal justice system needs to impress this style of leadership to help administer justice inefficient way. Supportive, instrumental and collaborative leadership dimensions amount to effective leadership which does influence not only performance but also organizational culture. Justice administration demands effective leadership and therefore strong leadership enhances justice dispensation and limits delays and miscarriage.

Criminal Justice and Organizational Culture

            The fact that the Criminal justice system is a public institution forces it to come up with ways that can attract trust from the public. Leadership has an obligation to develop a culture that is service-oriented weather in hardships or comfort. All people given the mandate to run the criminal justice system must always aim at meeting the needs of citizens and maintaining the good image of the institution (Jennings, Schreck, Sturtz, & Mahoney, 2008). Attaining this demands   effective leadership which can bring on board all stakeholders that make up the system. All agents of criminal justice need to have a kind of leadership that promote collaboration and promotes efficiency particularly I addressing critical issues in the criminal justice system. The culture of criminal justice system needs to reflect supportive leadership, collaboration, teamwork, efficiency and focus.

            Criminal justice administration requires leaders who can positively influence service delivery from inside. Supportive leadership enhances healthy relationships between those in ranks and   junior officers.  This leadership has the capacity to promote   healthy working environment in the criminal justice system. This leadership style improves performance in justice administration as well as job satisfaction among workers in the criminal justice system.  As a matter of fact, many profit oriented organization have continued to impress this culture (Jones-Burbridge, 2012). It is therefore effective in all agencies that administer justice. Supportive leadership in criminal justice system enhances functionality from the fact that it provides healthy structures for consultation and to better the output.

            Possessing supportive leadership in the criminal justice system translates to effective leadership which characterizes many organizations.  Criminal justice system therefore, needs to impress this leadership from the fact that its employees have to work in collaboration to dispense justice. The agents of criminal justice system need to collaborate with other stakeholders to deliver justice to the citizens.  In achieving this, there must be a kind of leadership that supports these linkages. Collaboration in justice dispensation eliminates conflicts among agencies and promotes making a decision from all round dimension (Wright, 1999). With supportive leadership,   efficiency, transparency gets achieved in justice processes.

            Instrumental leaders promote goal-oriented culture.  Criminal justice leadership similarly need team building. In the process of justice administration, instrumental leadership remains essential (Casimir, 2010). Leaders in the criminal justice system need to implement teamwork as a way of building capacity among partners to attain the objectives to justice demand. Team building and collaboration remains an important tool in skill acquisition which remains a component that determines service delivery.

            Effective leadership in criminal justice system remains a key demand that helps in   improving performance (Mannion, 2009).  The reason is that organizational culture  always revolve  around  leadership abilities and  participation in activities  that  have direct impact on many people    Effective leadership affect culture  which similar  determine  organization’s performance. In criminal justice system, effective leadership needs to be that which supports employees and always ready to collaborate with important actors.

            Cultural aspects such as innovation, stability, people orientation, risk taking, attention to detail, team orientation and assertiveness motivate employees in criminal justice system.  This culture is vital in criminal justice agencies from the fact that they are key   factors that impact   performance and effectiveness in service delivery (Mohr, 2015). Criminal justice leadership must   be flexible to deal with many dynamics and   real needs of citizens. These leadership styles remain very crucial in delivering quality service in criminal justice.

Behavioral Theory and Criminal Justice System Leadership

            Behavioral theory plays a critical role in Criminal Justice from the fact that it assists in manipulating stakeholders to efficiently dispense justice. Criminal justice system leadership has the obligation to get molded on transformational theory, transactional theory, and contingency theory (Wright, 1999).In the leadership of criminal justice system, contingency theory demands the unification of leadership style to a situation that is present. As a result, this theory proposes interlinking different leadership styles to implementers and on organizational aims(Mannion, 2009). When focused on the criminal justice system, the theory presents dimensions which include situational theory and path-goal theory. Path -goal theory affirms that strategic leaders must have the capacity to assist their teams to reach personal goals. Focusing on the criminal justice system, leadership needs to assist junior officers in all agencies of criminal justice to reach their target goals through motivation. Criminal justice leadership can achieve this through allocating responsibilities based on officer’s skills, expertise as well as abilities.  Leadership in criminal justice system must have the capacity to offer guidance, directions, counseling and incentives to its staff. On the other hand, the situational theory is where leaders need to have the capacity to alter leadership techniques and approaches s in situations that are complex and demand to reason. The situational theory asserts that complex situations need leaders who can work with what is available in a strategic way (Wright, 1999). For instance, leaders need in criminal justice system must have the ability alter their leadership styles on abilities of their subjects.

            On the other hand, transactional theory asserts that there must be a contract form in leadership where two parties get bound by responsibility demands   prior getting assigned. Workers in criminal justice system need to be bound by the orders from leadership and carry out responsibilities and reward to come after work accomplishment. In criminal justice system, this  leadership  style need to  apply  from the fact that  responsibilities  involves  order taking and requesting  private investigators services  in some  responsibilities(Mannion, 2009).  Leadership should also have an ability to recognize goo work from junior employees.  This can be done through recommending the officer or helping the officer to get other incentives from the government like pay increase.

            Leaders in the criminal justice system should also follow transformational theory. Transformational leaders have the ability to engage low ranked officers, create trust and enhance links to effect motivation, morality as well as service delivery. Leadership in criminal justice system  have an obligation to emphasize on juniors officers  and  facilitate  them to  reach  their  potentials and  up their  output (Lok & Crawford, 1999). Transformational leaders in the criminal justice system are also visionary leaders, and when they lead the system, it can come service delivery knit. Since criminal justice system get faced with much dynamism, it is vital for the system to have visionary leaders who can work on yesterday to handle today and use today to determine tomorrow.

Criminal Justice Leadership and Planning

            Planning remains a critical undertaking in preparing for criminal justice tomorrow. Criminal justice leadership  must have the ability to come up with  strategic plans to specify  activities to  get performed different actors ,  they way  to get  performed, time limits as well as resources .  Criminal justice leaders must have the ability to predict the future to prescribe course of actions to meet the objectives (Wright, 1999). Planning in criminal justice system demands strategic leaders. The process   remains integrated with different plans. This involves   strategic planning, operational planning and results management.

            Criminal justice leadership must have a strategic plan which ensures that the system responds to dynamism in the environment (Cornelius & Dively, 2008). Criminal justice system leaders must be able to describe current status; specify where to go and the way to get there. Effective leadership must remain informed in devising an effective strategic plan that positively influences the future criminal justice system. Strategic planning is important to criminal justice from the fact that it helps the actors to think strategically. It gives a vision and also clarifies the direction for future. Additionally, it helps effectively handle changes in the environment. The strategic plan is also vital to criminal justice system since it promotes teamwork and solves major organizational issues (Lok & Crawford, 1999). It also improves performance, efficiency as well as productivity. Criminal justice leadership must take the initial step in strategic planning by developing of the initial agreement. The agreement must have the planned purpose, steps to take and resources to get used.  It can then identify and clarify external mandates on the criminal justice system. Most of these steps are available in the legislation for public organizations.  Leaders must also carry out stakeholders’ analysis to incorporate views in the plan so that it can get affected collaboratively. Criminal justice leadership must also assess internal as well as external environment to determine the systems’ strengths, weaknesses, threats as well as opportunities. This evaluation remains vital in all organizations which dispense criminal justice. It assists criminal justice systems to devise effective as well as realistic strategies (Wright, 1999).  Strategic issues identification gets followed by developments of strategy for the system.  Similarly, criminal justice leaders must ensure that the plan describes the system in the future.

Criminal Justice Leadership and Community Relations

            Criminal justice leaders must also have the ability to promote public evaluation of criminal justice system. The reason is that many factors have the ability to influence public confidence as well as satisfaction with agencies of criminal justice (Lok & Crawford, 1999).  For instance, personal attributes including race, socioeconomic status, age as well as neighborhood factors influences public confidence on police officers. On race and criminal justice, for instance, research revealed that black minorities always provide less favorable police conduct rating when compared to white citizens. The research remains consistent with other research carried out in Australia. It, therefore, presents a volatile relationship characterizing the police and the ethnic minority citizens. Criminal justice leadership must be aware of this to ensure they devise ways to improve the situation (Wright, 1999). When it comes to Age and criminal justice, young individuals tend to present more contact with police as compared to older individuals (Davis, Cronley, Madden & Kim, 2014). They are hence, likely to become victims of violent offenses than older people. The prevalent bad contacts easily result in lower ratings on police by younger people.  This trend is critical in planning fro initiatives that can reduce crime. When it comes to socioeconomic status and criminal justice, high socioeconomic status individuals tend to offer support easily to the police and likely to rate police officers positively  as compared to those in lower socioeconomic status.  Hence, it is believed that police officers tend to remain differential to middle as well as high-class people to get positive evaluations from particular society members (Sarver & Miller, 2014). Criminal justice leadership must have the capacity to understand this so that the relationship between the criminal justice system and the community is strengthened (Mannion, 2009). When criminal justice leadership examines demographic differences in the opinions, it provides them with vital information how personal attributes affects criminal justice system rating. The police rating by citizens always bases on demographic traits among other things. People’s contact with criminal justice agencies significantly influences evaluation.


            Effective leadership remains an essential aspect to achieve high performance as well as ratings in the criminal justice system. Citizen ratings depend on demographic issues and   contact frequency between individuals and the criminal justice system. Hence, procedural justice determined by the type of leadership determines how the police and the entire criminal justice system get rated. Similarly criminal judicial system must always have a type of leadership that impresses cooperation and performance. Alignment of behavioral theory in criminal justice leadership can assist to keep the concentration on service delivery and develop other players. The criminal justice system must have visionary leaders who can pursue stakeholders to enhance goal achievement. Good leaders in criminal justice system must also portray strategic resource management and eliminate discriminatory in service delivery. To conclude, supportive and strategic leadership in criminal justice is a constituent that can enhance operations. The contrary is also true in that poor leadership negatively affects service which is justice miscarriage.


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Cornelius, L., & Dively, C. (2008): Leading Into Tomorrow: Developing Leaders for The Challenges Ahead. Corrections Today, 70(4), 66-69.

Davis, J., Cronley, C., Maden, E. E., & Kim, Y. K. (2014): Service-learning Use in Criminal         Justice Education. Journal of Criminal Justice, 25(2), 157-174.   doi:10.180/10511253.2014.882367

Jennings, W. G., Schrick, C. J., Sturtz, M., & Mahoney, M. (2008): Exploring the Scholarly          Output of Academic Organization Leaders in Criminology and Criminal Justice: A     Research Note on Publication Productivity. Journal of Criminal Justice Education, 19(3),   404-416. Doi: 10.1080/10511250802476228

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Mohr, G. C. (2015): Reforming the Criminal Justice System. Corrections Today, 77(6), 46 50

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Silvestri, M. (2006): ‘Doing time’: Becoming a police leader. International Journal Of Police         Science & Management, 8(4), 266-281.

Wright, K. N. (1999): Leadership Is the Key to Ethical Practice in Criminal Justice Agencies.       Criminal Justice Ethics, 18(2), 2.

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