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Organizational Politics of Criminal Justice - Policy in Context

NCJ Number
V Gray; B Williams
Date Published
181 pages
An examination of LEAA's grant programs concludes that Federal block grants have not been successful in altering State and local policies.
Beginning with an overview of interoganizational theories from the sociological perspective, this study then discusses the organizations involved in criminal justice activities and the block grant mechanism employed by LEAA. A research design that measures the dependance, organizational strength, and professionalism of State and local agencies and their relation to achievement of LEAA goals is described. These theories were applied to three operational areas: the State Planning Agencies' allocation of block grant funds to police, corrections, and courts; States' implementation of new criminal justice programs; and coordination among different elements of the criminal justice system, specifically joint projects that involve more than one function or jurisdiction. Analysis of the data indicated that LEAA has been only moderately successful in achieving greater parity among criminal justice functions and that innovation was influenced by the professionalism of local staff, not LEAA funds. In addition, those States with high levels of need tended to spend more on innovations. Information collected on coordinated programs showed that LEAA had little impact in this area. When LEAA succeeded, it was because of shared values of personnel, rather that control over block grant funds. These findings suggest that the present methods of administering Federal grants to States and localities are unlikely to achieve Federal policy goals and should be revised. Footnotes accompany each chapter. A list of statistical data sources and an index are included.