The formal and informal channels of communication in criminal justice organizations
Criminal justice uses verbal communication both written and spoken information. This information is in terms of reports, directives as well as memoranda. Therefore, both formal and informal methods of communication are used (Berlo, 1960). The channel of communication in the criminal justice system is normally brought out through the use of both informal and formal communication.
In formal communication, there is usually a chain of command which describes the policies and procedures to be followed. The channels are ranked from the top downwards. Normally, there are agencies and structures where procedures must be followed. For example, in case the chief of police developed a new policy, he directs it to his junior officers where it must be instituted. As the communication moves downward, officers who are responsible for instituting the policy must act through their fellow officers (Grubb & Hemby, 2004). On the other hand, officers have to reply back to the agency. For example, their memoranda, reports, suggestions as well as interviews must be reported to the higher authority. This entails upward communication. Moreover, in the process of formal communication, horizontal communication occurs that usually takes place between officers as they are involved in a discussion concerning the policies as well as other concerns. This may be done through personal contact, emails, and meetings as well as though a memo.
In criminal justice, informal communication is also practiced. This is carried via unofficial channels. Due to this method, a lot of information is normally shared among the participating parties. This form of communication points out the details that are formally compiled. Often, this method must be assimilated into reality in terms of information (Schramm, 1954). Therefore, actual real message must be located and analyzed thoroughly. Sometimes, informal communication is used as a crucial red flag in the process of communication.
As analyzed above, it is essential to assimilate both forms of communication. Officers are normally responsible for assimilating the two forms of communication as they use e-mail or personal contact. In the prosecution of a given case, policies and procedures must be followed by using formal communication. Therefore, the officers are able to communicate rationally. For instance, the officer is able to find the cause and evidence of the case focusing on it.
Different barriers to effective communication in criminal justice organizations
There are various hindrances to effective communication in criminal justice. These barriers include the following: firstly, cultural differences that are common determents to the effectiveness in communication. Due to diversity of culture, people have different values, language, beliefs, and expectations among other factors (Grubb & Hemby, 2004). Thus, it becomes difficult for people to accommodate all the cultures. This results in lack of knowledge and comprehension of factors that are responsible for the provision of sufficient perception in the communication process. People tend to shape their behavior culturally where it plays a central role in determining individuals who share the same values and who do not. This creates a barrier that secludes other from contributing in the communication process. Notably, criminal justice system depends on a language that is deeply rooted in our cultures. Thus, criminal justice officers are often faced with the challenge of being familiar with a new language in various settings.
Self-esteem and anxiety are other barriers. Normally, the way we are brought up has a resultant effect in making communication easy or difficult. Some kids are brought up in a way that leads to the appearance of a barrier between themselves and the outside world (Berlo, 1960). This forms the foundation that creates the link between you and your immediate family. Some people are unable to develop good listening skills. This deteriorates the process of communication. Another barrier is making poor decisions (Covey, 1989). In criminal justice, officers are supposed to carry out their investigations and present their final findings in the form of a report to back the case. Regularly, some officials make the wrong conclusions that bring a form of misunderstanding between two parties. This is a barrier to the communication process.