Leadership and Organization Structure
All organizations have structure; criminal justice is much like the military in regards to having a chain of command that delegates his/her authority downward from the major command element (Stohr & Collins, 2014).
Max Weber defined the characteristics of a bureaucracy as the following: there must be a hierarchy of authority that has several levels each controlled by the one above them, each position is divided with no overlap of duties or responsibilities, there must be formal rules and procedures, the work environment must be impersonal and employment decisions must be based on technical qualifications (Stillman, 2010; Stohr & Collins, 2014).
In a bureaucratic system, communication and policies flow down to employees as directives. To better understand the hierarchy of such organization we must look at what it entails. A bureaucratic management system is a centralized, rigid system that contains parts of a military structure, whereas, employees are armed, wear uniforms, badges, patches and other items (Stohr & Collins, 2014).
Organizations can be formal or informal, open or closed however most law enforcement and courts operate under an open system and corrections operate under a closed system (Stohr & Collins, 2014). Prisons can be compared to military installations; both are off limits to the general public thus creating an air of secrecy about the things that transpire behind the fences.
Although the different criminal justice organizations have similar attributes there are certain characteristics that determine the structure: how work is assigned, tasks employees are assigned, how far organizational control reaches, if organizations fall under one authority or is delegated to lower levels (Baron & Greenberg, 1990).
Law enforcement agencies exist at the city, county, state and federal levels and have a formal organization (Stohr & Collins, 2014). Each agency has a chain of command; for example in the business realm there is a president, vice president, chief executive officer, chief financial officer, operational manager, branch manager, etc. Within law enforcement the hierarchy would look something like this: chief, assistant chief, majors, lieutenants then line level officers, etc.
Directives will flow from the top echelon to the middle and then to the lowest level. In law enforcement, it is a common thought that at certain times of the month speeding tickets seem to increase and we jokingly say the officer must be trying to make his monthly quota. If this statement is indeed true, then it implies that a supervisor must be checking the number of written tickets, therefore placing more emphasis on the quantity not the quality of work.
Holding employees accountable is paramount; however, when more time is spent on micromanaging instead of reviewing the results of their actions it can be detrimental to the work environment. Law enforcement officers are often faced with the political...