Criminal justice administration is not a position that should be taken lightly given that it involves an enormous responsibility and occasionally very stressful environment. As such, people in administrative positions are expected to be ethically upright and boast fitting behavior in view of the fact that they serve as examples to their co-workers and the community.
The administrators are often confronted with challenges in criminal justice management as well as challenges that are very well associated with the modern government (University of South Florida, n.d.).
Today’s society is continually in transition; and as a result, fundamental and major changes are equally taking place in the social and economic field. In order for the criminal justice administration to be successful, it must necessarily keep pace with the changing times. It is important therefore that administrators must have an advanced analytical skill, as well as the capacity to use the aforementioned attribute in designing and evaluating solutions to the ever evolving challenges.
Challenges of the Criminal Justice Administration
Basic is the rule in criminal justice that serious inadequacy in the administration of justice is considered denial of justice. More often than not, breakdowns take place in the administration of criminal justice. Delay and incompetence in apprehending, deciding court cases and in providing appropriate correctional programs have become recognizable and unending to the system.
This observable fact is not restricted to the United States alone, but it is rather worldwide and historical; it is inherent in every judicial system, which in reality should be guarding against any injustice made to a person. The causes of delays and inefficiencies in the administration of criminal justice are profound and diverse, arising as a result of factors equally inside and outside the system (Asian Legal Information Institute).
Nevertheless, it has always been the primary concern of every civilized society to deal with the challenge of incompetence in the system with a view to find ways of eliminating substandard and insufficiencies in the administration.
Generally, every court employs a court administrator who is placed to administer court operations including the management of finances and appointment of personnel. However, other than managing employees, there is more to being a court administrator.
Court administrators’ responsibilities involves personnel management, signing of judgments and orders, fiscal responsibilities, case flow management, records management, issuing summons, and statistical analysis, in addition to designing and putting into practice within the pre-existing court guidelines a number of significant procedures.
Aside from managing their department and the court system’s financial expenses, court administrators are also expected to make forecasts as to the future needs of the system.
The court administrators’ responsibility is one that cannot be taken without due consideration, since they are in charge for numerous responsibilities within the department. As such, they must be competent enough to think on their feet without delay.
Court administrators must be capable of evaluating and interpreting the necessities of the organization, and must constantly assess the latter’s development in order to properly determine indispensable changes. The satisfying part of being a court administrator is that the position often builds encouraging relationships with the community, co-workers and employees.
In addition, the position is satisfying in view of the fact that administrators are granted with the authority to execute courses of action that they believe to be advantageous to court employees as well as to the public.
However, despite the fact that the role of court administrator generates numerous rewards, there are evidently several aspects which can and will complicate the role. Like any other profession, there are issues that would make the court administrator’s work multifaceted and obviously exhausting.
Issues in the areas of public relations, budgeting, meeting deadlines and on the whole encouraging people, are continually being encountered by the justice system. Consequently, because of the unremitting traditional direction of justice, many observers suggest that court administrators are becoming inefficient and ineffective in the performance their duties.
Experts believe that in order to become an efficient and effective court administrator, one must have: (1) proper support systems, together with case flow systems and administration information systems; (2) sufficient resources, together with adequate resources for the adjustment process; (3) effective procedures, tactics and strategies, as well as an operational plan; (4) an appropriate management and organizational structure; (6) a set of objectives and collective vision; and (6) strong management skills (Fraser, n.d., p.6).
Unfortunately, some observers believe that there are still a few court administrators these days that are deficient with some of the abovementioned requirements.
Outcome of the Course
In addition to the fact that the course enhanced my researching skills, I learned a number of additional useful knowledge, particularly on the administration and administrators of criminal justice. The course has provided me information on some challenges affecting the aforesaid administrators, aside from the issues and satisfaction associated with the position.
Taken as a whole, the criminal justice administration class has helped improve my awareness of what the specific duties of the justice administrators really are.
The class has enlightened me on the large number of new opportunities as well as several long-established career opportunities in criminal justice. For that reason, I am now taking into consideration careers in the criminal justice system, especially in court administration.
Asian Legal Information Institute. (n.d.). Criminal Justice System. Retrieved February 6, 2009, from http://www.asianlii.org/pk/other/PKLJC/reports/22.html
Fraser, C. (n.d.). Modernizing Models of Court Administration: A Time for Change. Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice. Retrieved February 6, 2009, from http://www.ciaj-icaj.ca/english/publications/2004/684Fraser.pdf
University of South Florida. (n.d.). Criminal Justice Administration. Retrieved February 6, 2009, from http://criminology.usf.edu/faculty/data/certificate_brochure.pdf
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