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Analysis of Impediments to Hiring Minorities in Criminal Justice Agencies

NCJ Number
E Hochstedler
Date Published
43 pages
To identify intra-agency and extra-agency factors that play a role in advancing or impeding affirmative action goals, site visits were conducted at 19 criminal justice agencies (police, probation, and corrections) in 12 States.
Interviews regarding recruitment, selection, retention, and promotion policies and procedures were conducted with personnel managers. Interviews also were conducted with minority and female employees. Results indicate that affirmative action (AA) plans tended to exist in terms of unclearly defined ends and that means to pursue these goals were more passive than active. In general, the perceived attitudes of the administrative leadership dictated the attitudes of the workforce toward AA and toward target (minority, female) personnel. Police agencies engaged in more extensive minority/female recruitment efforts than did corrections agencies, all of which were meeting their AA goals. There was some evidence that minority and female attrition rates were variably influenced by selection criteria and procedures. Most interviewees expressed the belief that AA had come about through actual or threatened court action or mandate. In fact, the existence of a hiring quota appeared to portend AA success, while its absence generally portended failure. While corrections agencies had larger proportions of female employees, both police and correction agencies have far to go before claiming success in meeting AA goals that reflect parity with the general workforce. In most agencies, AA is aimed at minorities, not women. Implications are discussed; tabular data and five references are provided.