Females within Law Enforcement

                                                Introduction Women as police or correctional officers still get an awkward picture in the minds of male police officers. This paper looks into the plight of women as corrections officers and how best to motivate women to take on jobs as women officers including the many ramifications of the issue History of how Women Got into Law Enforcement It all began on July 13, 1848 when a young housewife and mother. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, was invited to share tea with four other ladies. Stanton voiced out her opinion about the way that women were relegated to the background, receiving less roles to play in the transformation of the country. She claimed that the new Republic would stand a good chance of making it better with the women around to help out. The other ladies concurred with her and they all thought of a plan to carry out their thoughts to fruition. They put their passion to action and achieved tremendous changes after that (Living the Legacy: The Women’s Rights Movement 1848-1999). These women convened the world’s first Women's Rights Convention. Not only were they imbued with the fire to start making their dreams materialize, but they also had the energy and passion to organize women all over to participate in this convention to discuss the “social, civil, and religious condition and rights of woman." This very first convention happened at the Wesleyan Chapel in Seneca Falls on July 19 and 20, 1848. (Living the Legacy: The Women’s Rights Movement 1848-1999). Stanton used the Declaration of Independence as the framework for writing what she titled a "Declaration of Sentiments." Today, the issue of female correctional officers in male institutions comes up repeatedly.  The employment of women as guards in close contact with male inmates has spurred many questions of privacy and safety and a number of legal cases. In one important case, Dothard v. Rawlinson  (1977), the Supreme Court upheld Alabama’s refusal to hire female correctional officers on the grounds that it would put them in significant danger  from male inmates. (Dothard v. Rawlinson. 1977).).  Despite such setbacks, women now work side by side with male guards in almost every state, performing the same duties. Research indicates that discipline has not suffered because of the inclusion of women in the guard force. Sexual assaults have been rare, and the female guards’ male peers than by inmates have expressed more negative attitudes. Most commentators believe that the presence of female guards can have an important beneficial effect on the self-image of inmates and improve the guard-inmate working relationship.

            In 1970, women constitute only one-third of the total workforce. Three decades later, almost fifty percent of the working individuals are women. More or less half of these women have experienced sexual harassment at least once in their career lives. The U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board found out that 42 percent of the women respondents in their 1981 survey experienced sexual harassment on the job.  A similar survey was conducted in 1987 and the results were the same as that of 1981. Barbara Gutek’s study yielded almost similar numbers. The data revealed that though some are fortunate to encounter sexual harassment just once in their working life, others report of repeated incidents, of long duration and of “sizable practical impact.” 33 percent of the women heard unwanted sexual remarks, 28 percent leering looks, and 26 percent felt unwelcome touching. On the severe side, 15 percent were pressured for dates, 9 percent for sexual favors, 9 percent received persistent letters and phone calls, and 1 percent experienced actual or attempted rape or sexual assault. It also reveals that women are nine times more likely than men to quit their work because of incidences on sexual harassment. The figures also show that they are five times more likely to transfer  and three times more likely to lose jobs. ( Konrad & Gutek as cited in What is Sexual Harassment).

            Majority of the states in the United States at present have statutory laws outlawing sexual harassment and/or sexual discrimination. In many cases, statutory laws offer a more detailed mechanism for protecting the victims than federal laws. The United States, although a frontrunner in sexual harassment litigations, is not alone in this fight. Most European and Asian nations also have their own versions of anti-harassment and anti-discrimination laws. In Denmark, for instance, physical touching is banned but women are expected to deal with sexual harassments themselves by slapping the harasser. Israel has its Sexual Harassment Law, where in Pakistan, it is Code of Conduct for Gender Justice in the workplace. Russia has a law in its Criminal Code, Russian federation that forbids sexual interactions within office positions while the United Kingdom included in its Discrimination Act of 1975 a sexual harassment law in the workplace (Sexual harassment, 2006).

    Problems Women Encounter in Law Enforcement Interestingly, little research has been conducted on male correctional officers in female prisons, although almost every institution housing female offenders employs male officers. What research there is indicates that male officers are generally well-received, and while there is some evidence of sexual exploitation and privacy violations, female inmates generally believe that the presence of male correctional officers helps create a more natural environment and reduce tension. Both male and female inmates are concerned about opposite-sex correctional workers intruding on their privacy, such as being given assignments in which they may observe inmates dressing or bathing or in which they may come into physical contact, such as during searches.

Kathrin S. Zippel (2006), on the other hand, in her The Politics of Sexual Harassment: A Comparative Study of the United States, the European Union and Germany, asserted that sexual harassment “serves as a vivid example of heated struggles over sexuality, power, and gender equality… because it fuses the issues of violence against women, sexuality and workplace equality.” For this author, many nations in Europe still have “weak” policies against workplace sexual harassment because they treat such cases in a gender-neutral way. In Germany for instance, when three policewomen committed suicide because of chronic sexual harassments, the government described the event as “psychoterror at work” (Zippel, 2006). Sexual harassment, in the end, is an issue tied to the politics of a country, the citizens and the government’s point of view on gender equality at work, and most especially, the people’s perception on the identical needs of the two sexes to lead successful, healthy, and peaceful professional lives. How the state respects the dignity of its citizens regardless of gender ultimately translates to the kind of policies and legislative actions it enforces. A management’s failure to appropriately investigate a sexual harassment allegation can cause loss of loyalty and lowered morale among the workers, thereby increasing the possibility of higher turnover rates. It can also mar the company image among its clients, business partners, and prospect employees.

Women in Crime

The Human Resource Department of the Police department is responsible for bringing people, even women, into the organization, helping them perform their work, compensating them for their labors, and solving problems that arise. Consequently, management demonstrates a central role in organizational effectiveness in the police force. In short, the human resources police department is responsible for how people, especially women, are treated in criminal justice. Effective criminal justice officers need to be concerned about their women employees.  One of the ways of doing this is to apply

Good techniques for motivation and training which will inspire women to examine the incentive and recognition programs. These programs can improve women employees’ police life. This way, proper reporting is done and the staff is not disillusioned. Managers provide reward programs promptly. It states that “When training is linked to a reward program, employees are motivated to absorb the content, and that translates into improved performance.” (Improving Performance through Fun and Feedback).

The human, material and capital resources of the police enterprise must be managed effectively and efficiently. The practice of criminal justice management requires a lot of conceptual insight and cognitive abilities in business realities and judgment. Every business, from the most successful to the most troubled, does some things very right. The most important part of the reinvention process is identifying these things that one does so well – from the simplest office procedure to the most complicated. Police management teams nowadays need to be able to use as many management perspectives as possible in order to reinvent their organizations. Lessons one learns from these management theories will enable a top police manager to keep his company going, expand his client base, market his products more effectively and grow beyond knee-jerk responses and conventional wisdom (Newham, 2005).

As the complexity of the organization increases, coordination relies increasingly on the use of direct supervision and task standardization. So, with increased organizational complexity comes an increased need to manage human activities. The corrections manager is challenged to combine the demands of the organization as well as the needs of the individual woman worker into an effective system.

            However, it is only when these high-performance teams are highly motivated in their organizations that they stay there and perform at peak level.  Quick fixes are based on the notion that managers and consultants can supply some simple stimulus to produce sustained motivation in other people. The notion assumes that people are both naturally demotivated and waiting to be “pumped up” or, worse, enjoy being lethargic drones whose motivational batteries immediately run down if left alone. It assumes that people have no power for self-renewal. One does not unilaterally motivate other people in the long term. (Cheese & Thomas 2003).

There had been instances that in measuring the strength of an organization, the other aspects such as human capital had been raised. Although, organizations are still trying to work out an accurate measuring tool, they have acknowledged that to be able to stay viable in any given business they also must look at the issue on human capital.  As Peter Cheese and Bob Thomas wrote:

…the most successful organizations today and in the foreseeable future will be those that are able to measure the business impact of their investment in people—whether that investment is employee recruiting, performance management, skills development or benefits administration. (p1, 2003)

It is obvious that by investing in human capital, the organization can harvest its return of investment when the employee uses his new knowledge to better his responsibilities in the company. In social capital however the benefits according to Smith (2001) are the following:

Better knowledge sharing, due to established trust relationships, common frames of reference, and shared goals. Lower transaction costs, due to a high level of trust and a cooperative spirit (both within the organization and between the organization and its customers and partners. Low turnovers rates, reducing severance costs and hiring and training expenses, avoiding discontinuities associated with frequent personnel changes, and maintains valuable organizational knowledge. Newstrom and Davis (2002) confirmed: “Organizational effectiveness is achieved not by maximizing one human variable but by working all system variables together in a balanced way” (p. 19). Organizational effectiveness and efficiency in customer care entails the connection, between how each individual in the organization effectively performs his/her role in the company by presenting the customers with the solutions they need, and the how each works together to further advance the company’s products and services.

                                               Learning Possibilities

             Argyris (2001) divided learning into two. He believed that: Learning occurs in two forms: single loop and double loop. Singe loop learning asks a one-dimensional question to elicit a one-dimensional answer . . . . Double loop learning takes an additional step or, more often than not, several additional steps. It turns the question back on the questioner. It asks what the media call follow-ups.” (p. 91). Any learning, through reflection and analysis, should dig deeper and wider, thereby making any positive outcome more long-term and more widespread in the organization. The most useful learning then is the double-loop learning (Arygyris, 2001, p. 91).

This ties up with learning, just as importantly since this involves self-examination from the employees and up the organizational chart, seeking for strengths and maximizing it, zooming on mistakes and inefficiencies and eliminating or minimizing them, and after every step of improvement, includes patting everyone involved at the back and rewarding them for a job well done. If the managers knew what makes their employees unsatisfied and unhappy, they can offer more to the existing and incoming batches of employees.

            An efficient means of keeping employees associated with the values and goals of an organization is by developing a culture that encourages employees to focus on a higher purpose for their work. Values that support this kind of consistent operation include the idea that people are basically, good, rational and interested in achievement. Leaders that unify an organization believe that the individual has something to contribute to the organization (Scholl).

The bottom line for managers who want to create a culture of success is to start with creating a positive environment. They need to bring in people whose values are in line with the organization’s culture, and continue to acknowledge success and involve the whole organization in maintaining an environment that allows people to enjoy working hard to meet the company’s goals. (Scholl).

It is a must for the management to understand the relationship between a strong management and positive organizational outcomes, and that it possesses the opportunity to create, influence, and utilize these positive effects that can result from strong and equipped organizational culture. (Ritchie).

Conclusion

            With the technological advances that the world has, the human factor in an organization had been nearly forgotten. Still, the proliferation of women police employees necessitates that he would move forward to accept the challenges of today, the value of human capital in an organization cannot be denied. The world is now re-assessing the value of individuals and the society as well.

            The impact of the individual in an organization might be the key in addressing various issues that hound any company, even the successful ones. Organizations are now starting to acknowledge the impact of human capital. But the concept of social capital is usually still being used in the context of society and not on the organizational level. As organizations start to realize that human capital and social capitals are inter-connected in its impact in an organization, they are starting to research on the quantitative value that it will provide. Although, some models for the measurement of human capital are not considered scientific yet, the promotion of the issue is getting clearer. On the other hand, social capital is still very hard for organizations to comprehend its impact. Prisoners have long had the right to the minimal conditions necessary for human survival. My changes will be made reasonable and I will make sure that they are carried out. Their stay in prisons need not be a punishing experience even if they had committed serious crimes. My program shall entitle inmates reasonable care, protection and shelter.  In summary, we can say that performance management ought to focus on the individual such that the different principles of planning of management come into play and are overlapping, interdependent factors in the broader organizational system. All affect performance management. They provide the astute manager with a fundamental basis for examining and understanding his own organization especially during those critical times. The human, material and capital resources of the enterprise must be managed effectively and efficiently. The practice of management requires foresight, intellectual skill, conceptual insight into business realities and judgment. Every business, from the most successful to the most troubled, does some things very right. The most important part of this process is identifying the things that one does so well. Motivation is often mistaken as good-hearted attempts of encouragement that often brings about dependence among employees. Motivation has become a much-abused word. It is often regarded as some sort pumping up employee’s enthusiasm or sometimes as making people happy. In this ‘making people happy’ concept, the task is simple on complaint reduction.

Programs and changes must be made by management to encourage female police officers and increase the amount of women who apply for the job. Every penal institution—jail, prison or reformatory—has a specific set of official rules that guide prisoners’ lives and dictate what they can and cannot do. These rules are of great significance; a violation may result in a loss of good time, which can lengthen the inmate’s stay in prison. Violation of prison rules may also result in harsh disciplinary measures, such as solitary confinement, suspension of privileges, or transfer to a more secure facility. Today, rules are more lenient than in the past. Conversation is no longer prohibited, and rigid, military like discipline is rare.

Conflict, violence, and brutality are sad but ever-present facts of prison institutional life. The new programs that I will institute as a manager of corrections, if given a chance, would be to minimize prison violence by decongesting the prisons. There would be better management since violence results because prisons lack effective management styles that enable inmate grievances against prison officials, or other inmates to be handled fairly and equitably. I will allow them to become eligible for parole after completing their minimum sentence less good time. Parole is considered a way of completing a prison sentence in the community under the supervision of the correctional authorities, Once released in the community, my men and women will be supervised by a trained staff of parole officers who will help the offender search for employment and monitor the parolee’s behavior and activities to ensure that the conditions of parole are met.

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