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Environmental Analysis

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Essay title: Environmental Analysis

Environmental Analysis


MGT578/Strategy Formulation and Implementation

Mr. Mark McClintock

July 24, 2006

The remote environment can dramatically change any organization and the U.S. Probation Department (USPD) is no exception. The remote environment, including social and cultural, political, technological and demographic influences, all have an impact on the amount and type of cases seen in the U.S. District Court. Because of the location near the United States and Mexican international border, the USPD handles a great deal of immigration and drug cases. Mexican nationals struggle financially in Mexico and the primary motivator to enter the United States is to seek employment. Once they are residing in the United States, there are many cultural differences that are considered unacceptable in the United States. In Mexico, it is culturally acceptable for an older man to be involved in a romantic relationship with a 14-year-old girl. Unbeknownst to them, this activity is illegal in the United States and they are eventually caught and prosecuted. This is only one example of the cultural differences that wind up involved in the court system. As immigrants begin to understand the cultural differences, this behavior may decrease, thus clear up the severe clog in the courts.

The political environment can have a significant impact on the USPD. A hot topic across the nation is implementing new immigration law. One proposal will grant legal status to illegal immigrants currently working and residing in the United States. This would dramatically affect the number of cases heard by the U.S. District Court in Arizona, and other border states. Changes to criminal and immigration law would have an impact on the USPD in that, depending on how lenient or strict the laws were, could increase or decrease the amount of cases processed through the system. The need for U.S. Probation Officers (USPO) could increase or decrease along with this demand.

Technology is a factor in the remote environment that provides opportunities to speed up many processes and thus make the entire process more streamlined. Email, messaging programs, and computers are now an engrained part of almost every company in business today. The day of the typewriter is long gone and there appears to be no end in sight as to how far technology will take the business world. Recently, the USPD began taking advantage of video teleconferencing. The detention site housing a majority of the inmates is located in Florence, Arizona, 70 miles away from the courthouse. Each defendant going through the process must be interviewed by the USPD. This required the USPO to drive one hour to the prison to conduct the interview and back. This is two hours per interview that is wasted time. The implementation of the teleconference system allows USPO's to walk down the hallway to conduct the interview. Such advances save the department time and money.

Demographics have always had a significant impact on the court system. The type of people in the community and the trend in behaviors affects criminal activity in the area. Drug abuse is becoming more prevalent and is starting at a much younger age. The high availability and low price of drugs such as methamphetamine make experimentation with such illicit substances easy. Often times, it only takes one use of methamphetamine to become addicted to the drug. Subsequent drug abuse leads to involvement in other criminal activity to support their own drug addiction. This includes becoming involved in transporting drugs from Mexico into the Unites States, thus making the matter a federal offense. The popularity of methamphetamine is a factor in the remote environment that has had a major impact on courts at all levels.

The mission statement for the USPD is that they "supervise offenders serving sentences in the community, including probation and supervised release imposed by the federal courts and parole granted by the U.S. Parole Commission or military authorities. Probation conducts investigations of convicted offenders and prepares presentence reports containing information relevant to sentencing, in accordance with the sentencing guidelines promulgated by the United States Sentencing Commission" (USDC, District of Arizona website). The vision of the department is to provide the best service to the Courts, the community and the offenders. The presentence division is entrusted with the responsibility of providing accurate reports to the court containing an analysis of the offense of conviction, the defendant's social history, their criminal history, all the sentencing options available to the court, and a recommended sentence.

Because the goal is to

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