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Communication Skills Used in Criminal Justice

Communication Skills Used in Criminal Justice

Making Straightforward Declarative Sentences

It is very important for personnel in criminal justice system to be able to make clear, effective and professional verbal and non-verbal communication. In their mandate of maintaining law and order, law enforcement personnel has to communicate clearly and effectively in order to remain proficient in their jobs. Any officer’s daily activities involve verbal regular communication and are a reflection of their department for better or worse. This ranges from simple traffic stop to giving evidence or testimony by an officer in court. The communication has to be direct, honest, and clear. Simple words should be used to avoid misinterpretations or ambiguity. Use of language that is too technical may easily confuse the receiver of the message making him/her lost, for example, the jury listening to the officer’s evidence.

Even in correctional facilities, officers have to realize the effect of their words on others. They should properly communicate with the prisoners avoiding abusive language. This way, the officers will be enabled to maintain effective control of the inmate population. Guards have to be concise and clear when giving instructions to inmates (Stojkovic, Kalinich, & Klofas, 2014).

Proofreading

Proofreading may be defined as the careful reading of a document. In the criminal justice system, many documents are used. They include charge sheets, bail application forms, records of proceedings, judgments, and many other. An individual dealing with these forms has to carefully go through their contents to ensure that they contain the correct information. Proofreading allows one to make amendments and corrections. For example, a prosecutor has to proofread the charge sheet to ensure that the accused has been charged with the correct offence. Failure to read through the charge sheet carefully may lead to miscarriage of justice such that the accused may be sentenced for the wrong crime or even walk scot-free, because the crime stated in the charge sheet was never committed by him. The judge should also proofread witnesses’ statements and other relevant documents to give the correct judgment. For the advocates, proofreading helps them to detect any mistake in the relevant documents, and that may help with their client’s case. For example, proofreading the statement of a prosecution, witness may help the defense attorney detect any inconsistencies that may arise during the giving of evidence by the same witness. This way, the attorney may cast doubt on the credibility of such witness and the evidence that he/she has given.

Taking Writing Seriously

Note taking is very important. For example, when an attorney is interviewing his client for the first time, taking short notes of what the client is saying is very relevant in helping the attorney remember most details of the case. Noting down items such as address, telephone number ,and some facts of the case is very helpful for future reference. Writing also helps the attorney concentrate and understand more what his client is saying and avoid distractions (Selby, 2009).

Writing down evidence being produced in court is very important. Judges listen to many cases, thus remembering the particulars of a certain case may be difficult. Written down evidence, therefore, helps the judge to remember the facts of the case and pass the correct judgment.

My area of interest in the criminal justice system is that of an attorney. As an attorney, taking writing seriously will help me remember all relevant details of my client’s case especially the facts and instructions given to me by him/her. Writing will also help me note any inconsistencies that may exist in the witnesses’ written statements and the evidence they give orally in court.

Making straightforward declarative sentences will help me as an attorney to argue out my case well on behalf of my client and pass the right point to the judge or the jury without any confusion or ambiguity.

Proofreading can be of much importance in my work. Through proofreading, I will be able to detect any mistakes, for example, a defect in the charge sheet which may result in my client being charged with the wrong offence or under the wrong section of the law. Proofreading my submissions may also help to ensure that I have delivered the message that I intended to pass either to the jury or the judge.

References

  • Stojkovic, S. Kalinich, D., & Klofas, J. (2014). Criminal justice organizations: Administration and management. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
  • Selby, H. (2009). Advocacy: Preparation and performance. Federation Press.

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