Author: Malcolm K. Sparrow
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
Release Date: 2016-04-26
Genre: Political Science
Whatever happened to community and problem-oriented policing? How the current crisis in policing can be traced to failures of reform. The police shooting of an unarmed young black man in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014 sparked riots and the beginning of a national conversation on race and policing. Much of the ensuing discussion has focused on the persistence of racial disparities and the extraordinarily high rate at which American police kill civilians (an average of roughly three per day). Malcolm Sparrow, who teaches at Harvard’s Kennedy School and is a former British police detective, argues that other factors in the development of police theory and practice over the last twenty-five years have also played a major role in contributing to these tragedies and to a great many other cases involving excessive police force and community alienation. Sparrow shows how the core ideas of community and problem-solving policing have failed to thrive. In many police departments these foundational ideas have been reduced to mere rhetoric. The result is heavy reliance on narrow quantitative metrics, where police define how well they are doing by tallying up traffic tickets issued (Ferguson), or arrests made for petty crimes (in New York). Sparrow’s analysis shows what it will take for police departments to escape their narrow focus and perverse metrics and turn back to making public safety and public cooperation their primary goals. Police, according to Sparrow, are in the risk-control business and need to grasp the fundamental nature of that challenge and develop a much more sophisticated understanding of its implications for mission, methods, measurement, partnerships, and analysis.
The current crisis in policing can be traced to failures of reform. "Sparrow surely is right to condemn policing directed only at crime rates rather than community satisfaction.” -The New York Times Book Review In the past two years, America has witnessed incendiary milestones in the poor relations between police and the African-American community: Ferguson, Baltimore, and more recently Baton Rouge, St. Paul, and Dallas. Malcolm Sparrow, who teaches at Harvard Kennedy School of Government and is a former British police detective, argues that other factors in the development of police theory and practice over the last twenty-five years have also played a major role in contributing to these tragedies and to a great many other cases involving excessive police force and community alienation. Sparrow shows how the core ideas of community and problem-solving policing have failed to thrive. In many police departments these foundational ideas have been reduced to mere rhetoric. The result is heavy reliance on narrow quantitative metrics, where police define how well they are doing by tallying up traffic stops, or arrests made for petty crimes. Sparrow’s analysis shows what it will take for police departments to escape their narrow focus and perverse metrics and turn back to making public safety and public cooperation their primary goals. Police, according to Sparrow, are in the risk-control business and need to grasp the fundamental nature of that challenge and develop a much more sophisticated understanding of its implications for mission, methods, measurement, partnerships, and analysis.
Author: Heather Mac Donald
Publisher: Encounter Books
Release Date: 2017-09-19
Genre: Political Science
Violent crime has been rising sharply in many American cities after two decades of decline. Homicides jumped nearly 17 percent in 2015 in the largest 50 cities, the biggest one-year increase since 1993. The reason is what Heather Mac Donald first identified nationally as the “Ferguson effect”: Since the 2014 police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, officers have been backing off of proactive policing, and criminals are becoming emboldened. This book expands on Mac Donald’s groundbreaking and controversial reporting on the Ferguson effect and the criminal-justice system. It deconstructs the central narrative of the Black Lives Matter movement: that racist cops are the greatest threat to young black males. On the contrary, it is criminals and gangbangers who are responsible for the high black homicide death rate. The War on Cops exposes the truth about officer use of force and explodes the conceit of “mass incarceration.” A rigorous analysis of data shows that crime, not race, drives police actions and prison rates. The growth of proactive policing in the 1990s, along with lengthened sentences for violent crime, saved thousands of minority lives. In fact, Mac Donald argues, no government agency is more dedicated to the proposition that “black lives matter” than today’s data-driven, accountable police department. Mac Donald gives voice to the many residents of high-crime neighborhoods who want proactive policing. She warns that race-based attacks on the criminal-justice system, from the White House on down, are eroding the authority of law and putting lives at risk. This book is a call for a more honest and informed debate about policing, crime, and race.
Author: Malcolm K. Sparrow
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
Release Date: 2011-01-01
The Regulatory Craft tackles one of the most pressing public policy issues of our time—the reform of regulatory and enforcement practice. Malcolm K. Sparrow shows how the vogue prescriptions for reform (centered on concepts of customer service and process improvement) fail to take account of the distinctive character of regulatory responsibilities—which involve the delivery of obligations rather than just services.In order to construct more balanced prescriptions for reform, Sparrow invites us to reconsider the central purpose of social regulation—the abatement or control of risks to society. He recounts the experiences of pioneering agencies that have confronted the risk-control challenge directly, developing operational capacities for specifying risk-concentrations, problem areas, or patterns of noncompliance, and then designing interventions tailored to each problem. At the heart of a new regulatory craftsmanship, according to Sparrow, lies the central notion, "pick important problems and fix them." This beguilingly simple idea turns out to present enormously complex implementation challenges and carries with it profound consequences for the way regulators organize their work, manage their discretion, and report their performance. Although the book is primarily aimed at regulatory and law-enforcement practitioners, it will also be invaluable for legislators, overseers, and others who care about the nature and quality of regulatory practice, and who want to know what kind of performance to demand from regulators and how it might be delivered. It stresses the enormous benefit to society that might accrue from development of the risk-control art as a core professional skill for regulators.
Author: David Weisburd
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2006-05-04
Genre: Social Science
Over the last three decades American policing has gone through a period of significant change and innovation. In what is a relatively short historical time frame the police began to reconsider their fundamental mission, the nature of the core strategies of policing, and the character of their relationships with the communities that they serve. This volume brings together leading police scholars to examine eight major innovations which emerged during this period: community policing, broken windows policing, problem oriented policing, pulling levers policing, third party policing, hot spots policing, Compstat and evidence-based policing. Including advocates and critics of each of the eight police innovations, this comprehensive book assesses the evidence on impacts of police innovation on crime and public safety, the extent of the implementation of these new approaches in police departments, and the dilemmas these approaches have created for police management. This book will appeal to students, scholars and researchers.
Author: Malcolm K. Sparrow
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2008-04-17
Genre: Business & Economics
How should we deal with societal ills such as crime, poverty, pollution, terrorism, and corruption? The Character of Harms argues that control or mitigation of 'bad' things involves distinctive patterns of thought and action which turn out to be broadly applicable across a range of human endeavors, and which need to be better understood. Malcolm Sparrow demonstrates that an explicit focus on the bads, rather than on the countervailing goods (safety, prosperity, environmental stewardship, etc.) can provide rich opportunities for surgically efficient and effective interventions - an operational approach which he terms 'the sabotage of harms'. The book explores the institutional arrangements and decision-frameworks necessary to support this emerging operational model. Written for reflective practitioners charged with risk-control responsibilities across the public, private, and non-governmental sectors, The Character of Harms makes a powerful case for a new approach to tackling the complex problems facing society.
Providing a timely and much-needed investigation of how U.S. law enforcement carries out its public safety and crime fighting mandates, this book is an invaluable resource for students, educators, and concerned citizens. • Provides a single-volume, go-to source for insight into police-citizen relations in the United States, from the 17th century through to today • Documents major turning points and historical events influencing the evolution of police power • Provides both supportive and critical perspectives on contemporary trends in law enforcement activities, attitudes, and practices • Enables a fuller comprehension of law enforcement in an era of significant political and social upheaval, much of which is tied to racial, ethnic, or economic factors
American policing is in crisis. The last decade witnessed a vast increase in police aggression, misconduct, and militarization, along with a corresponding reduction in transparency and accountability. Nowhere is this more noticeable and painful than in African American and other ethnic minority communities. Racism—from raw, individualized versions to insidious systemic examples—appears to be on the rise in our police departments. Overall, our police officers have grown more and more alienated from the people they've been hired to serve. In To Protect and To Serve, Norm Stamper offers new insights into the conditions that have created this crisis, reminding us that police in a democratic society belong to the people–and not the other way around. To Protect and To Serve also delivers a revolutionary new model for American law enforcement: the community-based police department. It calls for citizen participation in all aspects of police operations: policymaking, program development, crime fighting and service delivery, entry-level and ongoing education and training, oversight of police conduct, and, especially relevant to today's challenges, joint community-police crisis management. Nothing will ever change until the system itself is radically restructured, and here Norm Stamper shows us how.
#1 New York Times Bestseller | Named one of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times • The Washington Post • The Boston Globe • The Seattle Times • Esquire • Time Winner of the Carnegie Medal for Nonfiction | Winner of the NAACP Image Award for Nonfiction | Winner of a Books for a Better Life Award | Finalist for the Los Angeles Book Prize | Finalist for the Kirkus Reviews Prize | An American Library Association Notable Book A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever. Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice. Praise for Just Mercy “Every bit as moving as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways more so . . . a searing indictment of American criminal justice and a stirring testament to the salvation that fighting for the vulnerable sometimes yields.”—David Cole, The New York Review of Books “Searing, moving . . . Bryan Stevenson may, indeed, be America’s Mandela.”—Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times “You don’t have to read too long to start cheering for this man. . . . The message of this book . . . is that evil can be overcome, a difference can be made. Just Mercy will make you upset and it will make you hopeful.”—Ted Conover, The New York Times Book Review “Inspiring . . . a work of style, substance and clarity . . . Stevenson is not only a great lawyer, he’s also a gifted writer and storyteller.”—The Washington Post “As deeply moving, poignant and powerful a book as has been, and maybe ever can be, written about the death penalty.”—The Financial Times “Brilliant.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer “Not since Atticus Finch has a fearless and committed lawyer made such a difference in the American South. Though larger than life, Atticus exists only in fiction. Bryan Stevenson, however, is very much alive and doing God’s work fighting for the poor, the oppressed, the voiceless, the vulnerable, the outcast, and those with no hope. Just Mercy is his inspiring and powerful story.”—John Grisham “Bryan Stevenson is one of my personal heroes, perhaps the most inspiring and influential crusader for justice alive today, and Just Mercy is extraordinary. The stories told within these pages hold the potential to transform what we think we mean when we talk about justice.”—Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow
Author: Cynthia Lum
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 2017-03-23
Today's police agencies are in a period of both crisis and reform as they try to improve their ability to deliver public safety to citizens in ways that are effective, legitimate, and sustainable. Evidence-based policing offers one such solution - an approach which emphasises the value that research can bring to police officers and, by extension, the public they serve. However, evidence-based policing is not just about the process of understanding and evaluating police practices. It is also about translating and using that knowledge in daily police activities. This unique book examines the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of various police practices and provides tools to help turn research into practice. Part I gives a practitioner's definition of evidence-based policing, a primer on how to judge and interpret research findings, and a review of the Evidence-Based Policing Matrix, a tool for translating research on police crime control interventions. In Part II the authors review the breadth of knowledge about policing interventions for people, places, communities, and technology, focusing on how to optimize operations based on this information. Tools and ideas that can assist in implementing evidence-based practices into patrol, investigations, supervision, management, crime analysis, and leadership are provided in Part III. Finally, in Part IV the authors speak to researchers about how they might continue to work with police agencies to advance evidence-based policing.
Author: Cedric Alexander
Release Date: 2016-06-02
The New Guardians: Policing in America's Communities for the 21st Century embodies nearly forty years of experience in law enforcement in addition to a career in clinical psychology. In search of a better way to police our nation, Dr. Cedric L. Alexander takes us back some 200 years to the Constitution-and then some 2,400 to Plato's Republic-and shows us how to remodel the warrior cop into the Guardian at the heart of community policing. Amid today's explosion of homicide in our most-challenged neighborhoods and the bid of international terrorism for the allegiance of marginalized youth everywhere, healing wounded relations between the police and the people has never been more urgent. This is the story of one man's quiet, courageous leadership. Cedric L. Alexander entered law enforcement in 1977, as a deputy sheriff in Leon County, Florida, on the brink of profound transformations in America and American policing. In many cities, the nation was in civil war, the police on one side, the community on the other. Wars are about winning by inflicting defeat. As a young deputy, Alexander saw that unending combat was destroying police-community relations. He devoted the next four decades to creating something new and something better. His background combines a long career as a deputy, a police officer, and a detective in the Tallahassee area, in Orlando, and in Miami-Dade, Florida, with a career in clinical psychology, both as a practitioner and an assistant professor at the University of Rochester (New York). He holds a Doctorate of Clinical Psychology from Wright State University (Dayton, Ohio) and provided senior-level administrative and clinical leadership of mental health services within the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, with special emphasis on counseling police officers, firefighters, and their families. He served as Deputy Chief and then as Chief of Police of the Rochester Police Department and subsequently was appointed Deputy Commissioner in the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services before joining the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as Federal Security Director for Dallas/ Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). In 2013, Dr. Alexander was appointed Chief of Police for DeKalb County and, at the end of the year, became Deputy Chief Operating Officer/Public Safety Director. About the Author Cedric L. Alexander, Psy.D., is Director of Public Safety and Deputy Chief Operating Officer, DeKalb County Office of Public Safety, responsible for leading the Police and Fire Departments in the second-largest county in the metro-Atlanta area. He has served as President of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) and was appointed in 2015 to the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Dr. Alexander has appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe, CBS Evening News, ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, and NBC Nightly News, and has have written numerous opinion editorials for CNN, for which he is an on-air Law Enforcement Analyst.
Author: Adam Benforado
Release Date: 2015
"A crusading legal scholar exposes the powerful psychological forces that undermine our criminal justice system--and affect us all Our nation is founded on the notion that the law is impartial, that legal cases are won or lost on the basis of evidence, careful reasoning and nuanced argument. But they may, in fact, turn on the temperature of the courtroom, the camera angle of a defendant's taped confession, or a simple word choice or gesture during a cross-examination. In Unfair, law professor Adam Benforado shines a light on this troubling new research, showing, for example, that people with certain facial features receive longer sentences and that judges are far more likely to grant parole first thing in the morning. In fact, over the last two decades, psychologists and neuroscientists have uncovered many cognitive forces that operate beyond our conscious awareness--and Benforado argues that until we address these hidden biases head-on, the social inequality we see now will only widen, as powerful players and institutions find ways to exploit the weaknesses in our legal system. Weaving together historical examples, scientific studies, and compelling court cases--from the border collie put on trial in Kentucky to the five teenagers who falsely confessed in the Central Park Jogger case--Benforado shows how our judicial processes fail to uphold our values and protect society's weakest members, convicting the innocent while letting dangerous criminals go free. With clarity and passion, he lays out the scope of the problem and proposes a wealth of reforms that could prevent injustice and help us achieve true fairness and equality before the law"--
Author: Angela Y. Davis
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
Release Date: 2011-01-04
Genre: Political Science
With her characteristic brilliance, grace and radical audacity, Angela Y. Davis has put the case for the latest abolition movement in American life: the abolition of the prison. As she quite correctly notes, American life is replete with abolition movements, and when they were engaged in these struggles, their chances of success seemed almost unthinkable. For generations of Americans, the abolition of slavery was sheerest illusion. Similarly,the entrenched system of racial segregation seemed to last forever, and generations lived in the midst of the practice, with few predicting its passage from custom. The brutal, exploitative (dare one say lucrative?) convict-lease system that succeeded formal slavery reaped millions to southern jurisdictions (and untold miseries for tens of thousands of men, and women). Few predicted its passing from the American penal landscape. Davis expertly argues how social movements transformed these social, political and cultural institutions, and made such practices untenable. In Are Prisons Obsolete?, Professor Davis seeks to illustrate that the time for the prison is approaching an end. She argues forthrightly for "decarceration", and argues for the transformation of the society as a whole.
Author: National Research Council
Publisher: National Academies Press
Release Date: 2015-01-16
Eyewitnesses play an important role in criminal cases when they can identify culprits. Estimates suggest that tens of thousands of eyewitnesses make identifications in criminal investigations each year. Research on factors that affect the accuracy of eyewitness identification procedures has given us an increasingly clear picture of how identifications are made, and more importantly, an improved understanding of the principled limits on vision and memory that can lead to failure of identification. Factors such as viewing conditions, duress, elevated emotions, and biases influence the visual perception experience. Perceptual experiences are stored by a system of memory that is highly malleable and continuously evolving, neither retaining nor divulging content in an informational vacuum. As such, the fidelity of our memories to actual events may be compromised by many factors at all stages of processing, from encoding to storage and retrieval. Unknown to the individual, memories are forgotten, reconstructed, updated, and distorted. Complicating the process further, policies governing law enforcement procedures for conducting and recording identifications are not standard, and policies and practices to address the issue of misidentification vary widely. These limitations can produce mistaken identifications with significant consequences. What can we do to make certain that eyewitness identification convicts the guilty and exonerates the innocent? Identifying the Culprit makes the case that better data collection and research on eyewitness identification, new law enforcement training protocols, standardized procedures for administering line-ups, and improvements in the handling of eyewitness identification in court can increase the chances that accurate identifications are made. This report explains the science that has emerged during the past 30 years on eyewitness identifications and identifies best practices in eyewitness procedures for the law enforcement community and in the presentation of eyewitness evidence in the courtroom. In order to continue the advancement of eyewitness identification research, the report recommends a focused research agenda. Identifying the Culprit will be an essential resource to assist the law enforcement and legal communities as they seek to understand the value and the limitations of eyewitness identification and make improvements to procedures.