Policy Development and Implementation

Policy Development and Implementation


Policies are significant in any organization as they serve as guidelines for executing various operations. In the criminal justice system, policies are also used to provide guidance, as well as to promote and direct action. In criminal justice, policies are regulations and rules that guide officials in their jobs. For any policy to be functional and applicable in the criminal justice system, it must be well developed and implemented. Policy development and implementation render a centralized and organized process under which a suggested policy is established, evaluated, authorized, and executed.  This paper seeks to identify and demonstrate the various aspects of policy development and policy implementation. It will also highlight some of the influences of policy development in criminal justice.

Elements of Policy Development and Implementation

General Statement

A simple or general statement is the first part of policy development and implementation. This element is simply a statement that details what the organization seeks to attain for its clients or the public. It contains clear objectives and goals that the policy is expected to attain. Also, it specifies the policy’s primary audience and stipulates the conditions and limitations for policy application. 

Underpinning values, philosophies, and principles

This component offers an institutional context that binds the policy to its wider objective. Further, it provides insights into the ambitions behind the policy and shows how the proposed policy will continue to contribute to the set values and principles of the organization. Categorically, it sheds light on the underpinning principle of the policy and describes how its implementation will lead to a better outcome.

Broad Objectives

This section specifies the purpose of the policy and the areas which the organization will be addressing. It seeks to ensure that the people governed by the policy have a good comprehension of the importance of the policy and the areas it addresses (Sage Publishers). Depending on the policy, this part may specify the conflicts or issues that the policy intends to resolve. It may also encompass concerns like regulatory and legal requirements.


This component describes the actions that will be adopted to attain each policy objective. It details the measures and the actions that will be employed to ensure that every objective is realized. Generally, it outlines and centers on the best strategies that can lead to the achievement of the desired goals.

Adopted Actions

This section recommends the specific actions that should be used to accomplish the policy goals and remedy the identified issues or conflicts. It highlights and describes all the activities that can result in a favorable outcome. 

Desired Outcomes

This part details the aspired results that the policy is expected to bring. It simply outlines and shows the changes that are likely to take place if the policy is implemented. The outcomes are outlined based on the specific actions that are expected to lead to results.

Performance Indicators

This element provides the means of measuring the success or the achievements of the policy.  Based on the issue that the policy intends to address, this component identifies the indicators which can be used to assess whether the policy is meeting its objective. Notably, the number of performance indicators is dependent on the goals or the problems that the policy wishes to achieve or solve.

Management Plans

This bit provides detailed information about the form of plans and procedures to be used to implement the policy. It also outlines the daily operational rules that cover all parts of service delivery, adequately detailing how the policy is to be executed and monitored on a day-to-day basis.

Program Review

The last component in policy development and implementation is the evaluation of the program. This constituent entails setting the period that the policy should be reviewed and specifying how the evaluation process should be conducted. It may also point out the steps of the review process and determine the people responsible for undertaking the review.

Influences on Criminal Justice Policy Development

Various variables are instrumental in the development of criminal justice policy. The media is one notable influence that plays an influential and enormous role in the establishment of numerous policies. It policy development by covering the news that center on the issues affecting society. Television networks often cover news and incidents involving crime and violence and provide the viewers with detailed information. The negative portrayal of incidences or events concerning crime and violence by the media triggers emotions among the public, thereby fostering the need for action. The call for action by the public and the demand for change by various groups and movements eventually leads to the formation of new policies, designed to address the issue at hand.

Public opinion is another influence of policy development in criminal justice. For the longest time, public perception has been a principal force in the creation of many policies in the United States. Juvenile crime laws are a great example of how public opinion has influenced the formation of new policies (Sage 137). Ordinarily, public opinion influences policy development by airing concerns about matters that the public considers wrong. Increased public outcry is what ultimately leads to the creation of policies intended to remedy the raised problem. The establishment of the juvenile court, for example, emanated from the public perspective that youth ought to be accorded a different treatment from the adult offenders (Sage 139).

Concerns about Implementation

There have been concerns about the implementation of the policies influenced by the media and public opinion. However, the concerns are not consolidated into policy development. One of the concerns is that the media is adjusting the level of violence to target audiences they wish to advertise their products to. The media’s need for commercial gain is, therefore, leading to an exaggerated portrayal of crime. By failing to show the reality on the ground, the media’s market-driven news and coverage of crime and violence foster punitiveness (Beale 421).  The other concern is the contribution of public opinion in establishing penal policies.  The lack of awareness and public affairs knowledge among a substantial proportion of the public is leading to the development of harsh policies (Beale 420). As a result, the policies fuelled by public opinion are triggering other social issues.


Policy development and implementation are crucial parts of policymaking. Policies are an integral part of criminal justice, and in most cases are formulated to transform how offenders are treated by the criminal justice system. As observed, the media and public opinion play a tremendous role in influencing and shaping policies. Nevertheless, regardless of their striking influence, the media and public opinion sometimes contribute to the creation of punitive policies that end up presenting additional problems.


Works Cited

Beale, Sara Sun. “The News Media’s Influence on Criminal Justice Policy: How Market-Driven News Promotes Punitiveness.” Wm. & Mary L. Rev., vol. 48, 2006, pp. 397-460.

Sage Publishers. “Criminal Justice Policy.” (2017). https://us.sagepub.com/sites/default/files/chapter_6._criminal_justice_policy_0.pdf

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