Sample Research Paper on Generational Differences in the Criminal Justice Workforce

Generational Differences in the Criminal Justice Workforce

The are several agencies in the criminal justice system, which include the law enforcement, comprising the courts, police as well as corrections. The main objective of the agencies is to promote safety in the society. In addition, the agencies perform different roles that make it possible to achieve their goal. They carry out duties, such as protection and prosecution of victims, provision of reintegration services, as well as punishment of the sentenced criminals. Appropriate management as well as leadership plays an important role in enhancing efficacy and competency in the criminal justice system. Thecurrent paper emphasizes on the police as the effectual agency. It discusses in details the management, leadership, organization and responsibilities with regard to criminal justice. The paper also analyzes several generations in the criminal justice workforce and their effective leadership approach.

Definition of Management, Leadership, and Organization Within Criminal Justice Management

Management is a continuous process, which entails arrangement of resources, individuals, as well as funds to perform a given responsibility aimed at attaining the firm’s objectives. The management of any firm often comprises people who are in upper, middle, as well as lower levels of management. The levels perform different duties, which include arranging, directing, planning, ordering as well as providing feedback. Moreover, managers’ rolesare complex due to the current environment that is changing continuously(American Management Association, 2014). Their duties mainly include formulation of objectives, decision making, mission development, setting up guidelines as well as measures and promotion of unity among workers to enhance performance. Such roles fall under supervision, control, and management of the criminal justice system, which are vital.

Different Generations in Today’s Changing Criminal Justice Organization

Baby Boomers

Are individuals born between 1945 and1964. The group is considered the root of several significant cultural and economic transformations. Baby Boomers are highly industrious in their duties and like a steadier work environment. They are also hard working and loyal to theleadership team. They are eager and expectant to operate with others.Moreover, money and credit greatlylure Baby Boomers.This generation is service oriented, dedicated, cooperative, experienced, and knowledgeable(Ferri-Reed, 2012). However, it is uncomfortable with conflict, hesitant to defy peers, and consider process more than results. Baby Boomers like phone calls and personal interaction as a mode of communication

X Generation (Xers)

Xers were born between 1965 and 1980, and are also referred to as ‘baby busters’.Xers are more autonomous, self-motivated, as well as self-satisfied. Their work values emphasize personal contentment instead of simply hard work. They also pay loyalty to their career instead of their employer. Apart from their work values, Xers do not regard the traditional Maslow hierarchy needs rule, and questionpersonalgrowth progress structures(Yu & Miller, 2005).They require self-accomplishment from their work as well as basic needs all together, and they ensure that their work does not negatively affect their quality of life. Therefore, they are not highly committedand engaged in their work. This generation values job contentment more than promotion, and concentrate on life outside work. Leisure, family, lifestyle, and other interests are as significant as their job. Nonetheless, they are hesitant in making sacrifices required by their organizations and become ‘wokaholics.’ This generation cares about pats on the back and engage in activities that are rewarded(Ferri-Reed, 2012).


The millennials were born after 1980, and are also called the Y Generation. They are positive, able to multi-task and technologically savvy. However, they require supervision and structure and lack adequate experience in dealing with people’s challenging issues. Their preferred mode of communication includes instant messages, blogs, text messages, and emails. This generation also focuses highly on ‘me’ than ‘we’, and like cooperating with peers prior to decision making. Millennials are impatient for promotion and reluctant to wait for an opportunity. The generation is also less concerned with privacy (Cahill & Sedrak, 2012).

Aspects of Leadership and Management that Would Be Successful with the Different Generations

Baby Boomers

Leaders need to provide flexible working arrangements, such as adjustable timetable and personal time for taking care of the family. They should also offerstimulating work opportunities, learning prospects, as well asphased retirement programs. Health and wellness programs enhance healthy life styles among them.Baby Boomers agree to the chain of command, and anticipate their managers to offer direction and lead them towards the criminal justice organization goals. However, they ae not highly technologically savvy, and do not like change. A task oriented style is highly appropriate in managing Baby boomers. This generation is more loyal to employers and ready to accept a ‘chain of command’.The generationlikes leaders who are consensual and deal with them as equals. The leaders also need to utilize a democratic approach and work the group to define a mission. Managers should exhibit friendliness and care and assure them them that the organization values their work (Yu & Miller, 2005).

X Generation (Xers)

Leaders and managers need to show Xers several alternatives for their workplace schedule. They should also give them a chance to work independently and exploit their adaptability. The generation also requires feedback to help them in developing their skills and enhancing their resumes.Since their work values stresses personal contentment instead of just working hard, they require motivation to maximally utilize training opportunities to enhance their working skills.The leadership style that works effectively for this generation is a relationship oriented style. Xers expect their employer to treat themas a partner rather than a worker. This generation prefers working for managers who are competent, direct, and honest. They alsolike informal managers and those who are willing to give them a deadline and turnthem loose to meet it. The leaders need to support training and growth opportunities, be flexible, and result-oriented(Yu & Miller, 2005).


Managers and leaders need to provide flexibility to enable them toengage in their several outside interests. They should also involve them in significant volunteer determinations, and benefits since they are financially savvy. Managers also need to utilize the generation’sability to access and share information swiftly. Leaders and managers should assist this group to acquaint themselves with interpersonal skills for the workplace. Millennials prefer continuous feedback and any person who can mentor them but not a boss. Since they ae brought up by overprotective parents with similar generation that leads law enforcement, they anticipate the law enforcement instructors and leaders to treat them in the same way (Cahill & Sedrak, 2012). The generation requires leaders who are instructive and understand their personal goals. The managers also needto be optimistic, cooperative, and contented withtraining and supporting them. In addition, they should be motivational, success-oriented, orderly, and able to create a sound structure.

The police agency plays a great role in promoting safety in the society. Therefore, understanding generational differences in the criminal justice workforce is significant in enhancing effective leadership and management. This process is important in increasing the organization’s competency.


American Management Association. (2014). Leading the four generations at work. AMA Worldwide.Retrieved from:

 http://www. amanet. org/training/articles/Leading-the-Four-Generationsat-Work. aspx

Cahill, T. F., & Sedrak, M. (2012). Leading A Multigenerational Workforce: Strategies for Attracting and Retaining Millennials. Frontiers of Health Services Management29(1), 3-15.

Ferri-Reed, J. (2012). Leading a Multi-Generational Workforce. Journal for Quality and Participation35(1).

Yu, H. C., & Miller, P. (2005). Leadership style: The X Generation and Baby Boomers Compared in Different Cultural Contexts. Leadership & Organization Development Journal26(1), 35-50.