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The Effects of Prison Economy - Research Paper Example

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What effect does the Courtroom Workgroup have on criminal justice outcomes? Full Name CRJS 480-001 Dr. John David Reitzel Date Introduction The intricate factors that are intertwined to evaluate the commission of a criminal act are generally tedious and mind-numbing…
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Download file to see previous pages Siegel (2009) has clearly and simply proffered the basic mechanics of the existence of a courtroom workgroup by averring that the prosecution and defense unite to work out a criminal case in a collaborative and cooperative juncture to arrive at an agreement amenable to both parties (20). The benefits that the courtroom workgroup would generate on all parties involved are deemed to outweigh the costs of going through the entire judicial proceedings of a trial. If people are to be made more aware of the essential ingredients, approach and pronounced benefits of courtroom workgroup, sentencing decisions and agreed settlement of criminal cases would be facilitated at the most appropriate time frame. The effect of courtroom workgroup on the outcome of criminal cases would be evaluated and assessed in terms of factors that influence the decision. In this regard, the current research aims to proffer issues relative of courtroom workgroups by expounding and exploring its definition, the basic components of the workgroup, the essential ingredients to make it work. One would delve into the roles and functions of the components of the workgroup to determine the impact on sentencing decisions. Finally, the impact of courtroom workgroup would be closely analyzed from different perspectives as seen in diverse points of views. Do criminal justice outcomes arrived at by courtroom workgroups serve the best interests of all parties involved? Definition and Goals Courtroom Workgroups To clearly provide a greater understanding of courtroom workgroups, the exact definition of the terms would be presented. The research conducted by Haynes, Ruback and Cusick (2008) cited the studies made by Eisenstein and his colleagues (Eisenstein et al., 1988; Eisenstein & Jacob, 1977; Nardulli, Eisenstein, & Flemming, 1988), who averred that “courtroom workgroups consist of individuals who share a common workplace, who interact in the performance of their jobs, and whose collective purpose is to dispose of case” (Haynes, et.al, 2008, 5). Vuolo (2007) expounded on the composition of the courtroom workgroup as “ prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, and occasionally police (who) work together with the mutual interest of getting the job done as efficiently as possible” (10). The author, likewise, emphasized that although there is a degree of cooperation, some level of restraint and control in the level of behavior of the participants. As Siegel (2009) indicated, the people who comprise the courtroom work group have established a degree of familiarity despite assumption of disparate roles and considered to have acquired competencies and expertise in their respective functions that their objective is to streamline the system to eliminate unnecessary delays and to circumvent costs related to trials. The study of Eisenstein and his colleagues, cited by Haynes, et.al (2008) have prompted the focus on the perception of courtroom workgroups, in terms of offenders and cases, as significantly affecting the outcome of sentencing. Therefore, to answer the research question as the goal of the current study, a closer examination of the composition, function, and factors that influence courtroom work groups’ decision would provide the key to the response. The factors that need to be considered in courtroom work groups are the degree and extent of familiarity among the members, as well as “the context in which the court is located, and the county legal culture (i.e., ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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