The analysis and application of the procedures of selection and performance appraisal, concerning personnel of the criminal justice system, are important manifestations of organizational psychology. This is because a critical assessment and effective implementation of organizational psychology concepts work both to the advantage of the employees and organization.Since organizational psychology requires the studying of the work behaviors of employees and how they are efficiently applied within the organization or system, this distinct area in the field of psychology is best depicted in the conduct of employees’ selection and performance evaluation processes. The field of criminal justice is generally an ideal set-up, where the objective of an evaluation and implementation of the employee selection and work appraisal method, is best achieved.
This is for the reason that the criminal justice is a system which can ultimately use the two main ideas of organizational psychology. Since such field includes the court or judicial concepts as well as the law enforcement and correction facilities, the objectives and practice of organizational psychology are attainable. Court judges need a critical analysis of judicial concepts in order to achieve an effective application of the laws and eventually benefit from the imprisonment or treatment of law offenders.Hence, the procedure of selecting judges, who are responsible for a critical analysis of laws as well as the evaluation of the performance of law enforcers such as policemen and jail officers, who are tasked to strictly apply the laws; are concrete indicators how organizational psychology effectively relates to the field of criminal justice. Organizational Psychology, An Overview As a special area of the scientific assessment of human’s conduct and intellectual processes, organizational psychology is an important tool in the study of one’s behavior in a work-related environment such as the criminal justice system.
According to Riggio (2007), organizational psychology is the area of psychology which deals and addresses the analysis of human behavior and the significant application of psychology concepts in the modification of work attitude of people (Riggio, 2007). Accordingly, the two purposes of organizational psychology, which includes the logical analysis of an individual’s behavior and its effective application in one’s respective work place, are manifestations of the methods of employee selection and performance appraisal.Riggio emphasized the need for an organizational psychologist to function both as an analytical scientist and effective practitioner. Hence, in organizational psychology, the scientific objective is for an improved knowledge and consideration of work-related behavior of people while it practically aims for the application of such psychological information for the advancement of employees’ welfare (Riggio, 2007).
Organizational Psychology in Criminal Justice FieldThe scientific study and practical application of organizational psychology are ideally depicted in the work setting of the criminal justice system. This is because the need for a significant evaluation of the methods of employee selection and performance appraisal of members of the criminal justice is undeniable. Specifically, organizational psychology is presented by the field of the criminal justice during the conduct of the processes of selection of court judges and personnel as well as law enforcers and jail employees.It is during this method that the scientific or theoretical selection of personnel is manifested through the use of general employee selection guideline or even specific selection criteria formed by an organization. Additionally, the practice of organizational psychology is done with the use of procedures that evaluate the work or performance of employees.
Weston and Fraley (1980) reported that the previous method of selecting law enforcers is characterized by police officers’ managerial or supervisory attributes and potentials as well as his or her intellectual and physical capacity.These are determined with how the police officers in particular perform in their physical and written examinations (Weston & Fraley, 1980). The two specifically stressed the significant need of the employee selection process that includes the result of an applicant’s physical and written examinations, interviews, psychological or background checking and medical examination. This is because an absence of one of these methodologies affects the effort of an organization and effective management of the police field (Weston & Fraley, 1980).Hence, an evaluation of the manner or procedure of employee selection of the various organizations within the criminal justice system reveals that the majority of them use a generalized process which is logical, practical and acceptable. However, Harvey (2008) wrote that the current trend in the employee selection and performance evaluation of members of the law enforcement builds the foundation of the field in the future.
Harvey said that the advent of the modern world especially technological advancements have resulted into a modification in the process of selecting law enforcers or policemen. Harvey added that in placing or selecting a set of new law enforcers, their skill levels and capabilities are now required and established. In doing so, an emphasis on criminal justice employees’ skills and the desire to benefit from the technological growth demand for more training programs (Harvey, 2008).The Criminal Justice Management Institute, on the other hand, stated a concrete method of selecting criminal justice personnel. This includes the conduct of job or task description analysis, existence of improved and coordinated written or physical tests, conduct of series of interviews or oral board presentations and creation of company centers that will evaluate who among the applicants will eventually be taken as employees of several criminal justice system organizations such as the court, police units and jail facilities (Criminal Justice Management Institute, 2004).
Meanwhile, Murray (1998) corroborated the idea that the criminal justice system, particularly the law enforcement agencies, continue to be dependent on the process of performance appraisal in order for an organization to achieve its specific objectives (Murray, 1998). Murray’s survey has proven this belief wherein around 29 out of the 33 organizations he studied have relied on the method of performance evaluation.Murray wrote that “almost all the agencies surveyed applied their performance evaluations to other aspects of employee development, including establishing a threshold for continued employment, promotions, transfers, and merit raises” (Murray, 1998, p. 5). Weston and Fraley (1980) have also stated that that the internal administration or management of the criminal justice field, particularly in the law enforcement organization, definitely involves the process of evaluating the performance or work of police officers in their respective police units or departments (Weston & Fraley, 1980).Hence, Harvey (2008), in citing the current period’s community policing, noted that the traditional performance appraisal method is manifested when the works of criminal justice personnel are quantitatively measured.
This quantitative measurement includes factors such as in the number of violation tickets issued as well as search and arrest warrants served by police officers.Harvey added that if the idea of community policing is emphasized, where the opinions of the residents in a community about their police unit are considered, the criminal justice field should now come up with an efficient measurement system which will address the concept of quantitative performance appraisal. Harvey stressed that quantifying law enforcers’ works is a viable process of evaluating their work performance.From this work appraisal process, organizations will eventually develop and provide assistance to the personnel of the criminal justice system (Harvey, 2008). Conclusion The critical analysis and application of the science and practice of organizational concepts is significantly beneficial to the field of the criminal justice.
This is specifically with the system’s processes of employee selection and performance or work evaluation.The concrete personnel selection process results into correct placing of employees according to their abilities and potentials. When employees are appropriately put in positions that will bring out the best in them, it leads to good results when their works or performances are appraised. Hence, these two processes work both to the advantage of the employees and the criminal justice field in general.