Barriers to Effective Communication

Topics: Communication, Police, Criminal justice Pages: 5 (1625 words) Published: April 10, 2014

Barriers to Effective Communication
Molly Beck
December 16, 2013
Stewart Standfield

As we all know, Criminal Justice has two main types of communication which are Verbal and Nonverbal. Each of these are subsets or components in the communication area. These components help us to breakdown ideas of communication for a better understanding. For the verbal communication, there is a cluster with four different areas which include: Blaming, Directing, Persuading and Problem Solving. Along with these components for the verbal, there are also two main things for nonverbal communication which include: Body language and Written word communications.

When we are in a conversation with someone, verbally speaking is not the only thing that comes with communicating well. There is also the fact that you must be a good listener as well so you can understand what the other person is communicating. According to Grubb, Hemby, “Generally there are three purposes associated with either casual conversation or public speaking: to inform, to persuade, or to entertain” (Matthewson, 2009). You need to be focused and pay attention to detail when someone is attempting to inform you on critical information. To build better communication and a better understanding of what someone is saying, try repeating or saying everything you just heard. It will help you to remember more of the important issues that were brought up in the conversation.

For effective communication, you want to make sure that you are to the point of what you are talking about and avoid going off topic. This is make sure that you are able to clarify what the other person is saying and it will help any kind of confusion that may occur. You may also run into someone who does not speak English or speaks it very well. With this, you need to make sure that you are clear and precise on the topic and have an interpreter just in case they need help understanding. In the Criminal Justice field, many officers, lawyers, probation and parole officers face this challenge on a day to day basis. For having different types of languages around us at all times, we must be prepared for anything that can happen in the communication aspect. Cultural differences can and do affect verbal and nonverbal communication.

When you are using nonverbal communication, you must watch how you use your body language such as your hands, eyes, leg movement, and the folding of your arms. Using each of these in a certain manner can show the other person that you are uncomfortable, that you are not really listening to what they have to say and or you don’t care about what they are talking about. These can also show some signs of lying and stress if you are not careful. Law Enforcement uses these signs when they are interviewing and interrogating suspects. Giving direct eye contact but yet your body language says something else can be misunderstood as hiding something.

There are many different variables dealing with communication as well. When we have a conversation, we should always make sure that we do not miscommunicate information and the way we can do this, is by being more alert and understanding the different methods of communication. In the 7th paragraph in his article, Grubb says “KISS is an extremely effective acronym. “ Keep it Short and Simple” is not an indicator of lack of intelligence or professionalism but rather an efficient way to communicate. Some police officers, through a sense of misplaced importance, feel compelled to use language that is inappropriate for the situation- inappropriate in the sense that it does not fit well in the context of the conversation or in the message that the officer is attempting to convey” (Matthewson, 2009).

When writing a report which is considered nonverbal communication, you want to make sure you are using as much detail as possible but making sure at the same time, you are not going overboard to where it drowns out the report. You...

References: Henderson, M. L., Mathias-Humphrey, A., & McDermott, M. J. (2008). Barriers to Effective Program Implementation: Rural School-Based Probation (Vol. 72). Seattle, Washington, United States: Administrative Office of the United States Courts. Retrieved December 12, 2013, from
Matthewson, J. (2009). Effective Communication in Criminal Justice: Process, components and various types., 2. Retrieved December 12, 2013, from
Wallace, H. &. (2009, January 15). Criminal Justice Law Exploring Issues, Developing Solutions. Retrieved December 12, 2013, from Criminal Justice Law:
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