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NCJ Number: 78329 Find in a Library
Title: Interest Groups in the Criminal Justice Process
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:9  Issue:2  Dated:(1981)  Pages:181-194
Author(s): E S Fairchild
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 14
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews recent research about interest groups in criminal justice policymaking and considers the state of knowledge in this area.
Abstract: Criminal justice interest groups are defined as those organizations that are entirely or partially dedicated to influencing the formulation and execution of public policy in the areas of crime and criminal justice administration. They include professional groups, such as police officers' associations and bar associations, and groups that provide a mix of political activity and service to clients of the criminal justice system. They do not include purely service groups, such as church groups. Portions of major studies by Downs, Berk, et al., and Berk and Rossi are discussed. Three points are suggested by the research. First, groups composed of criminal justice professionals are more influential than those with social service or reform concerns. Second, particular social, cultural, and economic conditions in the various States affect interest group structure, power, and goals. Third, criminal justice legislation is generally enacted on a consensual basis without open conflicts in State legislatures and without major public involvement in the process. Some evidence that would tend to modify these conclusions is also presented. Avenues of future research concern are suggested, and a framework for further analysis of interest groups in the politics of criminal justice is proposed. A table and approximately 35 references are provided. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Criminal justice system policy; Decisionmaking; Policy; Political influences; Professional organizations; Public interest advocacy; State laws
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