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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 92296 Find in a Library
Title: Rethinking Criminal Justice Research - A Systems Perspective
Author(s): I A Connidis
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 124
Sponsoring Agency: Holt, Rinehart and Winston
New York, NY 10017
Sale Source: Holt, Rinehart and Winston
383 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: In proposing a systems perspective for improving research on the criminal justice system, this book focuses on the administration of criminal justice to determine how its operation affects the behavior of those involved in the system, notably personnel decisionmaking.
Abstract: A critique of current approaches to criminal justice research concludes that there is no comprehensive theoretical framework for criminal justice research; consequently, there is neither an organizing paradigm for research nor a basis for explaining, rather than merely describing, criminal justice operations. In presenting a systems framework for studying the criminal justice process, the primary aims of this study are to provide (1) a framework which is true to the actual process of criminal justice and not removed in theoretical abstractions, (2) a framework that can incorporate apparently disparate findings and substantive theoretical orientations, and (3) a paradigm that includes elements of both conflict and cooperation, stability and change. The first part of the book focuses on the development of a theoretical framework through which systems theory is related to social systems, recognizing the problems involved in transferring systems analysis from other areas to the study of social systems and the shortcomings of mathematical models. The criminal justice system is identified as a social system with the characteristics of 'openness' (influenced by other systems in its environment due to its continuous interaction with them). Because of this characteristic, the importance of 'boundary determination' for the system in conducting research is considered. Rational-goal models of the criminal justice system (JUSSIM and CANJUS) are explained and critiqued, followed by discussions of the nonhierarchical structure of the criminal justice system, subgoal priorities and feedback, the maintenance of subsystem functional autonomy in the criminal justice system, and conflict in the criminal justice system. A total of 148 bibliographic entries are provided along with a subject index.
Index Term(s): Criminal justice system analysis; Decisionmaking; Operations research; Systems analysis
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