Policy Making and Bureaucracy

This paper was primarily written by Lisa L. Miller to examine how bureaucrats influence the selection of policy options. She names two main agendas: accorded to the accused and state crimes. She has addressed a number of issues in this piece, including defining the key functions of bureaucrats, problems associated with their involvement, solutions, and advocacy for particular programs. Additionally, the article examined how justice bureaucrats function at all societal levels and developed theories to describe how these bureaucrats fit into the national crime policy. (King, 1985). The main objective that she presents in her study after performing a detailed study is that someday, criminal justice bureaucrats will somehow dominate which generates policies and replacing the process with their own. By this, the people who run no profit organizations, citizens at community level as well as organized groups would actually have differing opinions concerning policies. This would of course be the birth of a battle of supremacy between the two groups.

In her paper, she makes various assumptions that ultimately lead to her conclusion. First, the interest range being represented in the policy of crime will someday be somehow easy to predict and as such a pattern that is stable following the national political mobilization. Secondly, she assumes that the bureaucrats will increase their presence in the congress through their access to legislators. Then, she also brings in the hypothesis that the interests groups would eventually be considerably represented at the congress hearing. Finally, she makes an assertion that community groups would actually form a very tiny fraction among the groups putting forth their expressions concerning the policies to the congress. This is in spite of the fact that the community groups would represent the victimized areas (history of federal crime control initiatives, 1960-1993," 1994).

This article revolves around the thought that policy and decisions concerning the national crime policy as well as criminal justice would be controlled by the bureaucrats who gain access to the members of congress. Truth is, the bureaucrats would at first have the interests of the people at heart but then with time, their personal agenda would dominate over the national agenda of goodwill. Further, the article argues crime is the perfect opportunity that the makers of policies may use to offer advice and resources as well to the bureaucrats with no culpability of the outcomes.

The article has been of help in enriching the world with ways to make public administration better and better. For instance, the debate of efficiency against responsiveness has been tackled impliedly (Miller, 2004). While the bureaucrats will be aiming at making policies that would improve efficiency in the public administration, non profits organizations as well as community groups would be requiring perfection and when this is not attained, they would want to be involved in policy making as well.

The article is well written as it analyses the major issues in the society by analyzing the important role the bureaucrats play. As it is commonly known, criminal activities undermine peace and overshadow the authority of the state by enhancing corruption. The consequences of this would definitely be quite catastrophic. What the article addresses is very important because by the end of the article, society is administered well through the policies formulated by the bureaucrats who are in the top technocrats positions.

However, the weakness with this article is that the writer makes the assumption that community groups and the individuals in society have or will have a limited say in the congressional policy stage making. However, what she fails to consider is the fact that legislators are actually elected by the people and as such, based on democratic principles, the people are the major policy makers.


In conclusion, I find the findings to be true because of the evidence she has attached. Despite the fact that she uses old time data, crimes are still the same old crimes. I agree up to a certain extent. The point of departure worth noting is the forth assumption that assumes that no policies would be made by the people but by the bureaucrats who would have gained prominence in the congress.


The Federal Bureaucracy: The Fourth Branch of Government. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.theodysseyonline.com/federal-bureaucracy-fourth-branch-government

A history of federal crime control initiatives, 1960-1993. (1994). Choice Reviews Online, 32(04), 32-2439-32-2439.

King, A. L. (1985). John W. Kingdon, Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies, Boston: Little, Brown, 1984, xi + 240 pp., $9.95. Journal of Public Policy, 5(02), 281.

Miller, L. L. (2004). Rethinking Bureaucrats in the Policy Process: Criminal Justice Agents and the National Crime Agenda. Policy Studies Journal, 32(4), 569-588.

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