Decision Making in Criminal Justice
Springer Science & Business Media, 1988 - Political Science - 308 pages
The study of decisions in the criminal justice process provides a useful focus for the examination of many fundamental aspects of criminal jus tice. These decisions are not always highly visible. They are made, or dinarily, within wide areas of discretion. The aims of the decisions are not always clear, and, indeed, the principal objectives of these decisions are often the subject of much debate. Usually they are not guided by explicit decision policies. Often the participants are unable to verbalize the basis for the selection of decision alternatives. Adequate information for the decisions is usually unavailable. Rarely can the decisions be demonstrated to be rational. By a rationaldecision we mean "that decision among those possible for the decisionmaker which, in the light of the information available, maximizes the probability of the achievement of the purpose of the decisionmaker in that specific and particular case" (Wilkins, 1974a: 70; also 1969). This definition, which stems from statistical decision theory, points to three fundamental characteristics of decisions. First, it is as sumed that a choice of possible decisions (or, more precisely, of possible alternatives) is available. If only one choice is possible, there is no de cision problem, and the question of rationality does not arise. Usually, of course, there will be a choice, even if the alternative is to decide not to decide-a choice that, of course, often has profound consequences.
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THE VICTIMS DECISION TO REPORT A CRIME
THE DECISION TO ARREST
The View from the Data
Assessing the Need
THE DECISION TO CHARGE
Chapters SENTENCING DECISIONS
Probation and Parole Prediction
TOWARD MORE RATIONAL DECISION MAKING
Chapter? CORRECTIONAL DECISIONS IN THE
aims alternatives analysis arrest decisions assault assessment bail decision bail schedules behavior call the police caseload Chapter charging decisions cision classification concept concern conviction correctional correlates court criminal justice decision criminal justice process criminal justice system criminal law criteria critical custody decision makers decision problem decision to report defendants desert detention deterrence discretion discussed empirical evaluation evidence example factors felony goals Goldkamp Gottfredson guidelines important incapacitation incarceration individual inmate involved issues jail judges jurisdictions major nolle prosequi offenders outcomes parole board parole decision paroling authorities persons plea bargaining police prediction pretrial release decisions preventive detention prior record prison probation probationers problems programs prosecution prosecutor punishment purposes rates rationality recidivism relevant report a crime sample sanctions sentence law sentencing seriousness served shoplifting ticket of leave treatment trial utilitarian variables victim