It is important to understand the means and structure of communication systems within criminal justice systems if communication within these bureaucratic systems is to be enhanced. It is also critical to understand that each organization has a procedure or policy that control the communication processes (Stojkovic, Kalinich & Klofas, 2014). Within criminal justice organizations; particularly those involved with law enforcement, information is conveyed in a top-down manner, through a chain of command. According to Stojkovic, Kalinich and Klofas (2014), directives are issued by the executive management to the subordinates through the chain of command, and they are expected to report to their superiors. Nonetheless, there exists a problem with such a system, even though messages are conveyed via some chain of command, the original message may be filtered and changed, either incidentally or accidentally, before it arrives at its anticipated destination. This is challenging when managers are attempting to convey information to their subordinates and, or vice versa, and could lead to catastrophic effects if the message is not received as expected.
As a result, communication within criminal justice organizations may be enhanced by making use of communication gadgets that allow for effective delivery of messages to the junior-most staff. The use of group emails which are dispersed to the entire department instantly allows for a swift understanding and immediate outcomes. Communication may also be enhanced by being conversant of communication barriers and getting rid of them. Moreover, an enhanced understanding of the barriers by the executive management; as they exist in an organization, would allow for an improved formalization of the process and channels of communication. Some of the common barriers include: lack of interest, pre-conceived ideas, lack of source credibility, use of personalized inferences, poor organizational culture and poor communication skills. Effective management and mitigation of these barriers allows for improved communication across the entire organization.
Use of computerized communication to enhance communication efficiency
With the advent of technology, computerized communication has come in improving the communication processes within handy in law enforcement agencies. The use of communication devices such as mobile data terminals and remote stations, has allowed for the access to huge chunk of information irrespective of location. In the mid-20 the century, technology and computer were understood to facilitate criminal justice activities and decision-making processes by allowing for the instant communication of precise and complete information (Northrop, Kraemer & King, 1995). Presently, computer and technology have evolved further allowing for the access to information by just clicking a button (Stojkovic, Kalinich & Klofas, 2014). In essence, a criminal justice officer is increasingly gaining access to direct information with the adoption of computerized communication systems. Computerized information has also facilitated swift dispersal of information such procedure and policy updates for the individuals within a chain of command. In essence, by allowing for immediate and simultaneous communication of changes computerized communication systems have the process of communication entirely.
Effective computerized communication
Computerized communication may fail to deliver if the information being conveyed is corrupt or is susceptible to external manipulation (Stojkovic, Kalinich & Klofas, 2014). Information system security is an important element of communication to every organization; criminal justice organization included. On most occasions, the information being conveyed is confidential and not intended for public distribution. Nonetheless, the use of computerized communication channels like tele-conferencing may be over-utilized and may result in information overload which often results on poorly-planned meeting and the conveyance of the wrong message (Stojkovic, Kalinich & Klofas, 2014). Due to poor training, individuals may not effectively use computerized communication devices, hence resulting in poor communication.
Northrop, A., Kraemer, K. L., & King, J. L. (1995). Police use of computers. Journal of Criminal Justice, 23(3), 259-275.
Stojkovic, S., Kalinich, D. B., & Klofas, J. (2014). Criminal justice organizations: Administration and management.
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