Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Michael R. Gottfredson, Don M. Gottfredson
    Pages 1-13
  3. Michael R. Gottfredson, Don M. Gottfredson
    Pages 15-46
  4. Michael R. Gottfredson, Don M. Gottfredson
    Pages 47-78
  5. Michael R. Gottfredson, Don M. Gottfredson
    Pages 79-112
  6. Michael R. Gottfredson, Don M. Gottfredson
    Pages 113-138
  7. Michael R. Gottfredson, Don M. Gottfredson
    Pages 139-169
  8. Michael R. Gottfredson, Don M. Gottfredson
    Pages 171-201
  9. Michael R. Gottfredson, Don M. Gottfredson
    Pages 203-227
  10. Michael R. Gottfredson, Don M. Gottfredson
    Pages 229-255
  11. Michael R. Gottfredson, Don M. Gottfredson
    Pages 257-283
  12. Back Matter
    Pages 285-308

About this book

Introduction

The study of decisions in the criminal justice process provides a useful focus for the examination of many fundamental aspects of criminal jus­ tice. These decisions are not always highly visible. They are made, or­ dinarily, within wide areas of discretion. The aims of the decisions are not always clear, and, indeed, the principal objectives of these decisions are often the subject of much debate. Usually they are not guided by explicit decision policies. Often the participants are unable to verbalize the basis for the selection of decision alternatives. Adequate information for the decisions is usually unavailable. Rarely can the decisions be demonstrated to be rational. By a rationaldecision we mean "that decision among those possible for the decisionmaker which, in the light of the information available, maximizes the probability of the achievement of the purpose of the decisionmaker in that specific and particular case" (Wilkins, 1974a: 70; also 1969). This definition, which stems from statistical decision theory, points to three fundamental characteristics of decisions. First, it is as­ sumed that a choice of possible decisions (or, more precisely, of possible alternatives) is available. If only one choice is possible, there is no de­ cision problem, and the question of rationality does not arise. Usually, of course, there will be a choice, even if the alternative is to decide not to decide-a choice that, of course, often has profound consequences.

Keywords

Crime Criminal Justice Institution decision theory election exercise information

Editors and affiliations

  • Michael R. Gottfredson
    • 1
  • Don M. Gottfredson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Management and PolicyUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.School of Criminal JusticeRutgers UniversityNewarkUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4757-9954-5
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag US 1988
  • Publisher Name Springer, Boston, MA
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4757-9956-9
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4757-9954-5
  • About this book