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Respond to the stated question, including any relevance to and implications on the field of criminal justice. Be sure to discuss the issue(s) to which the question pertains. Remarks can include your opinion(s), but must be based on experience, research, and/or prior learning. Use this exercise to foster a rich dialogue with your colleagues about issues that are important to the field of criminal justice. During the span of the discussion, you must post to this board on four unique days. Your initial posting must be no less than 300 words You will also be required to post responses to at least three of your colleagues’ initial postings. Responses must be no less than 100 words.

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Stated Question
Hurley & Hanley (2010) note, “Often, organizations and their members
assume that accurate information is effectively passed from one person to
another. However, communication does not ‘just happen’. Effective
communication is a conscious effort that requires constant attention” (p.

What do the authors mean by this?
How important is communication?
What are some of the pitfalls of miscommunication?
Lastly, include a real world example of communication gone wrong from
your professional career and explain if it could have been avoided.
Post 1
Raymond Swallows posted Mar 18, 2019 8:52 AM
Hurley & Hanley (2010) note, “Often, organizations and their members assume that
accurate information is effectively passed from one person to another. However,
communication does not ‘just happen’. Effective communication is a conscious effort that
requires constant attention” (p. 39).

What do the authors mean by this?
Law enforcement and corrections agencies/departments rely highly on written
communication and word-of-mouth via supervisors. The downward
communication system is used to communicate the agency mission and
rules/policy changes. While written communication is a highly effective way to
disseminate information to the masses, it requires clarification and support from
those who are “in charge.” Even though written communication is believed to be
the “last word” as it relates to new orders or policy changes, supervisors have the
unique ability to modify the intent of a written communication when they are
sharing the information with those under their command. A well-known “thing” in
law enforcement is the “practice versus policy” method of doing things. This is
one of the most dangerous and high-liability ways to get yourself or a group of
people in trouble. Policies are nothing more than a practice that has been made
formal via written policy or through word-of-mouth from the management.
However, when a policy is distributed and it doesn’t match the way that people
actually do things, there will be a problem; especially if the folks that carry out the
mission don’t believe in what the policy says or simply won’t do things the way
the policy says. Management assumes their “orders” will be received and
followed, especially when they go through the motions of distributing written
communication through their downward chain of command. Yet, simply telling
folks to do something does not ensure that it will get done. Management must
follow up to ensure the message was properly conveyed and received, as well as
making sure those that are responsible to do the job are actually doing what they
are supposed to.

How important is communication?
I believe in any field, regardless of government or private industry,
communication is the key to any type of success. Imagine if some brand new
product that will revolutionize how the world works is invented and while the
inventors know how important this invention is to humanity, they never explain
to the world how important it is or they don’t explain it properly. That product
will likely never see the success it rightfully deserves, all because no one
explained why it’s important. The same goes for policies, procedures, and mission
statements. It is one thing to tell people what they are supposed to do, it’s another
thing entirely to show them what to do. Communication doesn’t just mean putting
things in writing or telling people something, it includes what you do and how
you do it. Humans are incredibly intuitive and if you tell people to do one thing
but they see you doing something else, what do you think they are going to do?
For a mission to be successful, everyone has to be on the “same page,” otherwise,
it is just going to fail.

What are some of the pitfalls of miscommunication?
The module listed a number of communication pitfalls—or barriers—to be wary
of. Some of the more important ones that I have witnessed time and again are:

Filtering-This is where the listener hears some things but tunes out others
because it doesn’t fit what they are wanting to hear.
Rehearsing-The listener, instead of listening, is going through the motions in their
head as to what they are going to say in response to what the speaker is
conveying. This is a great way to completely disregard the person who is trying to
get a message to you.
Mind Reading-The listener is attempting to prognosticate what the speaker is
going to say next and might include attempting to finish the sentence of the
speaker. We all know “this guy;” he is going to tell you what you were about to say
and usually be completely wrong.
Placation-As far as I am concerned, this is one of the worst ways to ruin a
conversation or message conveyance. If you tell someone you agree with what
they are saying or even nod in agreeance—when you do not agree with what they
are saying—you are effectively telling them you’re onboard with whatever it is,
when factually you are not. No good.
Lastly, include a real world example of communication gone wrong from your
professional career and explain if it could have been avoided.
Goodness, where to start. I have had many, many communication problems
with various people over the years. Not one in particular stands out as
worse than another. But, for the purposes of this discussion, one thing I
have seen a lot over the years is the “grape vine” of information turning
into the source of truth for the rank and file employees. My agency uses the
email system to convey the latest and greatest information to all staff. This
includes any written communications that, in the old days, would have
been posted in the public areas of the agency, bulletin boards, etc. A perfect
example of that is we recently had an employee who became embroiled in
a situation that forced my office to initiate an internal investigation and
place the subject employee out on administrative suspension. Because
state statute does not allow us to publicly discuss the details of why a
person is being investigated (while the investigation is active), a lot of
assumption and back-chatter occurs outside of our office as to why the
person is being investigated, suspended, etc.
Now, it is well known that if our office has taken the extreme step of
suspending a person, whatever they did or are being accused of is pretty
gnarly. When we suspend an employee, an agency-wide email is sent out
with a photograph of the employee, a message concerning their
suspension, and an explanation that this employee is not allowed access to
the secure portions of the facility(s). As you might could assume, the
“grape vine” goes absolutely wild with what led to the suspension. Of
course, some folks are usually “in the know” and have the truth, but our
policies do not allow discussion of any information regarding an open case
with our office. So, technically and by policy, the truth cannot be discussed
until the case is public record. With that said, every case gets tried in the
court of public opinion within our agency. The one I am talking about here
made its way back around to us that the employee who was suspended had
turned out to have an attempted murder conviction—prior to being
employed by this agency—that we were unaware of when we hired him.
Absolutely not true and no clue where that could have started or come
from. The reason this employee was suspended regards a current criminal
violation, for which the employee actually resigned this last week instead
of staying on suspension we arrested the employee. Still can’t discuss
because it is active.
Post 2
Alexander Hauryluck posted Mar 18, 2019 11:10 PM
The topic statement suggests that communication is often assumed when
information needs to be passed along; however, without participation, no
communication can be achieved. There needs to be an effort made by individuals within
the organization to communicate with one another, rather than expect communication to
occur independently. Without the effort of an individual to effectively communicate
information to others, very little information will be passed between individuals, and as
a result, positive progress will be difficult to achieve. Assuming information is being
passed along will result in a lack of effective communication and generate confusion and
cause the organization to fail as a result of poor leadership. Communication is also
dynamic and consistently changes depending on the current situation, individuals
involved, and the information being discussed (Hurley & Hanley, 2010). It is imperative
to not only communicate information that is received to others but also to understand
the audience who is receiving the information and delivering that information effectively
(Hurley & Hanley, 2010).
Effective communication directly relates to the success of an organization or
group in any compacity. If not for effective communication, organizations, leaders, and
groups would be unable to grow and expand because no information would be passed
along. In law enforcement, effective communication is extremely important in solving
crimes, deterring crimes, and in the event of a high-stress situation, may save a life. In
corrections, effective communication is necessary when reporting about inmates or
situations regarding the facility. As Hurley & Hanley (2010) stated, “If an organization is
defined as two or more people working simultaneously to accomplish specific goals,
communication then becomes the organization (Hackerman and Johnson 1991)” (p. 41).
Communication is arguably the most important aspect to success, leadership, and safety
because, without a thorough understanding of one’s surroundings, they will be unable to
confidently make a decision or lack the knowledge of an impending decision.
According to Hurley & Hanley (2010), one of the largest obstacles an organization
can face relating to communication is the size of the organization itself. If an
organization is large in size, information may be crossed and confused and create further
confusion throughout the entire organization because of the potentially mixed messages
being sent (Hurley & Hanley, 2010). The use of vertical leadership structures and
hierarchies disrupt the communication flow and block the ability to effectively
communicate throughout the organization (Hurley & Hanley, 2010).
According to the module 3 presentation and McKay, Fanning, & Davis (2009), there are
several barriers to listening that will negatively affect communication. Of the several
listed, the three most important to keep in mind, in my opinion, are judging, sparring,
and comparing. Judging is prejudging someone and deciding to disregard anything said
by that individual because of a premade assumption of their value (McKay, M., Fanning,
P., & Davis, M. (2009). The second barrier is when a debate between two individuals and
quickly disagreeing with one another and putting down or discounting the information
the other individual said (Saint Leo University, n.d.). Lastly, comparing oneself to
another generates a sense of competition that may be detrimental rather than inspiring
and beneficial (McKay, M., Fanning, P., & Davis, M. (2009).
In my own experience, a scenario where communication failed happened while
working with Park Rangers with the Westchester County Department of Public Safety. I
had been asked to call the desk and report on an inspection I had done earlier in the
evening and lost cellphone connection. In my attempt to call back, other Rangers called
via radio to the dispatcher to report a verbal altercation, and after a minute or two,
dispatch asked for an update on the situation. Another Ranger and I on the same post as
I began walking toward the scene of the incident as we heard over the radio one of the
Rangers involved yelling for backup and that the verbal altercation has turned into a
brawl between 5 people including the two Rangers. Multiple Rangers and Officers began
trying to communicate to one another via radio and stepped over each other causing
communication to be extremely chaotic. After several other Rangers and I arrived on the
scene, the fight was broken up, and several individuals were taken into custody, and
several Rangers were taken to the hospital to be examined. Thankfully no Ranger or
Officer was injured.
This incident could have been avoided is Officers and Rangers did not step over
one another and allowed one individual to give details when available. Since other
Rangers were on scene seconds after the initial call for help, allowing one Ranger who is
there but not physically involved to provide details would have been beneficial to others
responding and would have created a clear image of the current situation for
Hurley, M. H., & Hanley, D. (2010). Correctional administration and change management.
In M. H. Hurley, & D. Hanley, Correctional administration and change management
(pp. 39-51). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
McKay, M., Fanning, P., & Davis, M. (2009). Messages: The communication
skills book. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.
Abodunrin Oduyemi posted Mar 19, 2019 1:05 PM
In any organization, communication is essential in order to prevent poor
performance and organizational failure. Effective communication is the foundation of
good leadership. Without effective communication, a leader cannot make his or her
needs and wishes known to their employees which would lead to a functional
breakdown in many situations. The reason why effective communication is a conscious
effort that requires constant attention is that components of communication can be very
complex due to the margin of error in conveying a message from one person to the
next. Although messages or meaning may be quite clear to say, Person A, to Person B
they might mean something else. The reason for this could be due to the language
barrier, places of origin, or the fact that they were not paying attention to the message
that was being communicated.
Importance of Communication
Communication is vital for so many reasons, but mostly it is important because
when the information is received clearly, there is no room for alteration or
misunderstanding of messages, which would decrease the possibility of conflict. In
situations where conflict does arise, effective communication is a crucial factor in
ensuring that the situation is resolved in a respectful manner. How one communicates
can be a make or break factor in securing a job and maintaining a healthy relationship.
Other reasons why communication is essential is;

It promotes motivation by informing and clarifying the employees about the task that
needs to be accomplished.

It is a source of information to leaders and supervisors when it comes to making
decisions because it helps to identify and assess the alternative course of actions.

Communication also plays a crucial role in changing an employee’s attitudes, because a
well-informed individual will have a better attitude than a less-informed individual.
Pitfalls in Communication
According to Ulvenblad (2008), effective communication requires a certain set of
skills that both managers and employees must have in order to communicate effectively.
Barriers to communication can involve many things, outside the workplace it usually has
to do with poor styles of listening, Emotion and Semantics (Gladwin & McConnell, 2014).
Another barrier to communication within the workplace could be due to complex
channels. For example, the justice system, has a complex system where messages are
supposed to be sent which could get lost or never find the right person at all and
sometimes those working in the justice system have perceived notions when dealing
with criminals or lawyers, which can break down communication (Stojkovic, Klofas, and
Kalinich, 2007).
Personal Experience
An area in my life where communication broke down was in the form of nonverbal communication with the use of hand signals. Failure to understand the right
message resulted in a sailor opening up a wrong valve that flooded a compartment with
JP-5 fuel coming from the fire main at a 1000psi. The fuel flooded the space in seconds
with sailors in the space and equipment that were worth over half a million. The break
down in communication could have led to sailors losing their life’s and the destruction of
that equipment.
Gladwin, B. P., & McConnell, C. R. (2014). The Effective Corrections Manager. Burlington,
MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Stojkovic, S., Klofas, J., & Kalinich, D. (2007). Criminal Justice Organizations.
and Management. Centage Learning Product. Nelson Education. Ltd.
Ulvenblad, P. (2008). The Challenge of Communication. Communicative Skills in the Startup
Phase of a Business. Small Enterprise Research: The Journal of SEAANZ. 16(1)

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