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NCJ Number: 48249 Find in a Library
Title: BUREAUCRATIC CRISIS - PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS...WHOM DO THEY SERVE?
Journal: CRIMINAL JUSTICE MONOGRAPH  Volume:8  Issue:4  Dated:(1978)  Pages:COMPLETE ISSUE
Author(s): B JACKSONLEINWEBER S H
Corporate Author: Sam Houston State University
Institute of Contemporary Corrections and the Behavioral Sciences
United States of Ameri
Editor(s): S H LEINWEBER
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Sam Houston State University
Huntsville, TX 77340
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE STRUCTURE AND INTERNAL ORGANIZATION OF BUREAUCRATIC PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS, AS EXEMPLIFIED BY CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS, ARE EXAMINED.
Abstract: INSTITUTIONS OR BUREAUCRACIES TEND TO HAVE WITHIN THEM AT LEAST FOUR SIGNIFICANT ROLES OR CLASSES: THE POLITICIANS OR INTERFACE AGENTS WHO MAINTAIN CONTACT WITH THE SYSTEM OUTSIDE THE INSTITUTION; THE MANAGERS, WHO HANDLE FUNCTIONING AND COMPETITION WITHIN THE INSTITUTION; THE LINEWORKERS, WHO MEDIATE BETWEEN THE INSTITUTION AND THE COERCED TRANSIENT; AND THE COERCED TRANSIENT, FOR WHOM THE INSTITUTION OSTENSIBLY EXISTS AND WHO IS MANAGED WITHIN OR BY THE INSTITUTION. EACH OF THESE FOUR CLASSES HAS A DIFFERENT SET OF DEFINITIONS FOR WHAT CONSTITUTES LEGITIMATE FUNCTIONS OR MODES OF BEHAVIOR; THE ONLY THING THEY SHARE IS THE INSTITUTIONAL CONNECTION. FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF THE LARGER SOCIETY, EACH INSTITUTION HAS A SPECIFIC JOB; HOWEVER, THE JOBS FOR WHICH OUTSIDERS CREATE AND MAINTAIN INSTITUTIONS ARE ALMOST NEVER THE JOBS USED BY THE FOUR INSIDE CLASSES TO DEFINE AND LEGITIMIZE THEMSELVES. OUTSIDERS MAINTAIN PRISONS TO PUNISH AND REHABILITATE/REFORM OFFENDERS, AND TO PREVENT CRIME BOTH BY DETERRING PREVIOUS AND POTENTIAL OFFENDERS AND BY TEMPORARILY ISOLATING OFFENDERS. YET THESE FUNCTIONS HAVE VIRTUALLY NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT ACTUALLY GOES ON INSIDE THE PRISON. WHILE EACH OF THE FOUR INSIDE CLASSES HAS LEGITIMATE INTEREST IN THE QUALITY AND CHARACTERISTICS OF INSTITUTIONAL LIFE, THESE ARE RARELY COMPATIBLE WITH THE CHARACTERISTICS OR QUALITIES IMPOSED BY OUTSIDERS. MOREOVER, EXTERNAL STANDARDS OF RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY, SUCH AS THOSE FOUND IN PRIVATE INDUSTRY, ARE LACKING. RATHER, THE FOUR INSIDE CLASSES GENERATE INDICATORS OF SUCCESS THAT ATTEMPT TO RATIONALIZE THE DISCREPANCY WHICH EXISTS BETWEEN THE OUTSIDE EXPECTATIONS AND THE INSIDE NECESSITIES. FOR INSTANCE, A WARDEN MAY BE REWARDED FOR MAINTAINING ORDER OR STAYING WITHIN HIS BUDGET, BUT HE WILL NOT BE PUNISHED IF THE OFFENDER LEAVES HIS INSTITUTION ONLY TO OFFEND AGAIN. THE MEMBERS OF THE FOUR CLASSES TEND TO ACT ON THOSE INDICATORS UNTIL THE INDICATORS BECOME NORMATIVE AND CONTROLLING; E.G., ESCAPE OR RECIDIVISM FIGURES ARE USED TO INDICATE THAT THE PRISON IS DOING A GOOD JOB. HOWEVER, RECIDIVISM MEASURES BEHAVIOR PATTERNS NEVER DIRECTLY LINKABLE TO PRISON INFLUENCES, AND RECIDIVISM IS A CATEGORY TOO UNSUBTLE TO BE MEANINGFUL. MOREOVER, RECIDIVISM STATISTICS ARE RARELY ACCURATELY OR ADEQUATELY QUALIFIED AND ARE EASILY STACKED. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE APPARENT RIGIDITY OF MOST BUREAUCRATIC INSTITUTIONS RESULTS FROM THE DISCREPANCY BETWEEN INSIDE AND OUTSIDE DEFINITIONS AND RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY. REFORM DESIGNS WHICH DO NOT SUCCESSFULLY ALIGN INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL DEFINITIONS AND NORMS WILL BE AT BEST MINOR AND COSMETIC. NO REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Accountability; Correctional institutions (adult); Correctional organization; Correctional personnel; Deterrence; Effectiveness; Performance requirements; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Recidivism; Reform; Role perception; Work attitudes
Note: SPEECH PRESENTED AS PART OF THE DISTINGUISHED LECTURER SERIES AT THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE CENTER, INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY CORRECTIONS AND THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES, SAM HOUSTON STATE UNIVERSITY, HUNTSVILLE, TEXAS, JANUARY 25, 1978
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=48249

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