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

By Michael R. Gottfredson

The research of choices within the felony justice approach presents an invaluable concentration for the exam of many primary elements of felony jus­ tice. those judgements are usually not continuously hugely noticeable. they're made, or­ dinarily, inside of extensive components of discretion. The goals of the choices will not be consistently transparent, and, certainly, the primary goals of those judgements are frequently the topic of a lot debate. often they don't seem to be guided via particular selection regulations. frequently the members are not able to verbalize the foundation for the choice of selection possible choices. enough details for the choices is generally unavailable. hardly ever can the choices be verified to be rational. through a rationaldecision we suggest "that determination between these attainable for the decisionmaker which, within the mild of the data on hand, maximizes the likelihood of the fulfillment of the aim of the decisionmaker in that express and specific case" (Wilkins, 1974a: 70; additionally 1969). This definition, which stems from statistical choice conception, issues to 3 primary features of choices. First, it's as­ sumed collection of attainable judgements (or, extra accurately, of attainable possible choices) is accessible. If just one selection is feasible, there's no de­ cision challenge, and the query of rationality doesn't come up. often, in fact, there'll be a decision, no matter if the choice is to come to a decision to not decide-a selection that, in fact, frequently has profound consequences.

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S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. zations of businesses are more likely to be reported to the police than are either personal or household victimizations. And completed crimes are more likely to be reported than are those merely attempted. The vast number of unreported crimes demonstrates the critical role of the victim's decision and raises the question of the major influences on the decision. Studies of victim discretion have used essentially two 21 THE VICTIM'S DECISION 100 90 80 --------------.

He did find, however, that the victim-offender relationship conditions, to some extent, the reason for failing to report. Not surprisingly, people victimized by acquaintances are more apt to view the event as a private matter than as a public concern; but people victimized by strangers often believe that the police will be unable to do anything about it anyway. Unfortunately, most research on the reasons for the invocation of the criminal justice process by victims is based on the reasons given for not caIling the police.

The interesting issue of those persons who suddenly decide to report the ongoing criminal activities in which they themselves or their colleagues are engaged-the so-called whistle blowers-is also in need of study. There are documented cases of such activities in many walks of life: government bureaucrats involved in kickback schemes, organized crime figures, doctors involved in organized Medicaid frauds, and "customers" of illegal gambling and drug operations. The forces that lead a person who is implicated in ongoing criminal activity to report the activity are in need of study.

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