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Good management has been identified as a prerequisite for success in justice administration. This means in order to address the challenges of injustice successfully, there must be proper administrative policies designed. According to Peak (2011), effective administration and management of justice can only be possible if key police reforms are successfully implemented. He notes that the police administration unit forms basis for which all administration of justice system revolves. Goldfarb (2008) also points out that in their daily administration of justice; the police have continuously been affected by stress, which is generated both at the family level and during their work. He admitted that any justice process normally involves a series of steps starting with police criminal investigation.
In examining how injustice relates to management, this write up will consider the case of police stress syndrome and its effects on police management system. It will further point out key resolutions that can be implemented in an attempt to curb the menace.
According to Goldfarb (2008), stress is a feeling and desire along with the discharge of bodily effects that an individual experiences in an attempt of choking his/her desperations. He explains that stress can be viewed into two distinct formats. First, stress can be viewed as a mental, emotional or physical strain, or tension about something. Secondly, he notes that stress can be due to either special emphasis or significance which is attached to something.
Goldfarb (2008) points out that police work is one of the top rated professions with job stress level similar to air traffic controllers and dentists. In his context, police job requires more commitment and more time in their administration of justice. He notes that by the nature of the police’s job, an amount of incredible restraint is required. He further, points out that there is an increase in demand of police services annually from every corner of the society, and this has widely contributed to stress syndrome in the police work. Furthermore, he admits that a number of incidences have shown that not only does stress affects police line of work, but it has immense effects on their family lives too.
Causes Police Stress at Work
According to Sundermeier (2008), each year police officers are constantly on clock for twelve hours per day, six to seven days per week away from their family in line of duties. This intense level of work increases the stress level of police officers and their families. He points out that various stress related syndromes have been continuously evident in police units. Sundermeier (2008) explains that police officers are occasionally scheduled for long shifts and this has continuously affected their level of concentration, making them selfless and fatigued.
Constant (1991) points out that prolonged police working hours has contributed to police officers’ chronic stress syndrome. He notes that prolonged stress causes police officers to regress, affecting their psychological growth and resulting in childish or primitive acts. These selfish acts prevents the officers from the effective and efficient carryout their main tasks in the administration of justice.
Killing of an Individual
According to Goldfarb (2008), the biggest police officer’s stressors are mainly what they encounter daily in there line of work. He states that the killing of someone during the execution of their duty affects the psychological concepts of the corresponding officer greatly. He argues that killing somebody is a vital and crude way of influencing an individual and, more so, it is irreversible. He further notes that police officers are human beings and their conscience are defaulted in an incident that involves the killing, more so that of an innocent individual during the gun fire exchange with criminals. This adversely affects their credibility in administration of justice.
Goldfarb (2008) points out that the police force is an institution built on law and order principle, which entirely enhances brotherhood. Killing, therefore, leads to psychological trauma, especially when one of the fellow officers is killed in the line of duty. This, in his context, has affected the psychological stability of the officers in the execution of their job.
According to Goldfarb (2008), police job highly requires restrain and commitment. However, he points out that police are dissatisfied with the amount of salary they get in return for their highly demanding job. Goldfarb (2008) added that the police officers have also ever been short changed when it comes to rewarding their efforts in administering justice. This, in his view, has seen most of the officers engage in un-lawful acts like compromising criminals in exchange for bribe. More so, police force has been widely seen as the corrupt unit in any distinct province or state due to bribery acts. Goldfarb (2008) notes that police officers stress themselves by engaging in other forms of income to sustain their needs due to low salary.
Inefficiency at Work
According to Sundermeier (2008), job inefficiency normally subverts the moral conduct of many officers at work. He notes that unnecessary administration procedures highly limit police officers’ ability to perform their job. This, in his context, causes disharmony among the offices resulting in a conflict within the institution. Goldfarb (2008) admits that one of the causes of stress in a police office is the lack of support by various departmental leaders or bosses. He further points out that most of the killing of various police bosses is due to them being seen to undermine the junior officer’s efforts in the institution.
According to JAMA & Archive (2011), a survey conducted in Chicago indicated that approximately 40 percent of police officers suffer from sleep disorders. According to it, obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia and shift work disorder are common in the police force, as they often have extended shifts in their anticipation to administer justice to the people. It points out that this increases their health risk and reduces their safety, while also lowering their performance outcome. It further explains that it is evident that unintended injuries, in addition to the crashing of motor vehicles under the watch of police officers also contribute to their sleep disorders.
Effects of Police Stress
Langston (1995) points out that police work is a concrete occupation which has psychological stress and trauma. He adds that this job is dangerous due to its involvement with firearms. According to him, such conditions have influenced the increase of police suicide rates, which is higher, compared to the general population. Baker & Jane (2006) point out that relationship matters contribute highly to the increase of the suicidal rate among the police. Goldfarb (2008) anticipates that police officers going through divorce are five times more likely to commit suicide. In his context, officers who get into serious trouble in their respective jobs and are suspended or terminated are seven times more likely to commit suicide.
Thornton (1998) points out that domestic violence is 2 to 4 times common in police families compared to the general population. He notes that the adverse training of the police puts them at ease in battering his/her family members. Some of the police officers also use their bodies as weapons to inflict pain without leaving marks on their victims. The vise is also common among the officers because of the fact that they can harm or kill and get away with it. In another attempt to enforce their brutal act, most of the officers in such acts dispel fears on their victims not to contact the police.
According to Thornton (1998), most of the domestic violence in police families is mainly attributed to stress, both at work and family. He also agrees that most of the victims in such domestic disputes are denied their rights to pursue legal rights, since the acts are primarily committed by the law and order enforcers. He gives an example of one of the victims who expressed fear of reporting the officer to the authority because of the fear that it can cost him his job.
Managing Police Stress
Goldfarb (2008) argues that due to high stress working environment, police officers need a distilled process instilled by their leaders in the management of the stress. He further points out that there is a need to implement programs that simplify the officers’ working conditions. However, there are various managerial measures that can be put in place to help to solve the stress syndrome among the police officers. These include:
Managing Police Working Schedule
As has been illustrated in this paper, the police working time schedule contributes to police stress. Its prior management is, therefore, key to the police success. Sundermeier (2008) gave an example in which the Lincoln Police Department resolved to implement a 12-hour shift in the police force in trying to solve the working time relation of the officers. He points out that the 12-hour shifts had the advantage of providing excellent coverage by officers during peaks time. He explains that day and night shift provided basic coverage for 24 hours as the other group of officers schedule from early afternoon to early morning.
According to Sundermeier (2008), implementation of the 12-hour shift started at the trial stage as the institution establishes various areas of concerns. He points out that the various areas of concern prior to implementation included officers’ fatigue and the impact of court scheduling process on management and quality services. This points out that the management of officers’ working schedule is paramount in instilling and executing the quality service delivery in the administration of service. He further admits that after the Lincoln Police Department implemented the 12-hour shift, which was done on voluntary basis, the officers’ service delivery improved.
Managing Police’s Sleep Disorder
As expressed by the Jama (2011), sleep disorder is primarily as a result of lack of adequate sleep which is evident in police force due to long hours of work. In resolving this problem, Sundermeier (2008) draws the concept of implementing good working plan. This, in his view, should involve appropriate working schedule, which will give the officers time for an adequate sleep. He points out the 12-hour program as one of the processes the Lincoln Police Department used in curbing sicknesses related to inadequate sleep. According to Sundermeier (2008), after the implementation of the 12-hour shift program, there was a decrease in sick leave. This signifies the importance of good management framework.
Managing Job Dissatisfaction
According to Goldfarb (2008), the adverse implication of the police job requires better programs that stipulate better salary in return. This addresses primary steps in resolving stress problem within the force. As of the case of Lincoln Police Department as pointed out by Sundermeier (2008), the department organized a program that clearly addresses problems arising from the salary income. Moreover, he notes that the police officers’ salary was not based on fixed amount, but also had an increment due to overtime spent by the officers in complementing their duties. He emphasized that in such tasking jobs, better compensation motivates an officer’s work.
Managing Police Suicide and Domestic violence
Goldfarb (2008) argued that police suicide is primarily caused by four factors which are influenced by stress syndrome. The four factors include: divorce, alcohol, depression and failure to get help. According to him, better policy framework together with ultimate implementation procedures should be put in place to curb such acts. Thornton (1998), on the other hand, observed that a nationwide survey conducted of 123 police department showed that 45% had no specific policy for dealing with officers involved in domestic violence. He points out that in the same survey, most common police institutions used ineffective council approach in resolving domestic violence. Furthermore, he points out that only 19% of surveyed departments indicated termination of officer involved in such activities. This could give reasons for high domestic violence among the officers and point out the need for relevant policies.
Brannan (2006) outlines steps that any individual should take in case he becomes a victim of such acts from the police officer. First, he points out that the primary step in such a case is to find an advocate who is independent from police agency. This will increase an individual’s confidence in curbing the menace. Secondly, he points out the need to have a comprehensive plan in such incidence. By finding anonymous shelter, the victim is able to pursue the officer concerned. Finally, whenever a victim feels dissatisfied with the concerned agencies, he/she can report the matter to the media, since it will give full incidence coverage as one advocate for justice.
The write up has highlighted stress factor as the major contributor to the ineffective administration of justice process. In addition, it has pointed out the general perspective of stress illustrating on its correlation with the management of the police offices. The paper has discussed a number of causes of police stress and how those impact on the police administration ability and key management concerns. From the write up, a good police management should, therefore, strive to address stress by putting appropriate measures in place. Such measures should ensure the provision of a good and apprehend police working schedule which is important in the management of police offices as it forms the basis of police work.
Secondly, the management will need to effectively and sufficiently advocate for the increase in officers’ salary. This, as have been pointed out, makes the officer’s carter for the priorities, thus, reducing the chances of them being stressed up by involving themselves in searching for additional income sources. The management must also put the appropriate measures in place to reduce suicide and domestic violence committed by police officers.
Finally, it will always be a constant struggle to alleviate the stress of the police force since it requires economic, political and social interventions which may take time to proceed. Therefore, the police management must continue thinking outside the box and implement various programs within their reach in terms of resources. The percentage of suicide rate of the police force is very high due to stress which has made many officers convert to committing unlawful acts to minimize its effects. Instead of punishment, the managers should approach the issues affecting the police officers in totality.