M6D2 Rational Decision Making CJ Assignment


M6D2 Rational Decision Making CJ Assignment

Textbook: Stojkovic, S., Kalinich, D., & Klofas, J. (2015) Criminal justice organizations: Adminstration and management (6th ed). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Module 6: Module Notes: Decision Making

Almost without equal is the study and improvement of decision making in the criminal justice system. The decisions made here create a system out of disparate agencies and define the organizational policies of those agencies. Decision making permeates the roles of managers and frontline staff members. Criminal justice administrators or managers often have to make decisions on the basis of power and the influence of politics, both internally and externally. Therefore, the improvement of decision making is predicated upon a more rational basis. However, that goal must be considered within the context of the limits of rationality in the decision-making process.

Some theorists argue that an explicit understanding of the cultural and political constraints on decision making is vital to approaching a more “rational” decision-making process. Organizations tend to define problems and identify solutions to problems based upon deeply rooted values and beliefs. Attempting to impose rational decision-making procedures and techniques on an organization without considering implicit and esoteric constraints is doomed to failure. Organizations, individual decision makers, and the information itself constrain decision making. A purely rational model of decision making is not possible under the conditions of ambiguity that exist in the criminal justice system. M6D2 Rational Decision Making CJ Assignment

Decision makers must attempt to achieve organizational goals, despite the conflicts. An extension of this theoretical perspective suggests that some decision making can best be understood as a process of defining problems in terms of the solutions that already exist, otherwise known as the “garbage can” model.

Key Learning Point: The nature of decision making within the criminal justice system is one of working under conditions of bounded rationality, that is, with limited time and information. Therefore, achieving complete rationality is unlikely and probably impossible.

Recognition of the limits of rationality can help improve the decision-making process. Although discretion has sometimes been characterized as unguided by organizational policy, viewing discretionary decisions from the perspective of bounded rationality provides direction for change, while still preserving the desirable qualities of discretion. The bounded rationality perspective also suggests that neither clinical nor statistical predictions should be regarded as an entirely rational process. However, the limits of rationality are not inflexible; those limits can be pushed back by managers seeking increasingly rational decisions.

Criminal justice literature reveals several themes consistent with the pursuit of increased rationality. These themes indicate that the goal of rational decision making suggests attention to equity, accuracy, consistency with theory and resources, and the development of self-correcting processes. Although procedural and administrative decisions are made as a matter of daily business in the criminal justice system, decision making is far less than perfect and administrators must consider the importance of fairness and equity. While the system continues to try and improve its decision-making processes, decision making will ultimately be in the hands of individuals whose personal characteristics and styles will limit objective and rational decision making. M6D2 Rational Decision Making CJ Assignment


Stojkovic, S., Kalinich, D., & Klofas, J. (2015). Criminal justice organizations: Administration and management (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

M6D2: Rational Decision Making

Criminal justice administrators are often constrained by time and access to all of the facts or information needed to make rational decisions. However, some researchers have suggested that the boundaries of rationality in decision making can be improved. They suggest that critical thinking and effective problem solving can improve rational decision making, cultivate strong remedies to organizational perplexities, and provide valuable feedback on how well the solution meets the overall goals and objectives of the organization.

After reviewing the assignments, module notes, PowerPoint presentations, and articles in the Learning & Assessment Activities page, you will better understand why it is difficult for criminal justice professionals to make rational decisions given the many limitations, constraints, and issues surrounding the decision-making process.

For this discussion, address the following question:

  • Discuss how critical thinking and problem solving can improve the rational decision-making process for criminal justice professionals. Provide and discuss several examples.

Evaluation Criteria

Post must be 200 words in APA format including in-text citations and references pertaining to textbook, module readings, and/or additional outside resources. Please reference and cite your readings and viewings in support of your responses. M6D2 Rational Decision Making CJ Assignment

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