Criminal Justice Assignment

There are still several states that do not authorize collective bargaining for correctional employees, fearing it will undermine security and the authority and flexibility for management to effectively operate prisons. Should collective bargaining be implemented in those states that do not have it? Is it a hindrance to or a help for management? Collective Bargaining is an offshoot of the Freedom to Associate that is enshrined in the Constitution. As such, it is a right that is available to all yet there are still certain limitations with regard to the exercise of this right.

Allowing or entitling correctional employees to engage in Collective Bargaining and giving them the right to enter into Collective Bargaining Agreements is an issue that is not only subject to this Constitutional right but also rests in the interests of preserving the efficiency of these institutions (Freeman 1999). In several jurisdictions, the right to enter in Collective Bargaining Agreements is not allowed to Government employees because of fears that it would undermine the security and authority for management or in this case government (Freeman 1999).

This brief discourse will attempt to show that Collective Bargaining is and can be a helpful tool for management, especially among correctional employees. While traditionally the views of management and union can never be reconciled because of the fact that management traditionally regards union as fostering inefficiency and the unions on the other hand historically regard management as oppressors, it must also be remembered however that the labor laws, while designed to ensure that labor is never oppressed, was also enacted to ensure that industrial peace remains in this very tense relationship (Freeman 1999).

One such method of ensuring the peace and efficiency of any group lies in encouraging Collective Bargaining Agreements. The advantage of Collective Bargaining Agreements comes from the fact that these agreements usually have some form of grievance machinery for employment concerns. This makes it easier for management to effectively operate prisons because it allows them to have an ear on the ground, so to speak (Freeman 1999). Grievance machinery, as an integral part of Collective Bargaining Agreements, is therapeutic for the workforce because it allows them an opportunity to air their side (Freeman 1999).

This is particularly important in very stressful places of employment such as correctional facilities. The issue on whether or not a Collective Bargaining Agreement should be implemented relies heavily in the manner by which this is implemented. One key aspect that must not be overlooked is the responsiveness of management to the needs of their employees (Bosworth 2002). In key states, it has been shown in studies that Collective Bargaining allows management to understand their complaints better and be more responsive and flexible (Bosworth 2002).

Collective Bargaining has also been shown to help management by ensuring that the needs of employees are adequately met thus ensuring the efficiency of correctional facilities. Corrections is not about punishment, it is about reformation and giving hope to those who have none. As such, it is important to be able to install a management system that is not only responsive to the needs of the people who are running the facility but also be flexible in order to ensure that it carries out its mandate (Bosworth 2002).

Allowing correctional employees to collectively bargain is one of those ways by which this can be accomplished. It allows for free communication between the employees and management while at the same time allowing management the chance to ensure that the operations of the correctional facility are run smoothly. Works Cited: Freeman, Robert M. (1999) Correctional Organization and Mgmt (Paperback) Butterworth-Heinemann ISBN-10: 0750698977 Bosworth, Mary Francesca (2002) The U. S. Federal Prison System (Hardcover) Sage Publications, Inc; 1st edition ISBN-10: 0761923047