HRD Practices and Criminal Justice

Human Resources Development or HRD is a human capital centered approach in transforming members of the organization into valuable assets – responsive, productive, and highly efficient. HRD values the roles and contributions of human resources to organizational or institutional success. Therefore, it realizes that the human capital is at the heart of organizations or institutions, especially those that rely on human skills and competencies such as the industry of criminal justice.

For this reason, criminal justice will greatly benefit from programs or activities implemented by HRD. (Lee, 2001) The contributions of HRD to criminal justice are comprehensive, such that it does not only focus on one area but on all other aspects or areas of criminal justice as a whole. The criminal justice system constitutes a populous human capital and almost all functions and operations are handled by human resources.

With this in mind, the value of the human capital to the criminal justice system is highly important, providing the premise that HRD is also valued in order to ensure that the human capital the criminal justice system heavily relies on will deliver responsibilities and expectations. HRD influences all human practices in criminal justice, such as policing, court proceedings and decisions, and corrective principles and policies. To apply sound HRD practices to policing or law enforcement, for instance, requires the implementation of training programs for law enforcement officers concerning tactics or strategies in policing.

An example of training activities embodied within the concepts of HRD include the responsive of police officers to non-emergency and emergency situations, patrolling routines and activities, and standards, guidelines, or protocols for criminal investigations. (“COPS Problem Based Learning/Police Training Officer Program,” 2004) Training programs initiated by HRD aims to improve policing knowledge and skills by providing law enforcement officers the opportunity to learn in order to consider issues that are instrumental in carrying out policing tasks and activities.

One such concern is the relationship between police officers and citizens. (“Principles of Good Policing: Avoiding Violence Between Police and Citizens,” 2003) Learning to establish collaborative relationships and foster mutual desire for peace and order in society by police-citizen cooperation is not something learned during formal education classes and is not usually an innate characteristic among all police officers. However, in order to set standards and guidelines on dealing with citizens, HRD initiated programs will aim to enhance communication skills of police officers.

This particular focus skill within the HRD implemented training program enhances the knowledge and skills of human resources which consequently becomes an advantage to law enforcement institutions as the involvement of society will efficiently target the realization of institutional goals and objectives. Practices initiated by HRD will not only influence several areas in criminal justice but also the elements that constitute human resources or human capital. The involvement of law enforcement officers to HRD practices or activities will expend majority of their time and effort as compared with the non-existence of HRD practices or programs.

Although participating in HRD practices or activities might seem off-putting at first due to demands and difficulties that it might impose to their task, law enforcement officers are likely to benefit from it in the long run. HRD practices or activities will increase their potential of being highly successful and competent in their field by granting them their learning and skill training needs in order by examining what is knowledge or competencies they lack through thorough evaluation and assessment. (Jack, 2005) Aside from law enforcement officers, law enforcement institutions are also influenced by HRD related practices and activities.

Developing the law enforcement institution is related to structuring the organization such that HRD practices and activities that will be imposed to law enforcement officers is handled well by the management without mistakes or overshooting of possible risks or threats. With HRD practices and activities, law enforcement institutions are obligated to work around with concepts, techniques, methodologies and such imposed by HRD, but in the process, also incorporate organizational goals and objectives in order to align organizational needs with the needs of human resources.

The implication of HRD practices and activities to law enforcement is that it must be able to establish a competent management team that will be able to oversee and facilitate the transition and the process of implementing HRD practices and activities to ensure that results will be outstanding and aligned with organizational goals and objectives. (“Leadership and Management for the Future,” 2008)

Career development, as an aim of HRD, is a great challenge faced by law enforcement institutions because it is covers a broad spectrum and it requires time, effort, and hard-work to realize the HRD goals and objectives and yield desirable results that the organization will take pleasure in. Career development is a long process, from the hiring or recruiting process up until the time that the human capital is able to reach their full potential and function confidently, professionally, and proficiently within their line of industry.

Career development is not a simple task, and problems might arise from cultural differences, disorganization, motivational problems, inability to cooperate and meet requirements, etc. In order to improve the dimensions of career development for both the human capital and the law enforcement institution, the process of adapting concepts underlying career development through HRD should follow a carefully made plan. A plan presents the entire career development in all aspects, from the time before it is implemented until the process is evaluated for further modification and improvement.

Moreover, the plan contains the pre-implementation phase wherein the human capital and the organization are evaluated in terms of needs or concerns, areas that need improvement, strengths and weaknesses, etc. (Gibbons, 1995) With the information obtained through assessment or evaluation, the HRD program is able to identify areas that need to be developed in order to attain the mission of career development. This process ensures that time and resources will not be wasted on useless career development practices or activities as they will be allocated to clearly determined urgent needs and concerns.

Difficulties or barriers (such as motivational problems, etc. ) are also evaluated during the pre-implementation phase, which guarantees that before they take place, law enforcement agencies already have formulated resolutions. Overall, following a carefully made plan makes no room for mistakes and directs the process of developing career and human resources to fit the goals and objectives of law enforcement organizations. (Gibbons, 1995)

The roles and functions of HRD are carried out through the authority and leadership of individuals who hold valuable positions within law enforcement organizations. For instance, counseling teams or management departments within the organization are able to communicate with members of law enforcement institutions and determine what the system needs in order to foster progress in terms of the development of careers for the human capital and the accomplishment of goals and objectives for the organization.

Individuals who hold managerial positions within law enforcement institutions will be able to impose HRD practices and activities usually through training programs, seminars or workshops, conferences and counseling programs. Determine roles and functions of HRD should be able to not only align organizational goals and objectives to practices and activities and the needs and concerns of law enforcement officers, but also formulate HRD influenced programs that are realistic and attainable. For instance, a learning program is something recommended by HRD as a means to promote career development.

This is a theoretical perspective. Closing the gap between the theory in HRD and the reality in law enforcement organizations means that the learning program should ensure that it is something relevant to the learning demands of law enforcement officers – something new, challenging, and motivating. Setting up HRD practices that are beyond the knowledge, skills and competencies of law enforcement officers and institutions establishes the gap between them. A theory is something ideal, setting up an environment that suggests utopia.

HRD is a theory; therefore it is built upon the most desirable missions or purposes. However, the ideal in theory will not always coincide with reality. With this in mind, the theory of HRD should be applied judiciously, such that it creates a middle ground between theoretical perspectives and reality.


“COPS Problem Based Learning/Police Training Officer Program. ” (2004). Retrieved October 27, 2008, from POST. Website: http://www. post. ca. gov/training/bt_bureau/manual/ftg/FTG-FTP-pdfs/FTG-appendices-pdfs/FTG-A14-overview. PDF

Gibbons, G. (1995). Career Development in Smaller Departments. Retrieved October 27, 2008, from CNET Networks Inc. Website: http://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m2194/is_n2_v64/ai_16677482/pg_1 Jack, B. L. (2005). A Study of Factors Affecting Participation and Performance of Police Officers Undertaking the Queensland Police Service’s Management Development Program by Distance Education. Retrieved October 27, 2008, from Queensland Research Office. Website: http://dlibrary. acu. edu. au/digitaltheses/public/adt-acuvp83. 04092006/01front. pdf

“Leadership and Management for the Future. ” (2008). Retrieved October 27, 2008, from U. S. Department of Justice, International Criminal Investigation Assistance Program. Website: http://www. bali-fbinaa. com/gerald. pdf Lee, M. (2001). A refusal to define HRD. Human Resource Development International, 4(3), 327-341. “Principles of Good Policing: Avoiding Violence Between Police and Citizens. ” (2003). Retrieved October 27, 2008, from U. S. Department of Justice. Website: http://www. usdoj. gov/crs/pubs/principlesofgoodpolicingfinal092003. pdf