Criminal Justice Organizational Structures – Term Paper

Identify and Explain Three Different Communication Barriers that Might exist within a Criminal Justice Organization.

Communication barriers are the obstacles that prevent information from reaching the receiver in good form. In many organizations, there are problems with information being passed because as it is moved across channels, some information may be removed or added thus passing across an entirely different message from the original one. Many organisations have problems with communication thus failure of the systems which may eventually lead to the collapse of the organization. The challenges of communication that exist within a criminal justice organization include lack of clarified assumptions, poor planning methods and differences in status and power. In criminal justice organizations, people in high power may not be willing to disclose information to their subordinates since they view themselves to be more superior (Doss, 2014). The juniors may also be unwilling to communicate to their seniors for fear of being apprehended. They may also fail to disclose information to their seniors especially if they do not respect them. Their differences in power affect their readiness to pass information to each other and also affect nature of the information being given. Poor planning methods also affect communication within a criminal justice organization. When information being communicated is not well thought out and planned, it may mislead people in the organization. It can also lead to distorted information being passed around, therefore, misguiding the people in the organization. Lack of clarified assumptions can also be a barrier to communication in a criminal justice organization (Doss, 2014). When an employee in the criminal justice organization leaves out relevant information, with the assumption that the employer already knows, it may cause serious trouble. For example, it can lead to the occurrence of severe terrorist attacks like the 9/11 attack.

Discuss what Steps should be taken by an Organization to Reduce the Risk of the Communication Barriers you have Selected

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To lower the possibility of the communication barrier, members of an organization should ensure they have a well thought out plan. It is so as to communicate facts and figures without passing misguided information. Planning of information is crucial to criminal justice organizations where information is in a hierarchal chain of command. It is because information needs to reach the most junior staff member without being distorted so as every member of the organization can have and understand the same information. Colleagues of an organization also need to resolve their power and status differences to reduce the risk of communication barriers. Senior employees need to accept junior employees and not look down upon them to ensure effective communication. They should also disclose all necessary information to their juniors to enhance the proper flow of information. The junior employees should, in turn, respect their managers and report to them in the case of a problem in the organization. They should also not fear their employers to enhance a proper working environment. This way all employees will be at peace with each other, and thus information will be passed through the right channels. The risk of communication barrier can also be avoided by clarifying information being communicated (Doss, 2014). Employees should not assume that their managers are aware of particular facts or theories. They should include information necessary to avoid misleading information being communicated.

Discuss the Role of Technology in Ensuring that Criminal Justice Agencies have Effective Intra-and Inter-organizational Communication Protocols Established

Technological changes are causing continuous changes in the way various jobs are conducted. Most organizations ae now relying on technology to carry out their primary activities and ensure productivity. Technology has enhanced productivity in the criminal justice agencies in many areas. Firstly, technology has improved quality communication. Since many criminal justice agencies deal with a lot of paperwork and type a lot of documents, the use of grammar and spelling checks and other devices among other aspects can help produce high-quality documents (Bloom, 2014). The use of video calls has also enhanced quality communication since it ensures face to face conversation, where one can see the expressions of the other, and also it ensures the firsthand information being transferred. Secondly, technology has reduced the time needed to complete individual projects and tasks. It is because it allows one to use or recycle information or forward information to many people at once. It reduces the time used to create new data. The use of telephones, emails and electronic memos has also reduced time wasted when a person moves from one office to another to pass a message across. Thirdly, technology enhances convenience in the criminal justice agencies. It is because correspondence can be distributed through methods such as emails, fax, and voice messages thus making work more convenient. It enhances communication between agencies. Lastly, technology makes the work environment more enjoyable (Bloom, 2014). It helps streamline tasks for example; the use of voicemails has eliminated the need to take written telephone messages. Technology has also reduced time and money used on messengers who go around distributing copies of papers or posting letters. Since many criminal justice agencies are structured with the hierarchal chain of command, the use of electronic memos, letters and minutes has decreased the need to print many copies of papers to be distributed throughout the chain.  

Identify Potential Weaknesses that currently exist and the Steps Necessary to correct these Communication Gaps.

Communication gaps occur when the recipient of information does not understand the meaning of the intended message by the sender. It can happen when the sender overloads the recipient with too much information especially if he or she is in a hurry. The recipient may not hear certain words or he may hear other words incorrectly. It may result in confusion and misplaced priorities. Communication gaps may also occur due to technological errors. For example, a telephone line may disconnect before all information is communicated thus leaving hanging messages. Communication gaps may also arise due to personality differences between the communicators (Doss, 2014). Communication gaps can be corrected by firstly, identifying the source of the communication problem. The office equipment should be assessed and be checked whether they are functioning properly. Through the identification of the origin of the communication problem, one will be able to put across possible measures that will resolve the problem. Secondly, an organization can train employees on current communication methods. For example, employees can be taught how to use computers and other new technological devices used in the connection. Thirdly, communication gaps can be resolved by introducing an open door policy. It is where employees are encouraged to give their views and talk about their grievances openly without being reprimanded. It encourages employees to communicate effectively and openly without fear. Fourthly, communication gaps may be corrected by evaluating the means needed to fix the communication problem. For example, new technological devices may be brought to repair the communication gaps caused by the old appliances. If it is an issue between employees, a staff meeting can be held to resolve the issue. If the dispute is involved, the workers can be put on a mediation program to settle their differences. Lastly, communication gaps can be resolved by assessing differences in the grapevine (Doss, 2014). Formal messages and their feedbacks should be measured to ensure that there is additional information that distorts the message.


Bloom, N. (2014). The distinct effects of information technology and communication technology On firm organization. Routledge.

Doss, D. A. (2014). The foundations of communication in criminal justice systems. CRC Press.