Conflict resolution is defined as a process whereby the parties involved may achieve some measure of success without leaving either party devoid of dignity or respect.
Conflict resolution is a necessary part of communication in the Criminal Justice field.
The following presentation will discuss the importance of conflict resolution in the following areas:
Conflict resolution is a part of every day life. Parents use it with their children. Teachers with students. Coaches with team mates.
Although each mentioned is of great importance, conflict resolution is vital Criminal Justice. Hostage negotiations, community policing, political offices, and correctional facilities lack of conflict resolution can be lethal.
What Hostage Negotiators Do
Hostage negotiators must communicate successfully with suspects. They must evaluate the suspects mental position determining the extent of the threat.
The hostage negotiator interviews people who know the suspect trying to get a handle on the situation. The hostage negotiator often consults with a psychiatrist or psychologist in search of solutions and insight.
The hostage negotiator makes sure the area is secure and mentally lays out the whole scenario while searching for solutions.
How Hostage Negotiators Resolve Conflict
The hostage negotiator first tries to build rapport with the suspect. As he is establishing a relationship he attempts to diffuse the emotions of the suspect.
Hostage negotiators have a knack for buying time and strategizing during the process of communication.
The hostage negotiator gives the suspect reasonable demands (food and water) hoping to diffuse and buy time.
Last but not least the hostage negotiator tries to allow the suspect to maintain his dignity during the give and take process.
What Happens if Hostage Negotiators Are Not Successful in Resolving Conflict
If the conflict is not solved lives will be lost and /or property damage will occur. If the terrorist has the hostages we do not know what type of weapons he or she is using.
The department will suffer a black eye and everyone loses their dignity and respect.
The media will not only blame the law enforcement agencies but make the department look incompetent. The scene will play over and over on TV showing only the failure not the successes.
Community Policing is based upon a solid relationship between the police and the community. It is a partnership in which the police and the community share responsibility for identifying, reducing, eliminating and preventing problems that impact neighborhoods citywide.
The strategies used combine the efforts and resources of the police, the community, and local government to resolve important neighborhood problems.
Community policing among with the mutual interest of the neighborhoods and their citizens, has made a very positive impact on suppressing and preventing the crimes, allowing residents to "take back the street”, an improved quality of life (working with police) and with each other; helping residents feel a sense neighborhood pride.
How Community Policing Resolves Conflict
By working together, the police and the community can reduce the fear and incidence of crime and improve the quality of life in the community.
In this effort, the community and police, as partners, identify and prioritize problems of crime and disorder and share the responsibility for the development and implementation of proactive problem-solving strategies to address identified issues.
Community policing also helps to build trust between the community and law enforcement, which in a crisis can help law enforcement deal more effectively with community concerns.
Results if Community Policing is Unsuccessful in Resolving Conflict
Community policing encourages law enforcement officials to develop partnerships with civic and community groups to help address community needs and to involve the public in problem-solving efforts.
The public might loose faith and hope in our criminal justice system and our public order.
The problems and tensions in the community will only escalate due to failure to address and act upon those issues at stake.
Parole Officers are involved with their clients who have difficulty with their employers, their landlords, and their families. (Grubb & Hemby, 2004).
Parole officers key role in the criminal justice field is to help their parolees learn how to deal with conflict resolution.
How Parole Officers Resolve Conflict
Many times parole officers play a mediator in the role of conflict resolution between the parolee and the conflicting person(s). This Allows their client to learn how to deal with conflict resolution as well.
Conflict Negotiation or (RANT)
Persuasive speaking techniques can help parole officers deal with conflict with their clients or between their clients and another person(s).
Parole officers/conflict resolution
If a parole officer is not able to successfully deal with a conflict, this often means that their client will be required to attend more rehabilitation classes and treatment programs, or worst-case scenario, their clients will return to prison for violation of their probation.
Although the high stress levels can make these jobs very difficult at times, this work also can be very rewarding. Many workers obtain personal satisfaction from counseling members of their community and helping them become productive citizens. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2005).
Correctional facilities have the potential for major conflict. These facilities need to have control at all times so when conflict does occur it must be taken care of right away. The areas of most conflict are:
Prisoner contact with guards- this would be everyday contact for anything
Prisoner to prisoner contact- this would be interaction that takes place with cellmates or with general population when together.
Prisoner contact with outside- this would be any type of contact such as visits, mail, or phone calls that would upset the prisoner.
How to resolve conflicts in correctional facilities.
Correctional facilities need to have conflicts resolved right away because of the control that needs to be maintained. Some of the ways that this is achieved:
Training for guards- this training would be in conflict resolution. They also need to know when the conflict will start and how to defuse it right away.
Facilities rules- these rules would be set up so that contacts between prisoners that have conflict are dealt with
Technology- with new video visitation and phone call monitoring when a conflict starts the connection can be terminated. Most facilities also go through all mail before the prisoner gets it to prevent conflict.
Results if correctional facilities do not resolve conflict
The worst result would be death or injury to another person. We all think that this comes from a major event such as a prison riot. These are actions of conflict in a surrounding that should not have this happening. Control takes over and bad results happen.
Minor incidents may be verbal exchange that can get very loud. Also individual body actions such as shaking arms/fists. Also individual body actions such as shaking arms/ fists, jumping up and down. These can be controlled before they escalate to something worse.
The best results would be prevention.
Conflict resolution is very important in everything we do. As we all know we are all different and in turn have different beliefs and ways we live. This in turn creates conflicts that need to be resolved. You could say conflict resolution is part of life. It is needed because the outcome may be injury or death.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor (2005). Occupational Outlook: Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists. Retrieved on May 19, 2005 from: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos265.htm . Washington, D.C. Copyright Bureau of labor statistics.
Grubb, R. & Hemby, K. (2004). Effective Communication for Criminal Justice Professionals. Copyright Thompson/Wadsworth.
SG Five (2005). Probation operations. Retrieved on May 19, 2005 from: http://www.sgfive.com/probationops.htm . Copyright SG Five.