The first event involves a layoff of corrections officers in Jacksonville. In July 2012, About 58 officers were to be laid off from their positions as correction officers.
The criteria that was used to lay down the officers involved use of lottery balls in a hand-cracked cage and officer that had spend less than two years working in the jail would lose their jobs due to lack of funds from the City Council to the sheriff office. The budget proposal by Mayor Alvin brown was inadequate and therefore Sheriff John Rutherford was to prescribe over the lottery as it was the way to break employment ties according to Civil Service rules. For people hired on the same day, the lottery would have numbers assigned for each individual ad those that would be laid off first were those that their balls came out of the cage first. Officers’ jobs were to be put on line since a bar chart in the sheriff office shown a gradual decrease in the budget allocation to the jail as the mayor continued to enforced budget cuts (Dana, 2012).
Due to a $21 million budgetary cut proposed by the mayor in his election, the sheriff had to cut off jobs and also close a community transition centre as well as the housed drug treatment center and more unfilled jobs would be eliminated. The consequence of these job cuts would be few police officers in the streets leading to more drug addicts in the streets.
The politics involving the budgetary cuts by the mayor are the main issue of concern. This is because the cuts led to lack of money to run the jail. More cuts would lead to more layoffs and this leads to more stress to the sheriff as the office would lose more correction officers and there would be insecurity to the public and the community. These problems are work related and to eliminate job layoffs, the City Council had to review their revenue sources in order to increase their budget towards the Sheriff office and avoid layoffs of corrections officers (Dana, 2012).
This case involves the New York Department of Corrections Versus Baker. A New York corrections office named Doreen Baker is charge of undue familiarity with an inmate and therefore violating the rules of the department and being guilty of fraternizing with the inmate. There is evidence the inmate was housed in her house and there were over one hundred telephone calls received by Baker from the inmate. Additionally, Baker did not notify her command that she has a relationship with one of the inmate (The Public Employment Law Press, 2010).
Baker asserted that she did not have any relationship with the inmate and that the inmate had a relationship with her daughter however Judge Zorgniotti found the assertions unbelievable, recommending the termination of Baker. A similar case involves Vega v Dept. of Correctional Services. This case is similar to the previous one as department employees were prohibited from having relationships with inmates in a manner that would prohibit prober discharge of duties by the employees. Vega is also terminated from her position after being found guilty of fraternizing with an inmate. Although she appeals to the Appellate Division, the termination is sustained as she violated department rules prohibiting employee relationships with inmates (The Public Employment Law Press, 2010).
These two cases are personal. It is clear that personal problems are leading to occupational stress as correction officers lose their jobs. These events are not caused by organizational politics but by personal issues such as having relationships that prohibit discharge of duties. To minimize attitudes in this incident, correction officers have to notify their command of such relationships so that the employees’ manual can be reviewed and exceptions made that can allow officers to engage with inmate and assure discipline and efficiency at work.
According to Baker and Stelloh (2012), NYPD police officer shot an18 year old at their apartment and then took into custody the man’s grandmother, who witnessed the shooting. The grandmother was held for long hours which were against her will. The shot man was just in the bathroom and was doing nothing illegal. Narcotic officers had been following the teenager to the apartment thinking that the young man was armed. But this was not the case as there was no gun.
From critical scrutiny of this case, the police appear to be unconscious of some situations due to issues of stress at work. The incident of holding the witness for long hours is clear evidence as the witness is held at the 47th precinct station for over seven hours. The witness is also forced into making a statement against her will as the killing was so fatal yet unfair.
The issue of concern with is excessive granted to the police by law. It is so inhuman that an unarmed teenager is shot to death by police at their apartment. After the witness makes no complains, the police department appear settled with such an incident. Holding the witness for over seven hours means that there s a probability that she was forced to make a false statement against which she could face the same consequences.
The witnesses faced aggressive questioning and the police do not appear to the issue with the sensitivity of the issue. This event appears more personal because why would a police officer break into an apartment and kill a young man? The conclusion of this case has to start with the premise. The premise is wrong as the police officer had no business reason or work related reason to break into the house (Baker, & Stelloh, 2012).
The political event that led to this killing is that police are given excess authority and power over civilians. Killings by police are usually accompanied with genuine evidence where civilians are not present or not at hand. This is because the police usually have time to gather evidence to support their shootings. But this case is different and highlights the politics behind police operations. It indicates that there are many controversial police shootings since civilians witnesses are not always at hand, highlighting the inefficiency of the police (Baker, & Stelloh, 2012).
From this case, there are politic of excessive use of power by police. The case also personal and indicates that the police are always have high levels of stress and therefore fail to enforce law, to protect and to serve. Officers that held the grandmother for long hours were certainly under stress. Additionally there cannot be any excuse for using excessive force or for the ill treatment of the innocent witness.
Current sources of stress for the criminal justice professional are determined by the character of the worker. There can be psychological stress in the workplace which can lead to body and mind disorders. However there is no a single cause for stress in criminal justice workplaces. Stress comes from unexpected pressures or stressful factor accumulating in a given period. Mostly the sources of stress include improper management of work, work overloads, fear, danger, work shifts, boredom and conflicting relationships. Working with the public is a stress itself as they always hate people in authority and those that tell what is to be done and this hatred, misgivings and fear turns to stress for criminal justice professionals (Leigh, 2013).
Criminal justice is filled with administration politics. There are many changes in administration that officers do not know how to act in the next minute. This leads to uncertainty as officers sometimes lack backup for their actions. There are many unnecessary shifts from department to another, with no professional reasons. Shifts are also influenced by politics and these work changes affects routines and personal relationships and is an internal stressor for criminal justice professionals. Administrative stressors include dealing with administrative issues, carrying internal investigations and paperwork (Leigh, 2013).
Working with diverse agencies causes stress for criminal justice professionals. The obligation of a court appearance may interfere with personal sleep, current work assignment as well as personal time. Also stressful is battling with agencies and court decisions to release offenders. Most agencies are ineffective in helping victims and this is stressful as a criminal justice officer may feel truly unable to help a victim of crime by attaining closure to a case (Maguire, & Radosh, 2004).
There are several contemporary concerns that impact on criminal justice professionals. Some of the m includes inadequate funding, lack of support from the court system, changing social and political climate, low salaries and excess low enforcement duties. Criminal justice professionals usually perform multiple tasks within their departments and this means that they spend most time in work related issues and have no social lives. One moment they are in boredom and suddenly you have to mobilize energy to get on with work (In Hucklesby, & In Wahidin, 2013).
To address occupational stress and concerns impacting criminal justice professionals, I recommend the implementation of stress management programs in the workplace to assist all persons. Stress management programs would work if implemented in tandem with administrators, court systems and law enforcement departments. Methods to manage stress in the criminal justice workplace include meditation, developing positive attitude, rest, diet control, time management, giving priority to tasks, exercise, not handling tasks more than what a person can handle, attending stress management courses and opting for counseling programs, among others (Marcus, 2005).
- Maguire, B., & Radosh, P. (2004). The past, present, and future of American criminal justice. Walnut Creek, Calif: AltiMira Press.
- In Hucklesby, A., & In Wahidin, A. (2013). Criminal justice.