Conflict in Investigation
Week 5 discussion 2
Respond to the following questions:
- Why is there sometimes conflict and tension between
police, prosecutors, and corrections? Why is there often tension between
state, federal, and local authorities?
- In regard to the investigation and prosecution of a
case, what are some of the costs of tension?
- Without making major changes in the system, what could
be done to alleviate tension and conflict in order to create a better
Police, courts, & corrections are separate governmental
institutions with different goals, histories, & operating procedures. In
criminal justice the blame game is common.
The New York Times
(December 9, 1981, 30) said it best when it com-
pared the justice system to Rubik’s Cube:
It’s long been understood that criminal justice is a
Rubik’s Cube: what the police do will affect what
happens in court, which will affect what happens
in the jails and prisons. You can’t hope to deal
with crime better by focusing on any single part—
any more than you can solve the cube by concentrating on one
square at a time.
Yet for years criminal justice officials have
responded to public frustration by focusing blame
on each other—regarding small matters as well as
large. We could hold speedier trials, say court
administrators, if only the corrections people
would get the prisoners to court on time. We
could keep more men on the street, say the police,
if only the courts wouldn’t tie them up so long
when they bring people in. We could send convicts
to prison faster, say judges, if only the probation
department would prepare pre-sentencing reports
Crime, and Controversy, n.d., p.5).
Local, state, and federal
governments spend $112 billion to apprehend, convict, and punish criminals (Gifford
1999). These tax dollars support an enormous assortment of criminal justice
agencies, who in turn employ a large (and growing) number of employees; roughly
2 million people earn their living working in the criminal justice system Courts, Crime, and Controversy, n.d.,p.2)
Sometimes there erupt conflicts and tensions between
different parties being involved in criminal cases. These parties include the
police, the prosecutors as well as corrections. The main cause is the level of
their jurisdictions and responsibilities in a case. While police believe they
can be able to avert crimes solely in their jurisdiction, the corrections
believe their work determines recidivism while practitioners they can be able
to prevent and decrease severity of crimes in the area (Becker & Dutelle,
2013). Despite different jurisdictions, each of them is working to be seen as
the one important than the other in the criminal justice system. In additional
the tension between the state, federal and local authorities come from their
constitutional mandate as each must act with the powers delegated to it.
However they sometime fail to act as interpreted and thus create the tension
The poor management of this interagency generates friction
between them which makes criminal justice system more costly. The agencies are
sometimes force to delay or use long costly methods as a way of disproving
others in the criminal investigation. While police in the scene might have
gotten relevant information, another department seeks to establish its own
independently investigation and further entrenches the difference between these
parties. At some time, the most relevant evidence fails to make it in the court
due to disapproval my certain high leveled agency (Neubauer, 2011).
Without making major in the constitution or in the system,
the only thing is to ensure that different groups are under proper management.
The executive branch mandated to oversee the departments should take charge and
ensure that different branches coexist together and respect each other.
It was Perry Mason who set the pattern for atypical
portrayals of lawyers
by always securing his clients acquittal. In addition,
entertainment distorts important issues of
civil liberties. The case was solved end of story. We all
know that is not the truth,
AIC Justice. (n.d.). [PDF]Courts, Crime, And Controversy -
Cengage Learning. Retrieved from
www.cengage.com/resource.../0534563406_21401.pd... Cengage Learning
Becker, R. F. & Dutelle, A. W.
(2013). Criminal investigation (4th ed.) Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Neubauer, D. W. (2011). America's
courts and the criminal justice system. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.