Week 5 Discussion – Darrel Hicks

Respond by Day 5 to two colleagues by explaining the benefits of criminal justice organizations understanding the concept of predictable surprise.

Respond to Darrel as if you’re having a conversation with him. A few sentences and a question.


The predictable surprise is a concept that should be respected in all organizations, industry’s, or agencies, in society. Predictable surprise according to Bazerman and Watkins (n.d.), refers to “an event or set of events that take an individual or group by surprise, despite prior awareness of all the information necessary to anticipate the events and their consequences” (Bazerman and Watkins, n.d. pg. 1). In simpler terms, predictable events refer to crisis events that could occur in organizations that whole organizations, leader of organizations, or people associated with an organization have knowledge of but are yet to occur. This important concept is very important in the justice system. Since justice system employees work with and in variables (the criminal, the people, and the environment) that change constantly predictable surprise events are not options, they are mandatory situations that those who work under the justice systems umbrella must take heed to and consider. A predictable event that has had a major impact in society and the justice system, other than hurricane Katrina, is the attack of September 11. According to Pinkerton (2014), “prior to 9-11, there was plenty of evidence that terrorists were planning to strike in America” (Pinkerton, n.d., para. 2). After effects from the event can still be seen in today’s justice system, i.e., stricter airport laws, increased terrorism awareness, development of the patriot act and a variety of law and policy changes aimed at deterring, combating, and fighting crime or terrorism. An organization that is skilled at forecasting and identifying issues could have had a major effect on the outcomes of the 9/11 attack. A skilled organization would have done things to ensure that policies existed that addressed gun concerns related to airports better. They could have ensured that all personnel was properly trained to address terror situations. Contingency plans could have and should have also been readily accessible and known of by all personnel if such situations occurred. With the right security measures in place, there is a great chance that the situation could have been avoided altogether.

Bazerman, H. M. & Watkins D. Michael. (n.d.)., Predictable Surprises. Retrieved From, http://www.ssarcc.com/uploadfiles/Predictable%20Surprises.pdf, on March 26, 2019

Pinkerton, P. P. (December, 2014)., The Predictable Surprises of 2015 and Beyond. Retrieved From, https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2014/12/29/the-predictable-surprises-of-2015-and-beyond/, on March 26, 2019


Darrel Elese Hicks