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Discretionary Decision-making Assignment Help

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Decision making comes in many forms. The most popular of these is informed, evidence-based decisions and policy derived from empirical findings.  For this work, it is based upon the article by LaFrance and Day in regards to standard operating procedures. In this case, the decisions are made based upon both the experience of the individual involved and the guidance of their SOP’s as they employ discretion in the field.

Discussion Question

Based upon the article, The Role of Experience in Prioritizing Adherence to SOPs in Police Agencies by LaFrance and Day, do you think that a criminal justice professional’s experience should guide their discretionary decision-making? Or, should they adhere strictly to the policies and standard operating procedures as written by their agency?

Give an example when discretion might be used as you explain your answer. Also, make sure you support your position with citations and references to literature.

Experience of a criminal justice's profession and its effect in discretionary decision-making

As opined by LaFrance and Day (2013), research is proof that experience is an important determinant of the decision-making capabilities of a criminal justice officer. Strict adherence to the standard operating procedures and policies are often not enough to deal with the unforeseen situations that can arise anywhere and at any time. Therefore, a criminal justice professional's experience is a positive influence in guiding their discretionary decision-making.

Also, officers have often attributed experience as being the better teacher as they help them attain maturity. Many scholars have also time and again argued that just like any other skills, decision-making can be sharpened through practice, as gradually those kills get deeply ingrained within the psyche of the worker. For example, it is only through experience that an officer would be suspicious of any activity being conducted at a particular place, due to prior knowledge of the notoriety of the location or neighborhood.

Also, study of relevant literature suggests that bureaucrats often become obsessed with the rules and policies of the standard operating procedures of their agencies in an attempt to maintain a status quo (Downs, 1967; Merton, 1940). This is often done at the expense of the mission, vision and values of the organisation, and it also brings about a restriction in the abilities of the criminal justice officers in developing the integral skills in decision-making. It is natural for the professionals to adhere to the rules in the first few years of their involvement. However, as time passes, the reliance on experience increases, which in fact is a beneficial development.

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