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Collaboration in Criminal Justice and Security

Collaboration in Criminal Justice and Security

According to Collaborative Justice (2015), “Collaboration is the process of working together to achieve a common goal that is impossible to reach without the efforts of others.” Interagency collaboration is the process of agencies working together toward a common purpose or goal or a mutual sharing of resources and ideas. Interagency collaboration is usually used between law enforcement and social services in criminal justice planning. This refers to working with other agencies to accomplish a goal that allows for increased diversity among people, their professions, and backgrounds to exchange ideas, share information and work together to solve important issues. At some point, every law enforcement agency will need to collaborate with other agencies. Interagency collaboration may look like sharing resources with another police department to offer specialized training, working with other local public safety agencies to plan for potential emergency situations, or collaborating with the city’s public health department to develop better ways to respond to calls involving people with mental illnesses (Interagency Collaboration in Law Enforcement, 2017). This concept can be challenging; however, it is extremely beneficial if done effectively. Different agencies have different workplace cultures and various ways of doing things. However, these differences in expertise are what make collaboration beneficial. Interagency collaboration can streamline case resolution and lead to major efficiency gains within the justice system. Policies must be set in place, and training materials are necessary to ensure that officers know what is expected of them, how they should interact with other agencies, and what documentation procedures are necessary to maintain a healthy relationship.

Policy planning through collaboration is all about merging the ideas of great minds to address issues faced, brainstorming, and devising solutions to address those concerns. Linden (2002, p .7) states, “Collaboration occurs when people from different organizations produce something through joint effort, resources, and decision making, and share ownership of the final product or service.” This collaboration can occur on multiple levels, from front-line collaboration among caseworkers and families to collaborative relationships between policymakers and administrators. Additionally, interagency collaboration can involve public and private sector agencies as partners as all agencies invest in serving youth and families are partners and participants that may consist of parents and family advocacy groups, among others, as no one person, or even agency, is fully equipped to do it alone (Robinson et al., 2003).

For many years, the criminal justice system has been at the forefront of much controversy, and in order to improve both its operations and image, it is in the system’s best interest to step outside of its circle to work with other agencies when planning future policies. Interagency collaboration allows for broader, more diverse perspectives on policy planning, which comes from getting different opinions from individuals with different knowledge bases. It’s about networking with others in order to find an alternative to address these issues. According to Matt Gasior (n.d.), “Interagency collaboration promotes greater efficiency in service delivery, improves the role definition of participating agencies, improves the quality and quantity of program information, and minimizes political damage from reduced funding.” If done well, interagency collaboration in law enforcement benefits everyone involved as it aids with cost reduction, improvement of information and training material, and promotes efficiency in agencies.

Homeland Security (2019) states that “fusion centers are state-owned and operated centers that serve as focal points in states and major urban areas for the receipt, analysis, gathering, and sharing of threat-related information between State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial (SLTT), federal and private sector partners.” The Justice Information Sharing Initiative (2005) states that a “fusion center is an effective and efficient mechanism to exchange information and intelligence, maximize resources, streamline operations, and improve the ability to fight crime and terrorism by merging data from a variety of sources. In addition, fusion centers are a conduit for implementing portions of the National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan (NCISP).

After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security committed millions of dollars to help state and local law enforcement agencies develop intelligence fusion centers (Carter & Carter, 2009). They embraced fusion centers as being an important mechanism to assist them in their missions to share terrorism information among law enforcement, the private sector, and the intelligence community. Fusion centers were initially referred to as “regional intelligence centers,” evolving largely on the basis of local initiatives as a response to perceived threats related to crime, drug trafficking, and/or terrorism within a geographic region (Carter & Carter, 2009). It became clear after 9/11 that there was poor information sharing among and between all levels of the law enforcement and intelligence community. As the federal government discovered more information about the terrorists and their associates, it was obvious the current systems in place were inadequate to deal with threats of such nature (Carter & Carter, 2009). Also, a mechanism would have to be put in place in order to provide data integration and analysis so the information would be of value to the law enforcement and intelligence communities.

Even though the phrase “fusion center” has been widely used, there are often misunderstandings about how the center functions. The most common is that the center is a large room full of workstations where staff is constantly responding to inquiries from officers, investigators, and agents. This vision describes a watch center – not a fusion center. The fusion center is more of an analysis-driven support center, which seeks to identify threats posed by terrorists or criminals and stop them before they occur. Prevention is the essence of the intelligence process (Carter & Carter 2009).


Carter, D. L., & Carter, J. G. (2009, December). The intelligence fusion process for state, local, and tribal law enforcement. Criminal Justice & Behavior, 36(12), 1323-1339.

Collaborative Justice (2015). Retrieved from

Homeland Security (2019). Retrieved from

Interagency collaboration in law enforcement (2017). Retrieved from

Linden, R. M. (2002) Working across boundaries: Making collaboration work in government and nonprofit organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Matt Gasior (n.d.). Interagency Collaboration in Law Enforcement. Ways you can work well with other agencies. Retrieved from collaboration-law-enforcement/

Robinson, C., Rosenberg, S., Teel, M. K., & Steinback-Tracy, K. (2003). Interagency collaboration guidebook: A strategic planning tool for child welfare and Part C agencies. Retrieved July 31, 2007, from Guidebook-Revised.pdf

The Justice Information Sharing Initiative (2005). Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security, Fusion Center Guidelines Developing and Sharing Information and Intelligence in a New Era, p. 2. Retrieved from


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Once community resources and applicable agencies are found, HSPPs must then request assistance on behalf of their service users. With their service users’ consent to disclose information, they may call agencies to establish contact, send emails, write formal letters of advocacy and assistance, or make in-person visits. HSPPs who establish open communication may find that their work with multiple agencies yields positive outcomes for service users and aids in delivering effective service plans.

Collaboration in Criminal Justice and Security

The aim of this communication is to introduce service users’ general needs and to establish a meeting to initiate the rendering of services. It must be not only factual but compelling and heartfelt in its advocacy. What strategies would you use to convey service users’ needs to various agencies? How might you represent your service user’s situation in a way that encourages other organizations to become involved?

In this two-part Assignment, you first identify applicable Hart City human services organizations for your service user and describe the coordination of services. You then write an advocacy email or letter to one of those organizations.

Submit the two-part Assignment:

Select at least two services from different organizations in Hart City, and explain how they would be beneficial for your service user. Then describe how you would coordinate those services. Finally, identify financial considerations for your service user in accessing the services.

Select one of the Hart City organizations you identified in Part 1 and imagine you are writing an email to that office to advocate for your service user and request services.

Write a 2-paragraph email to the organization to advocate for your service user and request services. In your email, be sure to demonstrate the following:

Effective skills in interagency collaboration
Professional communication
Clarity and concision

Woodside, M., & McClam, T. (2018). Generalist case management: A method of human service delivery (5th ed.). Cengage.

Chapter 10: Service Coordination (pp. 317–356)
Chapter 11: Working With the Organization (pp. 358–393)
Robinson, S. M., & Gallagher, M. M. (2019). Meeting complex needs through community collaboration: A case study.Links to an external site. Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, 12(2), 279–285.
Note: Pay close attention to the “Service Coordination” section of this article.

Sullivan, C. M., & Goodman, L. A. (2019).Advocacy with survivors of intimate partner violence: What it is, what it isn’t, and why it’s critically important.Links to an external site. Violence Against Women, 25(16), 2007–2023.
Note: Read pages 2007–2010 to gain insight on advocacy.

Document: Sample Advocacy Email (PDF)

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