2Cultural CompetenceIn this week’s paper on Cultural Competence, many topics will be covered and discussed.Some of the topics that will be discussed include an explanation of cultural competence, the value of cultural competence in the criminal justice field, the elements that should be included in a cultural competence assessment of a criminal justice agency, the advantages of intercultural communication skills in criminal justice, and lastly, a summary of one of the articles or videos discussed in collaborative group B from this week along with my own personal thoughts on the issue covered in the article or video.An Explanation of Cultural CompetenceWhat is cultural competence? The term cultural competence refers to “a set of values, behaviors, attitudes, and practices within a system, organization, program, or among individuals that enables people to work effectively across cultures” (Hanser & Gomila, 2015; p. 27). The term cultural competence came about in the 1990s so that they would have a term to describe proficiencies and skills while trying to communicate with people from different cultures. Just because a person is sensitive when it comes to diversity issues and equality treatment, does not mean that they are knowledgeable when it comes to customs and mores or certain groups. Cultural competence can also be described as “the process of effectively attending to the needs ofindividuals by integrating the salient aspects of the culture to which they identify themselves” (Hanser & Gomila, 2015; p. 108). Cultural competence is more than just sensitivity, it is being able to make both the practitioner and the individual in society comfortable when speaking to each other.
3The Value of Cultural Competence in the Criminal Justice FieldCultural competence is very valuable and vital when it comes to the criminal justice field.When people think about the value of cultural competence, they must first understand what the term intercultural communication is. The term intercultural communication refers “to communication that occurs between individuals from different cultures who engage in exchangesand discourse in interpersonal settings; these communications are usually one-on-one or consist of small groups who engage in informal communication settings rather than planned or organizedsettings” (Hanser & Gomila, 2015; p. 108). It always helps improve agencies in the criminal justice system when there is a diverse staff. In order for criminal justice agencies to achieve cultural competence, they must make sure that the diversity expert is classified. It is more than just looking good on the outside and acting politically correct. Being able to translate documents into other types of languages does not mean an agency has achieved cultural competence. Even though multi-linguistic tools help intercultural communication, they do contain limits. When