Common conflicts in Criminal Justice Organizations

Perhaps one of the most common conflicts in Criminal Justice Organizations would be that which is rooted in role conflict. When we speak of role conflict in this sense, we do don’t refer to gender or personality issues. Instead we refer to the intrapersonal conflict that the individual experiences as he or she takes on a particular role in the Criminal Justice Organization. These roles are challenged and meet head on with opposing interests of the individual that lead to conflict. An example of this situation could be found in the law enforcement arm or the policing facet.

Law enforcers continuously under go conflicting interests within their roles and have a tendency to abuse the power they hold. Hence, the basic function or role they hold as law enforcers usually becomes stretched to the boundaries of power mongering. This can be seen especially when police discretion is not used appropriately. Moreover, conflicts that arise from personal gain versus the true nature to uphold the law can lead to various deviant behaviors in the policing arm of the Criminal Justice Organization. These deviant behaviors are in essence founded on corruption and its networks as pointed out by Dobovsek (2004).

With regard to police corruption it can be divided into tow (2) general categories. The first type or category is referred to as “Grass Eaters. ” These types take pay-offs or bribes from the routine police work they encounter on a day to day basis. The second type is the “Meat Eater. ” As compared to grass eaters, meat eaters are law enforcers who actively use their position and authority for personal gain. Such behaviors arising from conflicts actually spread out to more specific activities. These activities are detailed by a study done by Stoddard (1968) and are listed below.

“In a study of police corruption (Stoddard, 1968) the author noted the following patterns of blue-coat crime: Mooching: accepting free coffee, cigarettes, meals, liquor, groceries, or other items, which are thought of as compensation either for being underpaid or for future fa-vouritism to the donor. Bribery: Receiving cash or a "gift" in exchange for past or future help in avoiding prosecution. The officer may claim to be unable to identify a criminal, may take care to be in the wrong place when a crime is to occur, or may take some other action that can be viewed as mere careless.

Chiseling: Demanding discounts or free admission to places of entertainment, whether on duty or not. Extortion: Demanding payment for an ad in a police magazine or purchase of tickets to a police function; holding a "street court" in which minor traffic tickets can be avoided by the payment of cash "bail" to the arresting police officer, with no receipt given. Shopping: Picking up small items such as candy bars, gum, and cigarettes at a store where the door has been left unlocked at the close of the business hours. Shakedown: Taking expensive items for personal use during an investigation of a break-in or burglary.

Shakedown is distinguished from shopping by the value of items taken and the ease with which former ownership of items may be determined if the officer is caught. Premeditated theft: Using tools, keys, or other devices to force entry and steal property. Premeditated theft is distinguished from shakedown by the fact that it is planned, not by the value of the items taken. Favouritism: Issuing licence tabs, window stickers, or courtesy cards that exempt users from arrest or citation for traffic offences (sometimes extended to family members and friends of recipients).

Perjury: Lying to provide an alibi for fellow officers in unlawful activity or otherwise failing to tell the truth so as to avoid sanctions. Prejudice: Treating members of minority groups in a biased fashion, especially members of groups that lack political influence to respond on maltreatment of this kind (Mesko, Pagon, and Dobovesk, 2004: 9). ” Other sets of conflict within the Criminal Justice Organization can be drawn from clashing interests between agencies. Take into consideration the corrections system and the policing arm.

As officers of the policing arm, a desire to put law offenders behind bars so to speak clashes with the desire of prison officials to release prisoners due to their concern for overcrowding facilities and the like. Drawing from this, the policing arm can also come into clash with the courts when an offender is let of the hook due to a weak presentation by the prosecutions side; while the court seeks to deliver justice based on the laws that we establish it may not always be the same type of justice that the policing arm seeks to uphold.