Communication Barriers in Criminal Justice System

Communication Barriers in Criminal Justice System

Criminal justice organizations rely on effective communication for a successful outcome of the cases that they handle. These organizations communicate with the victims of crime, the suspects, witnesses as well as the attorney and other law enforcement groups (Parsons & Sherwood, 2016). Therefore, effective communication will ensure that the responsible individuals remain liable to their action thus eliminate the possible case of bias prosecution. Criminal justice organizations use both formal and informal communication channels that involve verbal, non-verbal communications. However, despite these efforts, criminal justice organizations still encounter barriers to communication, and the barrier responsible for communication problems are those that involve semantic (Parsons & Sherwood, 2016). Criminal justice has specific terms and words that apply to the process of handling the presented cases. Only relevant professionals like the attorney and the judge understand such words but not the public. Consistent use of certain words and terms might confuse the plaintiff and the defendant thus having a different interpretation and affecting the outcome of 1the court proceedings negatively.

The hardest communication barrier to correct in criminal justice organization is emotional barriers (Parsons & Sherwood, 2016). Suspects and victims of crime as well as sometimes the judge tends to display emotions while stating their arguments and this might affect the outcome of the case. The feelings might be voluntary or involuntary as some people might intentionally display emotions to favor them in the end. Others might be genuine, but their feelings might not be captivating thus affecting the outcome.  For instance, a judge who is also a mother might rule in favor of the abused child due to motherly instincts. The witnesses might also tend to display emotions that favor the person they are defending.

However, it is possible to achieve fair judgment and not being affected by emotional barriers by creating an environment that allows the individual involved in the case remain open about the situation. They should be aware that they are under oath and should maintain honesty and integrity. The lawyers, judges and other officials should remain guided by codes of ethics in their duty.




Parsons, S., & Sherwood, G. (2016). Vulnerability in custody: perceptions and practices of police officers and criminal justice professionals in meeting the communication needs of offenders with learning disabilities and learning difficulties. Disability & Society31(4), 553-572.