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Communication in the Criminal Justice System

Updated on June 20, 2011

Police Arrests and Communication

Communication~is it Clear?

Verbal communication consists of written and spoken information. In the criminal justice setting, information is passed on through reports, memoranda, and directives.

Non-verbal communication ensures the speaker to communicate what he or she is saying to the reader with a certain tone and body language; which depicts what the speaker is attempting to say. Within the criminal justice system, convictions, arrests and punishment can be assured through the proper body language of an officer when communicating to the judge or district attorney.

The channel of communication is brought forth in the criminal justice agencies through formal and informal communication. Upon following the chain of command; which includes policies and procedures is part of the formal communication. These procedures are considered to channel from the top of the agency to the downward structure of the agency. For instance the chief of police many dictate a new police to the officers which needs to be instituted. The downward communication happens within officers’ instituting the policy via their practice as actual officers.

Officers replying back to the agency whether it is by memoranda, reports, departmental meetings, suggest systems, and exit interviews are considered within the upward communication process.

Horizontal communication occurs between officers as they discuss entry-level information concerning policies and concerns through email, personal contact, memo Orinda and meetings.

Informal communication thus called the grapevine is channeled through unofficial communication and is an important red flag in the communication process. Much information is shared through this process. This process however suggests that this information may not be totally congruent to what the actual details point to within the department. This type of information needs to be assimilated and further discussed to locate the actual real message, which should be looked at in its entirety.

Various areas of the criminal justice system assimilate formal and informal communication. As officers discuss a case horizontally between each other they communicate through personal contact, email or memoranda.

The prosecution of a case deals with the policies and procedure and communicates this to the officer when communicating in regards to an arrest. Was there probable cause? Was the evidence brought forth in such a way as to solidify the case?

Police need to project themselves as law keepers and protectors of society. They follow the formal attributes of police and procedures within their departments. Miranda itself is part of the police and procedures of the police,

Police Brutality


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    • Rod Marsden profile image

      Rod Marsden 

      7 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

      Interesting. Miranda in the USA came about because of an injustice. It is now practiced in one form or another in all civilized countries. In the UK and Australia the words are slightly different but the idea is the same. The person being arrested needs to know their rights upon arrest. In order to search a person's property a search warrant is required otherwise the evidence gathered may well be deemed inadmissible in court. Fruit from the poisoned tree.


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