Multi-Generational Criminal Justice Management
Multi-Generational Criminal Justice Management
The Criminal Justice system is a system made up of laid down processes and whose main function is to minimize crime and punish law offenders. In most cases they are set up by individual governments to enable them to maintain law and order within a given country. Management in criminal justice refers to the complex process of strategic planning, objective selection, resource securing, and human resource provision and the necessary financial input in order to see that an organization meets its stipulated objectives in the criminal justice system. An organization in the criminal justice system is a composed group of people with specific objectives to meet or projects to fulfil within the system. Leadership within a criminal justice system refers to the process of controlling all the stipulated processes that occur in the system. The system has five main components which include Law enforcement, prosecution, courts, defense attorneys and corrections.
Just like in any given organization, there are different generations within the criminal justice system who all have different perspectives of different ideas. Because of this diversity, there is bound to be several instances of miscommunication, misunderstanding and instances that require good discernment skills by the leader in charge. There are four different generations currently occupying the current criminal justice system. These include the following: The Veterans, The Baby boomers, Generation X and Generation Y. The veteran generation include those that were born between the years 1922 and 1945, baby boomers are those that were born between 1946 and 1964.Generation Y individuals were born between 1965 and 1980.The final generation are those that were born between 1981 and 2000.The different generations all have different traits and features since they were born and raised at different sets of time.
Different studies have shown that there are different and distinct behaviors, expectations and attitudes exhibited by the different generations at the workplace. For a good criminal justice system to function effectively, all these perspectives must be linked into a uniform manner. The criminal justice system is known to be extremely conservative and is mainly based on tradition. This means that the older generations take the forefront and in most cases get away with most of the decision making. There is also difficulty in communication amongst the different generations because of trust issues. This limits open communication, conversation, honesty sincerity and creates a ground for generational prejudice. Younger generations such as X and Y are highly conversant and comfortable with technology and are fast to embrace technology and applications as they go through their day to day activities and their duties.
On the contrary, the baby boomers and the veterans are slow on such and are often reluctant to incorporate technology and applications into their activities. Generations X and Y are also extremely confident, with a strong sense of entitlement, and easily make suggestions when called upon and high self-esteem. Regarding their preferred forms of communication, Veterans prefer a formal memo, baby boomers like to communicate in person, generation X prefer direct and immediate communication methods whereas Y wants emails, voicemails and calls. At the workplace, especially in the law enforcement profession, the veterans and the baby boomers have been noted to complain that younger generations are poorly committed to their work, feel extremely entitled, and most often are not committed to their work. Younger officers however feel that the older officers are rigid, inflexible, and have nothing else going on other than the job.
A well-functioning criminal justice system therefore has to incorporate all these differences and ensure smooth coexistence at the work place. This calls for good managerial skills and high notched leadership skills within a criminal justice agency. Approaches to managing and leading the different generations therefore have to be set up in order to have an effective criminal justice system and in order to attain the objectives. There are different managerial aspects with regards to this. They include, to begin with, helping each generation to try and understand one another. This can be achieved in different ways, the employees could attend trainings and conferences with invited speakers that try to expound more on the traits and features of different generations and how to survive and deal with individuals of a different generation. These can greatly help them to understand one another and look beyond their irreconcilable differences hence improving the outcome at the workplace.
Another approach is to create multigenerational teams. These are teams composed of members from the different generations that are placed together to tackle a given issue or merely to work together at the workplace. From this arrangement, the different individuals can easily learn from one another. The individuals with several years of experience, in this case the veterans and the baby boomers can then use their experience to aid in decision making provided the idea is clearly explained and understood by the different members of the team. The third approach of management in such a set-up is to encourage mentoring between the different generations. This provides wisdom and experience transition from the older generation to the younger individuals. It also facilitates cross generational communication and understanding between themselves.
The manager should also provide options of different working conditions if possible. This ensures that each generation’s preferences are attained. For instance the younger generations prefer working from home or off site whereas the older generations prefer going to the office. In the law enforcement department for instance, this is able to be achieved. The veterans and baby boomers can be assigned the office duties whereas the generations X and Y can be assigned field duties and those that are mainly concerned with technology because with this one is sure that each generation will perform their duties to the best of their abilities and the system’s targets and objectives will be met easily. Another aspect of management that can greatly aid in the leadership of a multigenerational scenario is the incorporation of different learning techniques to the different generations. Research has shown that the baby boomers for instance prefer more traditional learning techniques such as power point presentations and word documents. Younger generations however prefer interactive forms of learning with a tinge of technology accompanying it.
Another managerial approach is to develop and create recognition program. Once in a while, not only in the multigenerational set ups, employees require a reminder that their input is valued and that their work is highly appreciated. This can be achieved by setting up appreciation days which can then be provided in the form of gifts, tokens, gift vouchers or even pleasant emails. This ensures that the different generations at their different sections at work feel appreciated. This can be done both at individual level and at the team level. As aforementioned, different individuals can be placed in one team and encouraged to work as a unit. These teams can then be rewarded if they achieve their targets. This will enable the employees to be able to appreciate each generation at individual level which then fosters togetherness and improves the outcome at work.
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