Statistics and Criminal Justice Leadership
The importance of the collection, analysis, dissemination, and publication of information on the functioning of justice systems, criminal acts, victims, and offenders is evident, particularly in the ever-changing environment. The provision of statistical data requires timeliness, accuracy, and impartiality. These aspects significantly ease and accelerate the process of policymaking at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as improve the quality and access to the necessary information. The paper seeks to examine the reason why and in what way the criminal justice leadership applies the statistical data in practice.
The collection of evidence and information ensures the smooth policymaking and promotes research in support of proactive policing in the criminal justice field. As the application of individual-level data can bring advantages and challenges, it is crucial for any agency to consider the technical, organizational, ethical, and legal aspects while gathering the necessary information. The competent authorities can significantly benefit and succeed in their activity through providing an interrupted access to the criminal justice data. The practitioners and law enforcement agencies regard the current application of critical national sources as meaningful and significant as it promotes the desirable public outcomes.
It is crucial to recognize the way the law enforcement agencies used data in the past. However, today, particular attention has to be paid to the practical application in the context of policing. Many individuals frequently interact with the criminal justice system in the case of crimes and other emergencies. Nowadays, the police officers recognize the need to use data and extract the value from the collection of information as it ensures the smooth functioning of all departments. Initially, the law enforcement agencies have tried to accelerate the process of gathering data pursuing the fundamental goal- the reduction of the crime rate. While the results obtained have greatly varied in recent years, the public has witnessed a considerable shift in the trend of deploying information by the national police.
The predictive policing approach developed by the law enforcement agencies characterizes the qualitative application of information. It is based on using the comprehensive statistical models to forecast the high rate of criminal activity. The approach includes adequate interventions to prevent offenses from being executed, and, therefore, gains significant attention from experts, criminalists, and officials. The initial application of this approach in practice has led to the high expectations that the national crime level can be drastically transformed in the case if adequate measures are taken. In reality, there is a lot of missing information on the police activity. Therefore, the competent authorities often face difficulties when collecting statistical data as they highly focus on its accurateness and reliability. Today, jails provide statistics thus enabling the experts to examine the mass incarceration focusing on democratic aspects. The broad and repeated data collection ensures its relevance.
The police department of New York City has developed the modern predictive policing. The main goal was to identify the places of significant danger using available information. The chosen approach promotes data collection and organization with an interrupted access to information related to detentions, calls for service, crimes, and complaints. It is crucial to include the reliable information on geographic location of an offense. The collected data will help to map the incidents and make adequate decisions on how to use the available resources to reduce the crime rate significantly. If law enforcement agents focus their activity on the vulnerable areas, where offenses often occur, they recognize the necessity to engage the additional police force as it will be easier to preempt felonies and gather reliable statistical information through the joint and cooperative efforts and actions. Manning mentions that while some criminal experts praise the predictive policing approach, others criticize it. From the beginning of its realization, the model gained support and recognition as it positively affected the crime rate and significantly reduced offenses nationwide. However, the consequent implementations demonstrated less success due to the discrepancy between the process of data collection and complex intervention aspects.
In addition to the positive effects, the recently developed approach has produced challenges. As the police data is a significant accountability tool deployed within the criminal justice system, it also stimulates cheating, corruption, and manipulation that produce flattering outcomes. In order to get reliable and accurate information, the upper management has to ensure the constant control over the activities of law enforcements agents. The judicial statistics in criminology is accounted and used for accessing the effectiveness of recommendations. It also helps to identify those aspects of forensic activities that require acknowledgment, development, and improvement. Moreover, at the initial stage of the investigation, the prognosis is usually directed towards the accumulation of the necessary information to solve the crime and other critical data that can disappear or lose its importance in the course of time.
The statistical method of research is used in almost all areas, particularly the social sciences. The legal statistics are essential for lawyers-practitioners and lawyers-scientists. Moreover, in order to predict and react to crimes in a proper manner, it is crucial to have an ability to elaborate maps to control the most vulnerable districts and work on the statistical predictions through an uninterrupted access to the reliable data. The inexorable movement towards openness and transparency of the modern society requires the rethinking of functions and directions of application of legal statistics. Finally, the updating of legislation and widespread computerization of the system will get much more attention from the public and officials seeking to promote legal science and education.
In addition to the crime reduction, the available statistics help to increase the number of quality detentions. Moreover, the police officers highlight the importance of developing the close relationship with the neighborhood as the interaction and communication significantly accelerate the collection of vital and actionable information for preventing offenses. The predictive map helps the officers to develop the comprehensive strategies for the specific areas. The statistical data is accurate due to increased communication between the suspects and law enforcement agents. Owing to the interaction, individuals demonstrate their readiness to share information, consult, and collaborate with the police departments. Therefore, the use of data in the context of establishing a better relationship with the communities is crucial. The implementation of the statistical method leads to the enrichment of initial empirical knowledge on offenses and measures of social and legal control.
In addition to policymaking and academic values, statistics has power. Access to data provides police officers with the ability to examine the pressing social issues and promote the public awareness of them. The wealth of statistical information has allowed policymakers, criminologists, sociologists, and other competent authorities to diagnose serious issues facing the U.S. criminal justice system over the last years. As the problem exists, the collection of true figures and facts can help find an adequate solution.
The current paper has deeply explored the way the law enforcement agents operating within the criminal justice system apply the statistical data in practice. The competent authorities compile a wealth of data on crimes and provide the reliable tabulation. Statistics are more than numbers as it attracts the attention of policymakers involved in the management and allocation of resources, as well as the evaluation of changes in numbers. Unfortunately, the current statistical measures do not capture the overall picture. Therefore, many issues go unaddressed and unmeasured.