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Unformatted text preview: Public Policy Public Public policy is the study of the choices government makes in dealing with a problem. Criminal Justice is the study of the organization, function, and processes of the agencies that deal with the problem of crime. The end result is a series of choices that frame public policy and impact the day to day workings of the criminal justice system. Public Policy Process Public Conditions Govt. agencies and individual agenda’s Deliberate course of action Gaps between goals and implementation Politics Context Separation of powers (3 branches of govt.) Each has its own responsibilities & constituents Federalist system – sharing of powers and limitations on what each can do. Public Policy Process Con’t Public Environment – made up of social, political, economic, physical and geographic factors. BP oil spill Bombing of world trade center Wall Street meltdown Immigration Crime Others? Environment initially generates the inputs that seek to influence the course of public policy. Govt. is the mechanism for creating specific policies. Types of Policy Types Distributive policies – involves the delivery of public goods and services, e.g. U.S. Postal Service. Redistributive policies – designed to redistribute wealth among different segments of the population such as federally sponsored entitlement programs, (Social Security, Medicare, Veterans benefits, etc.) Regulatory policies – are designed to control the behavior of individuals, groups, and organizations, including corporations. Range from criminal codes to zoning ordinances, to state speed limits. Selfregulatory policies Who Makes Public Policy Who Individuals play a role in the formulation, adoption, and implementation of public policy. Ranges from the president of the U. S. to legislators, to governors and mayors, to police chiefs to anyone who has some discretion on how they carry out their assigned duties Working Outside of the Process Working Initiatives are a process whereby citizens have political demands and reasonably widespread support for those demands can circulate petitions to put specific matters on the ballot. Examples? Referendums simply are instances where citizens get to vote on the issue directly. What factors might lead to a referendum instead of just letting the normal legislative process handle the issue? Influencing the Policy Process Influencing What are interest groups? How do they function in the political process? Types of interest groups Corporate Membership based Single issue Public interest Role of the Media Role How does the media influence public policy. Steps in the Policy Process Steps Problem identification Agenda setting Policy formulation Policy implementation Policy evaluation Criminal Justice Policy Criminal A definite course or method of action selected to guide and determine present and future decisions. A guide to action. Why are CJ policies necessary? Who influences the development of criminal justice policy? What is role of social science research? Evidence – based (pages 710 of text) Theories Theories In simple terms a theory tries to explain why things happen. It should have three critical components:
• Define key terms. Develop a conceptual framework that explains how important factors (variables) are interrelated. Provide a departure point for research and practical application. • • Correlation & Causation Correlation If two variables are correlated, it simply means that they tend to move together in a positive or negative relationship. Example: The higher the number citizens that have CCW permits, the lower the crime rate. A correlation does not necessarily demonstrate the presence of a causal relationship, or identify the direction of causality. WHY? Both for testing a theory and developing good public policy, only causal relationships are relevant. Models of Criminal Justice Policy Policy In the 1960’s, the demand for government, especially at the federal level, to do something about crime reached a critical level. Creation of President Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice (LEAA) Provided a conceptual framework that helps to identify general patterns, define problems, and focused on research and policy planning. Used a systems model focusing on the flow of cases among agencies, the interrelationships among agencies, and the factors that influence decision making. Limitations? Wedding Cake Model What is the wedding cake model? How are celebrity cases different from the other layers. Perception versus reality. Policy should not be based on celebrity or high profile cases – Why not? CJ system is very hard on serious felonies such as robberies committed by defendants with long prior records. But is relatively soft on assaults by defendants with no prior record. It is hard on stranger rapes but more lenient on acquaintance assaults. Chapter 3 – The Going Rate Chapter The funnel Rejections and dismissals Important differences between % of convicted offenders incarcerated, the % sentenced to prison, the length of the formal sentence, and the actual amount of time served. Courtroom work group – limits of reform Many proposed policies are based on mistaken assumptions on how the CJ system really works & belief that reforms will automatically be implemented. Simply passing a law does not mean intended change will occur. Decision Making Decision Decision making is the process of choosing the best course of action to solve a particular issue based on the facts and knowledge at hand. Programmed decisions deal with routine or minor matters and can be handled by established policy and procedure. Risks are relatively low for the decision maker. Nonprogrammed decisions are called for when confronted with a new or different issue. The decision maker has more freedom and can be more creative, however the risks are higher. ...
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This note was uploaded on 04/05/2011 for the course CJ 470 taught by Professor Hughes during the Winter '11 term at Grand Valley State University.
- Winter '11