CRJ 101 Chapter 7 Notes
CRJ 101 Chapter 7 Notes CRJ 101
Midlands Technical College
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This 11 page Class Notes was uploaded by Andrea Smith on Tuesday October 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CRJ 101 at Midlands Technical College taught by John B. Tucker in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Criminal Justice in Business and Public Service at Midlands Technical College.
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Date Created: 10/04/16
CRJ 101 Intro to Criminal Justice Chapter 7 Issues in Policing Learning Objectives 1) Recognize the benefits like to accrue from higher education for police. 2) Describe how the role of women and minorities in local police agencies has evolved over time. 3) Explain the concept of a police culture. 4) Describe the reasons why experts believe police have a unique personality. 5) Recognize the different types of police officer styles. 6) Identify the factors that influence police discretion. 7) Recognize the consequences of stress and fatigue. 8) Distinguish between brutality and corruption. 9) Explain the difference between deadly and nondeadly force. 10) Recall the leading types of lesslethal weapons. Key Terms Double Marginality: according to Nicholas Alex, the social burden that African American police officers carry by being both minority group members and law enforcement officers. Blue Curtain: the secretive, insulated police culture that isolates officers from the rest of society. Cynicism: the belief that most people’s actions are motivated solely by personal needs and selfishness. Police Styles: the working personalities adopted by police officers that can range from being a social worker in blue to being a hardcharging crime fighter. Discretion: the use of personal decision making and choice in carrying out operations in the criminal justice system. LowVisibility Decision Making: decision making by police officers that is not subject to administrative review Overload Hypothesis: the theory that police workload influences discretion so that as workload increases, less time and attention can be devoted to new cases, especially petty crimes. Demeanor: the way a person outwardly manifests his or her personality. Police Brutality: actions such as using abusive language, making threats, using force or coercion unnecessarily, prodding with nightsticks, and stopping and searching people to harass them. Corruption: exercising legitimate discretion for improper reasons or using illegal means to achieve approved goals. Knapp Commission: a public body that conducted an investigation into police corruption in New York City in the early 1970s and uncovered a widespread network of payoffs and bribes. Meat Eater: a term used to describe a police officer who actively solicits bribes and vigorously engages in corrupt practices. Grass Eater: a term used to describe a police officer who accepts payoffs when everyday duties place him or her in a position to be solicited by the public. Mollen Commission: an investigative unit set up to inquire into police corruption in New York City in the 1990s. Accountability System: a system that makes police supervisors responsible for the behavior of the officers in their command. Deadly Force: the intentional use of a firearm or other instrument, resulting in a high probability of death. Nondeadly Force: force that is unlikely to cause death or significant bodily harm. Excited Delirium: an overdose of adrenaline that can occur in heated confrontations with the police. Impact Munitions: lesslethal weapons that are used to stun or otherwise incapacitate uncooperative suspects so that they can be subdued. Taser: a nonlethal conducted energy device that administers a shock to an uncooperative suspect by way of an electrified dart. National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial: the nation’s monument to police officers who have died in the line of duty. Notes Who Are the Police? Traditionally, police agencies were composed of white males with a high school education who viewed policing as a secure position that brought them the respect of family and friends and a step up the social ladder. Police and Education o 98% of local police departments have an education requirement for new officer recruits: about 16% have some type of college requirement, about 9% require a twoyear degree, and only 1% require a fouryear degree. o Benefits of a higher education: better communication skills with the public, especially minority and ethnic groups; better at writing and writing more clearly, more likely to be promoted; enables officers to perform more effectively, generate fewer citizen complaints, show more initiative in performing police tasks, and generally behave more professionally Minorities in Policing o The earliest known date when an African American was hired as a police officer was 1861 in Washington, D.C.; Chicago hired its first African American officer in 1872. o At first, African American officers suffered a lot of discrimination. Their work assignments and chances for promotions were restricted. Double marginality. o An increase in diversity in America’s police departments. Approximately 25% of local police officers are African American, Hispanic, or other minority races. Women in Policing o In 1910, in L.A., Alice Stebbins Wells became the first woman to hold the title of police officer and to have arrest powers. o About 15% of all sworn officers in larger cities are women. o Endure separate criteria for selection, were given menial tasks, and were denied the opportunity for advancement. o The role of women in police work is still restricted by social and administrative barriers that have been difficult to remove. Women are still struggling for acceptance, believe that they do not receive equal credit for their job performance, and report that it is common for them to be sexually harassed by their coworkers. o Female police officers may be targeted for more disciplinary actions by administrators and, if cited, are more likely to receive harsher punishments than male officers. o Policewomen have not always been fully accepted by their male peers of the general public. o Catch22 dilemma: if women are physically weak, male partners view them as a risk in street confrontations; if they are more powerful and aggressive than their male partners, they are regarded as an affront to a male officer’s manhood. o African American police women have it worse off. Difficult relationships with African American male officer and there was little unity among the female officers. The Police Profession Police Culture o Blue Curtain o Six core beliefs viewed as being at the heart of the police culture: 1) Police are the only real crime fighters. 2) No one else understands the real nature of police work. 3) Loyalty to colleagues counts above everything else. 4) The war against crime cannot be won without bending the rules. 5) Members of the public are basically unsupportive and unreasonably demanding. 6) Patrol work is the pits. o Police culture has developed in response to the insulated, dangerous lifestyle of police officers. Policing is a hazardous occupation. Police Personality o Police officers develop a unique set of personality traits that distinguish them from the average citizen. o To some, the typical police personality can be described as dogmatic, authoritarian, and suspicious. o Cynicism has been found at all levels of policing. o Police values are different from the general population. o Police officers are more psychologically healthy than the general population, less depressed and anxious, and more social and assertive. Police Style The Four Basic Styles of Policing The Crime Fighter Most important aspect is investigating serious crimes and apprehending criminals. Their focus is on the victim, and they view effective police work as the only force that can keep society’s “dangerous classes” in check. They are the “thin blue line” protecting society from murderers and rapists. They consider property crimes less significant, and they believe that misdemeanors, traffic control, and social service functions would be better handled by other government agencies. The Social Agent Believe that police should be involved in a wide range of activities without regard for their connection to law enforcement. Consider themselves community problem solvers. They are troubleshooters who patch the holes that appear where the social fabric wears thin. Happy to work with special needs populations, such as the homeless, school kids, and those who require emergency services. Fit well within a community policing unit. The Law Enforcer Duty is clearly set out in law and they stress playing it “by the book.” They see themselves as generalized law enforcement agents. Prefer working on serious crimes but see the police role as one of enforcing all statutes and ordinances. Perceive themselves as neither community social workers nor vengeanceseeking vigilantes. They are professional law enforcement officers who perform the functions of detecting violations, identifying culprits, and taking the lawbreakers before a court. Are devoted to the profession of police work and are the officers most likely to aspire to command rank. The Watchman Is characterized by an emphasis on the maintenance of public order as the police goal, not on law enforcement or general service. Ignore many infractions and requests for service unless they believe that the social or political order is jeopardized. They expect juveniles to misbehave and believe such mischief is best ignored or treated informally. Motorists will often be left alone if their driving does not endanger or annoy others. Vice and gambling are problems only when the currently accepted standards of public order are violated. Officers take action only if and when a problem arises. The most passive officers, more concerned with retirement benefits than crime rates. Police Discretion Discretion is the use of personal decision making and choice in carrying out operations in the criminal justice system. Influences include: o Crime factors. Related to the severity of the offense. In serious cases there is very little, if any discretion used. Discretion is mostly used in minor cases. o Victim factors. The relationship between the parties involved influence discretion. o Environmental factors: discretion can be partially defined by the living and working environment. Community crime rates may shape officer discretion. o Departmental factors: policies, practices, and customs of local police departments are an influence on police discretion. Depend of the judgement of the chief and others in the organizational hierarchy. A patrol officer’s supervisor can influence discretion. o Peer factors: police discretion is subject to peer pressure. The peer group affects how police officers exercise discretion on two distinct levels: the first, in an obvious and direct manner, other police officers dictate acceptable responses to streetlevel problems by displaying or withholding approval in office discussions. Second, the officer who takes the job seriously and desires the respect and friendship of others will take their advice, abide by their norms, and seek out the most experience and most influential patrol officers on the force and follow their behavior models. o Suspect behavior and characteristics: if an offender is surly, talks back, or otherwise challenges the officer’s authority, formal action is more likely to be taken. In other words, a negative demeanor will result in formal police action. Suspects who behave in a civil manner, accept responsibility for their offense, and admit their guilt are less likely to have formal police action taken. Resistance, race, gender, and age are also factors to influence police discretion. o Officer characteristics: officer’s education, experience, gender, and career aspirations can have an impact on discretion. Racial Profiling Describes the racial influence over police discretion. Multiple studies show that state and local police officers routinely stop and/or search African American motorists at a rate far greater than their representation in the driving pool. Problems of Policing Job Stress. The complexity of their role, the need to exercise prudent discretion, the threat of using violence and having violence used against them, and isolation from the rest of society all take a toll on law enforcement officers. Police officer stress can lead to negative attitudes, burnout, loss of enthusiasm and commitment, increased apathy, substance abuse problems, divorce, health problems, and many other social, personal, and jobrelated problematic behaviors. o Police psychologists have divided the stressors into four categories: (1) external stressors, (2) organizational stressors, (3) duty stressors, and (4) individual stressors. Fatigue. Can be dangerous to police and citizens. Violence and Brutality. Police officers are empowered to use force and violence in pursuit of their daily tasks. Since their creation, U.S. police departments were classified as being a brutal, physically violent organizations. Police brutality continues to be a concern, especially when police use excessive violence against members of the minority community. Evidence shows that only a small proportion of officers are continually involved in problem behavior. Aggressive cops may be ones who overreact to the stress of police work while at the same time feeling socially isolated. Corruption. Came about when the early U.S. police departments were first formed. o Two groups of corruption: meat eaters – a police officer who actively solicits bribes and vigorously engages in corrupt practices, and grass eaters – a police officer who accepts payoffs when everyday duties place him or her in a position to be solicited by the public. o Types of corruption: Internal corruption. Takes place among police officers themselves, involving both the bending of departmental rules and the outright performance of illegal acts. Selective enforcement and nonenforcement. Occurs when police officers abuse or exploit their discretion. Active criminality. This is participation by police in serious criminal behavior. Bribery and extortion. This includes practices in which law enforcement roles are exploited specifically to raise money. Bribery is initiated by the citizen while extortion is initiated by the officer. o Causes of corruption: Police personality. Puts the blame on the type of person who becomes a police officer. Institutions and practices. The wide discretion that police enjoy, coupled with the low visibility they maintain with the public and their own supervisors, makes them likely candidates for corruption. Moral ambivalence. Corruption is a function of society’s ambivalence toward many forms of vicerelated criminal behavior that police officers are sworn to control. Environmental conditions. Corruption may be linked to specific environmental and social conditions that enhance the likelihood that police officers may become involved in misconduct. Corrupt departments. Police corruption is generated at the departmental level and that conditions within the department produce and nurture deviance. Officer characteristics. Factors such as officer race, prior criminal history, and problems in prior jobs were associated with onthejob misconduct. o Controlling corruption. Strengthen the internal administrative review process within police departments; the accountability system; outside review boards or special prosecutors to investigate reported incidents of corruption; change the social context of policing. Use of Force Race and force. There is a debate over whether police are more likely to get rough with minority suspects. A survey showed that African Americans and Hispanics were more likely than whites to experience police threat or use of force as a consequence of police contact. Deadly force. Force that is likely to cause death or significant bodily harm. o Factors related to police shootings: Local and national violence levels. The higher the levels of violence in a community, the more likely police in that area will use deadly force. Exposure to violence. Police officers may be exposed to violence when they are forced to confront the emotionally disturbed. Workload. A relationship exists among police violence and the number of police on the street, the number of calls for service, the number and nature of police dispatches, the number of arrests made in a given jurisdiction, and police exposure to stressful situations. Firearms availability. A strong association has been found between police use of force and gun density. Social conflict. The greatest number of police shooting occur in areas that have significant disparities in economic opportunity and high levels of income inequality. Administrative policies. The philosophy, policies, and practices of individual police chiefs and departments significantly influence the police use of deadly force. Race. Police are more likely to shoot and kill minority offenders than they are whites. No other issue is as important to the study of police use of deadly force as racial discrimination. Nondeadly force. Force that is unlikely to cause death or significant bodily harm. Can range from the use of handcuffs to rubber bullets and stun guns. Nondeadly force is unlikely to cause death but sometimes it does. Excited delirium. o Lesslethal weapons. Impact munitions – rubber bullets, wooden dowels, beanbags, and other projectiles. Area rounds – 12gauge shotgun shells full of rubber pellets that deliver strong blows to people without penetrating the skin. Sponge point grenades, rubber pelletfilled hand grenades, flash grenades, and flashbang stun hand grenades have been used. Pepper spray and Tasers. Police as victims. Memorializing lost officers. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial is a monument to police officers who have died in the line of duty. It is located in Washington, D.C. and consists of two curving marble walls that display the names of over 19,000 men and women who lost their lives while serving on duty as police officers.
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