Imagine a world in which no one could communicate: There would be no directions, no rules, no relationships, no understanding only chaos. We would not have technology, creature comforts nor have meaningful relationships. We would merely exist.
From the moment a baby is born the communication process starts. A baby cries to convey a message of hunger, illness or soiled diaper, the parent receives this message and attempts to decode it. It is only through time as the baby-parent relationship or interpersonal communication grows does the parent start to recognize the subtle difference in the cry and determines the need. The baby is the sender, the parent is the receiver, the cry is the "message" and the parent’s action the feedback.
Communication is a vital aspect of our lives. “What counts is the substance of the communication and the nature of the person doing the communicating-including his or her ability to listen as well as talk” (Bossidy & Charan, 2002, p. 29). It allows us to build personal and professional relationships and moves in all directions: up, down, side to side moving in and out of our normal groups.
Think of communication as a Circus Big Tent, and within the tent are many smaller arenas. The owner represents the politicians who fund and set the overall policies, the tent represents the criminal justice organization and the ring master represents the Department of Justice. Each smaller arena represents one of the many subgroups of the criminal justice organizations such as corrections, law enforcement: city, county, state and federal levels, court system, public, criminals and so on.
According to Stohr & Collins (2014), the purpose of communication is to exchange information through a medium often to express an expectation: it can be written, electronic, verbal, non-verbal, formal or informal and it takes place between a sender and receiver. Communication is used to solicit, train, explain, command, reason, educate, stimulate, motivate, facilitate, understand, listen, unite, persuade, mediate, reduce anger/stress, harm, denigrate, solve problems, brainstorm, empower, confess, and document.
Criminal justice officers seek to garner information about crimes, illegal activity, suspects, to attain feedback about provided services, garner confessions and complete reports. It can be used by all players in the criminal justice arena from the lawyer that questions someone on stand, to the officer on the street and even the politician that needs to know why certain money is needed. Offenders may use it to received information to blackmail other inmates or guards that have broken rules.
Training ensures criminal justice players are up to speed with current regulations, policies, procedures, and can consist of proper firearm use, deadly force use, general work requirements, how to properly prepare a budget and is used by upper/lower management, frontline workers. Inmates may even train other inmates on use of gym, policy,...