• Michael R. Gottfredson
  • Don M. Gottfredson
Part of the Law, Society, and Policy book series (LSPO, volume 3)


This chapter presents an overview of decisions in the criminal justice system: what they are, who makes them, how they are made, and with what consequences. Its aims are to identify the themes that will serve as the focus of detailed discussions in subsequent chapters, to familiarize the reader with the decision point frame of reference, and to highlight our analytical method. Later, we put flesh on these bare bones; our purposes here are to provide the context for our later detailed investigations, to define our terms, and to give a glimpse of our conclusions. The justification for these conclusions comes, we believe, in the remainder of the book.


Decision Maker Criminal Justice Police Officer Criminal Justice System Rational Decision 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. 1.
    In research literature about classification, this usually would be called assignment or allocation, reserving the word classification to refer to the allocation of initially undefined classes in such a way that individuals in a class are in the same sense similar or close to each other. See Cormack, 1971:321.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    For a defense of this guidelines method and a summary of criticisms, see Gottfredson and Gottfredson (1984).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael R. Gottfredson
    • 1
  • Don M. Gottfredson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Management and PolicyUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.School of Criminal JusticeRutgers UniversityNewarkUSA

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