Understanding how Agents of the Justice System Apply their Authority by Gender
JUS 630 Pro-seminar in Criminal Justice
Prepared for Professor Gary Croft
This document touches upon the academic research whose findings were published in an academic journal. It focuses on the women’s role in the justice system explaining how special power given to the social agents is deployed. The study analyzed the way the agents of the justice system exercise their authority in respect to use of discretionary force based on responses from a survey method.
The study represents the opinions of two thousand one hundred eighty four correctional staff employed by hundred and twelve Federal prisons in 2005. The existing literature was reviewed and data was obtained from a sample of male and female control agents who are working within institution and having contact with inmates. Collected dataset of similar violence events were used to compare male and female staff’s assessment. Each respondent estimated count of assaults that occurred in the past six months in respect to two categories: serious and minor assault. The findings of the study support the argument that perceptions could play significant part in clarifying gender differences in the use of discretion, but the number of legal and extralegal components influences discretion. Although the same number of serious violence events occurred within both gender, the study disclosed less occurrences of minor assaults by women in oppose to their male counterparts.
It is not rare today for males and females to work together but there is still a shortage of women in the law enforcement. Our study was not an exception. The responding staff was primarily White (64%), male (72 %) with average age of 40 years old. The function of years of bias that “women couldn’t do the jobs; that they lacked the strength, intelligence or general ability to accomplish necessary tasks” (Bierie, 2011 p.211) made law enforcement a male dominated profession. Research showed that gender did not impact ability of solving the problems. The particular concern about women’s ability to effectively perform jobs that require assertiveness or even violent response proved wrong. Women were just as capable as men to handle violent situations, to exercise authority and solve the problem. However, the studies showed that gender does impact style that the problem is solved. Some scholars point that women have more skills when talking, bonding and making relationships with people they are controlling (Bierie, 2011 p.213). Although they are subject of generalization and extreme role-pressure, but because of their alternate skills, when given similar situation, female social control agents from time to time use less force than male colleagues. Police woman will less time use firearm to shoot the suspect and less likely to injure suspect during the force occurrence. Some researcher also demonstrated that male officers arrest more often than their