Download Decision Making in Criminal Justice: Toward the Rational by Michael R. Gottfredson PDF

By Michael R. Gottfredson

The research of choices within the felony justice strategy offers an invaluable concentration for the exam of many primary facets of legal jus­ tice. those judgements aren't regularly hugely noticeable. they're made, or­ dinarily, inside extensive parts of discretion. The goals of the choices aren't constantly transparent, and, certainly, the vital ambitions of those judgements are usually the topic of a lot debate. often they aren't guided by way of particular determination guidelines. usually the members are not able to verbalize the root for the choice of determination possible choices. sufficient info for the choices is mostly unavailable. not often can the selections be tested to be rational. via a rationaldecision we suggest "that choice between these attainable for the decisionmaker which, within the gentle of the data on hand, maximizes the likelihood of the fulfillment of the aim of the decisionmaker in that categorical and specific case" (Wilkins, 1974a: 70; additionally 1969). This definition, which stems from statistical choice thought, issues to 3 primary features of selections. First, it's as­ sumed number of attainable judgements (or, extra accurately, of attainable possible choices) is obtainable. If just one selection is feasible, there is not any de­ cision challenge, and the query of rationality doesn't come up. frequently, in fact, there'll be a decision, no matter if the choice is to make a decision to not decide-a selection that, after all, usually has profound consequences.

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Consider, however, the implications of full reporting of criminal victimization. Can an already overtaxed system of justice accommodate such an increase in the numbers of crimes reported to the police? Is justice truly better served if all events that can be brought to the attention of the police are reported to them? As with the importance of the victim's decision for the victim and for the criminal justice system, the potential consequences to society depend in a large part on the characteristics of these decisions as they now are made.

When a weapon was involved in the incident (particularly, a gun), when the victim was injured (particularly, seriously), and when there was financial loss to the victim (particularly, great loss), the likelihood of a call to the police increased. When these factors were found to be present in a victimization in combination, the probability of a report to the police was very high. Regardless of the type of crime, elements of the offense that increased the gravity of the harm to the victim were found by Hindelang 28 CHAPTER 2 (1976) to be associated with the decision to call the police.

REASONS FOR NOT CALLING THE POLICE Data from the 1981 National Crime Survey on the reasons that victims gave for not reporting their crime to the police are summarized in Table 1. " One-fifth of the survey-reported rapes, nearly two-fifths of the robberies, three-fifths of the larcenies, and one-half of 12 8 9 15 31 32 35%a 23 23 18 8 10 18% 21 Nothing could be don e/lack of proof 23 39 16 4% 15 22 30 Not imp ortant eno ug h 10 8 8 10 7 9 7 7 _%b Police wouldn' t want to be bothered 3 14 9 11 8% Rep ort ed to so meone else 2 2 3 2% 6 3 2 Too inco nven ient SOURCE: Bureau of Justice Statistics National Crime Survey, 1981.

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