Police Supervision and Management

The current paper provides the detailed review of a peer-reviewed article. The article is devoted to the analysis of organizational and political trends and the impact on the crime control activities in South Korea. The paper explores the research question, methodology, hypotheses, and the results of the discussed research. Implications for police organizations are being discussed.

Police Supervision and Management
Joo, H.J.  Yoon, O.K. (2008). Social context of crime control A time-series analysis of the Korean case, 1973-2002. Crime Law Soc Change, 50 375-394.

The main issue
    Crime control is linked to the notion of crime. As such, crime control was always understood in the context of technical responses to various crime situations. The criminal justice system always worked to provide timely responses to crime and to restrain the growth of criminal activity at different organizational levels. However, professionals in crime studies tend to forget that crime and crime control are being influenced by a whole set of factors, and elements like economic conditions, social contexts, and political factors often mediate the effects of crime control on the crime situation. In their research, Joo and Yoon (2008) seek to close the existing research gaps and to analyze the relevance of social structural explanations in the context of the major control practices. The study is unique in a sense that it analyzes the role of these factors in crime practices for South Korea, which has followed a different path to democratization and has developed social and political structures different from western industrialized countries (Joo  Yoon 2008, p. 377).

Terms and definitions
    The authors define the criminal justice system as a governmental organization that seeks to fulfill its goal with the resources available to it (Joo  Yoon 2008, p. 379). The authors also provide the detailed discussion of the conflict perspective, which sheds the light on the relationships between crime and crime control and the factors that may mediate and influence these relationships. No other definitions or terms are being described and or discussed in the paper.

Research method
    Joo and Yoon (2008) chose three groups of predictor variables to measure economic conditions, organizational capacity, and political climates against crime control (including arrest, prosecution, and incarceration rates that served as dependent variables). The unemployment rate and the Gini index were used as the two basic indicators of how economic threats influence crime and crime control. Organizational capacity was interpreted in terms of per capita personnel at each stage of the criminal justice system (Joo  Yoon, 2008). Indicators of political repression included martial laws and emergency decrees (Joo  Yoon, 2008). The data were taken from the Analytical Report on Crime (Joo  Yoon, 2008). Time-series regressions were used for the analysis of the social contexts surrounding crime (Joo  Yoon, 2008).

    The study analyzed the impact of social structures and structural explanations, including economic and political climate and organizational capacity, on the major crime control practices in South Korea. The authors confirmed the link between the level of crime and the rates of various crime control activities. However, while the rates of prosecution were generally responsive to the levels of crime, no link was found between crime and the rates of incarceration. It is possible to assume that the levels of incarceration are influenced by factors other than crime rates, e.g. organizational capacity, economic conditions, and political climates (Joo  Yoon, 2008). The authors found the direct link between incarceration rates and unemployment rates (Joo  Yoon, 2008). The organizational capacity of courts to deal with the case workloads affected incarceration rates and case outcomes, regardless of the external and environmental changes and influences. Political repression was one of the factors affecting crime control actions (Joo  Yoon, 2008). The research has proved that earlier stages of crime control practices like arrest and prosecution are usually immune from the external political and economic pressures (Joo  Yoon, 2008).

Analysis and the lessons learnt
    The study performed by Joo and Yoon (2008) is interesting to the extent, which reveals the links and inconsistencies in non-western crime control environments. In distinction from American and other westernized crime control systems, that of South Korea is highly centralized and operates through a well-developed organizational hierarchy (Joo  Yoon, 2008). This, according to Joo and Yoon (2008), is the major factor of discrepancy between western and Asian forms of crime control, for tightly organized layers of the crime control system do not allow external forces to produce significant influences on its structure and crime control outcomes.


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