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The ability to make decisions is of paramount importance in criminal justice organizations. Due to the sensitive nature of work performed by criminal justice organizations, how an organization makes decisions and achieves effectiveness may be a difficult proposition. With so many stakeholders involved, both internally and externally, the organization and its leaders need to find different ways for making the best decisions possible.

For this assignment you have just been appointed to be the Director of a State Juvenile Bureau. The bureau is actively involved in the handling of juvenile delinquents and the crimes committed by them. The state bureau takes on cases of juveniles and tries to find both the best possible and least harmful punishments for them. Another area of work for the bureau is to reach out to other juvenile facilities across the state to provide them with training on the importance of kind and humane treatment of juveniles. In collaboration with these facilities the state bureau is often called in by other juvenile facilities to help them make decisions about juvenile offenders. In addition, the state bureau provides help to schools in the rehabilitation and treatment of juveniles with behavioral problems.

Although the job of director of the bureau is a big step up in pay, it does carry extreme responsibilities with it. Not only does your job require great commitment, it continually requires tremendous dedication to the well-being of juveniles. You’re constantly faced with situations requiring the weighing of facts and information so you can make good decisions. The bureau is responsible for the ethical and just treatment of juvenile delinquents. It is the basis on which the effectiveness of your organization relies. Therefore, the need to make correct decisions is paramount.

Unfortunately, as with most organizations, there is an existing organizational culture within the organization. Informal networks are set, and there seems to be a great amount of political influence from the Board of Control. Though the mission of your organization is clear—to implement the humane and gentle treatment of delinquents—there seems to be some resistance from the board. The board consists primarily of people who have been politically appointed, and they are the legacy of a past conservative government that believes that getting tough on kids is the only way to get them on track. The board’s approach contradicts the prevailing bureau culture.

As director of the State Juvenile Bureau, you have a number of tasks ahead of you:

First you need to recognize that decisions made by the bureau directly effect the bureau’s effectiveness; you need to increase the bureau’s organizational effectiveness.

  • Determine the type of model you will institute to increase organizational effectiveness and explain why this model will be most useful.

Your primary goal is to understand the prevalent culture of the organization. It is important for you to bring about greater consistency between the mission of the organization and the political influences.

  • Accurately describe the prevalent culture of the organization and formulate a plan for running it.
  • How would you make sure that the decisions made by your organization regarding juveniles and their sentences are consistent with the goals and mission of the bureau?
  • How would you influence the internal and external politics affecting the bureau to the bureau’s advantage?

Your second aim is to apply the themes of decision making to the decision-making processes in the organization.

  • How would you use the following to improve decision making in the bureau: equity, accuracy, consistency with theory, consistency with resources, and making decisions that contribute to future decisions?
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