Public Involvement in Decision-Making Processes in Criminal Justice Agencies

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One of the greatest challenges associated with public involvement in decision-making processes in criminal justice agencies relates to the influence of personal feelings. For instance, law enforcement agencies may end up making uninformed decisions based on the hatred or pressure exerted by the public on a given issue (Owens, 2016). In other words, the involvement of a charged or angry public may adversely influence the outcome of a decision-making process in criminal justice agencies. Additionally, the public always has a negative perception of law enforcement officers. Therefore, the involvement of the public in any decision-making process in criminal justice agency might result in decisions that portray law enforcement officers as incompetent and unfit to hold public offices. Another challenge of involving the public in decision-making processes in criminal justice agencies relates to security (Owens, 2016). When the public gets involved the criminal justice agencies' decision-making processes, the public, through the media, may end up reporting even confidential information about the criminal justice agencies, thereby posing a security threat to both the public and the law enforcement officers. Besides, the exposure of some sensitive information by the media might result in violence and consequently lead to loss of innocent lives.

Q 2

            In my view, I think public agencies should embrace social media in the same way as the private sector because the primary goal of the public agencies is to serve the people and one of the best ways of interacting with the people is through social media. However, the use of social media by public agencies should be aimed at creating awareness and informing the public about various development programs and initiatives, as opposed to marketing of products and services as in the case of the private sector (Pearce, 2015). Additionally, public agencies must be ready to respect the people’s freedom of speech since the use of social media will attract several comments from the public, some of which might not favor the agencies. In fact, the comments made by the public about the information posted by the public agencies will play a better role in helping the public agencies to design service delivery approaches that best reflect the needs of the taxpayers. In embracing the use of social media, government agencies must also understand that members of the public require responses to various inquiries they make (Pearce, 2015). It would, therefore, be essential to hire personnel, who will give timely feedback to the numerous concerns or issues raised by the public, as well as monitor the information or comments made by the public.

Q 3

            Other techniques that could be utilized by public agencies to interact by the public might include creating volunteer opportunities, arranging for seminars, as well as organizing community meetings (Fountain, 2013). However, the use of social media would still be the most appropriate and strongest form of communicating with the public in the current digital era. Additionally, the use of social media will allow public agencies to reach a larger population at a lower cost compared to the use of volunteer groups, seminars, and community meetings, which will only serve limited populations and attract significantly high costs.

Q 4

            In my view, taxpayers are not supposed to finance public agencies to employ full-time personnel to run social media accounts for government agencies. However, that does not mean government agencies do not require a full-time staff to run their social media accounts. In fact, public agencies need the highest number of full-time employees to run their social media accounts, but the funds for compensating such employees must be created from the public agencies’ annual budgets, as opposed to increasing their monetary allocations using taxpayers’ money. All government agencies, especially at the federal level, get funded by taxpayers’ money, and all their operations should fall within such budgets as appropriated by the Congress (Fountain, 2013). The funds allocated to each public agency by the Congress should, therefore, be sufficient to fund any program initiated by public agencies, including social media communication, without attracting additional budget from the public coffers. Therefore, the most appropriate way for public agencies to hire full-time personnel to manage their social media accounts, without using additional taxpayers’ money, is through hiring their in-house employees. One of the advantages of such an approach is that the in-house employees are already familiar with the agencies’ day-to-day operations and are, therefore, well-informed to respond to various issues raised by members of the public (Fountain, 2013). Public agencies could also outsource full-time personnel to manage their social media accounts, as long as such arrangements would not attract additional funds from taxpayers.



Fountain, J. (2013). Promises and Pitfalls of Social Media Use in Government. Public Administration Review, 73(2), 370-372. doi: 10.1111/puar.12025

Owens, B. (2016). Judicial Decision Making as Knowledge Work. Law & Social Inquiry, 41(2), 502-521. doi: 10.1111/lsi.12198

Pearce, K. (2015). Counting to Nowhere: Social Media Adoption and Use as an Opportunity for Public Scholarship and Engagement. Social Media + Society, 1(1), 205630511557867. doi: 10.1177/2056305115578672

August 01, 2023



Law Enforcement

Subject area:

Criminal Justice

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Expertise Criminal Justice
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