scholarly journals Is Police Misconduct Contagious? Non-trivial Null Findings from Dallas, Texas

Cohen R. Simpson ◽  
David S. Kirk

Abstract Objectives Understanding if police malfeasance might be “contagious” is vital to identifying efficacious paths to police reform. Accordingly, we investigate whether an officer’s propensity to engage in misconduct is associated with her direct, routine interaction with colleagues who have themselves engaged in misbehavior in the past. Methods Recognizing the importance of analyzing the actual social networks spanning a police force, we use data on collaborative responses to 1,165,136 “911” calls for service by 3475 Dallas Police Department (DPD) officers across 2013 and 2014 to construct daily networks of front-line interaction. And we relate these cooperative networks to reported and formally sanctioned misconduct on the part of the DPD officers during the same time period using repeated-events survival models. Results Estimates indicate that the risk of a DPD officer engaging in misconduct is not associated with the disciplined misbehavior of her ad hoc, on-the-scene partners. Rather, a greater risk of misconduct is associated with past misbehavior, officer-specific proneness, the neighborhood context of patrol, and, in some cases, officer race, while departmental tenure is a mitigating factor. Conclusions Our observational findings—based on data from one large police department in the United States—ultimately suggest that actor-based and ecological explanations of police deviance should not be summarily dismissed in favor of accounts emphasizing negative socialization, where our study design also raises the possibility that results are partly driven by unobserved trait-based variation in the situations that officers find themselves in. All in all, interventions focused on individual officers, including the termination of deviant police, may be fruitful for curtailing police misconduct—where early interventions focused on new offenders may be key to avoiding the escalation of deviance.

2019 ◽  
Vol 18 (3) ◽  
pp. 1028-1067 ◽  
Jacob William Faber ◽  
Jessica Rose Kalbfeld

Reports of citizen complaints of police misconduct often note that officers are rarely disciplined for alleged misconduct. The perception of little officer accountability contributes to widespread distrust of law enforcement in communities of color. This project investigates how race and segregation shape the outcomes of allegations made against the Chicago Police Department (CPD) between 2011 and 2014. We find that complaints by black and Latino citizens and against white officers are less likely to be sustained. We show neighborhood context interacts with complainant characteristics: Incidents alleged by white citizens in high–crime and predominantly black neighborhoods are more likely to be sustained. These findings provide context for understanding tensions between communities of color and the CPD. These results are consistent with theories that individual and institutional actors prioritize white victimhood and reflect the neighborhood effects literature stressing the interaction between individual and contextual factors in shaping outcomes.

2020 ◽  
pp. 088740342098080
Lin Liu ◽  
Christy A. Visher ◽  
Dayu Sun

As the United States enters a decarceration era, the factors predicting reentry success have received a rapidly growing body of research attention. Numerous studies expand beyond individual-level attributes to assess the contextual effect of neighborhoods to which released prisoners return. However, past studies predominantly used neighborhood structural/economic characteristics as the proxies of neighborhood context, leaving the roles of community cohesion and disorder understudied in the context of reentry. Using longitudinal data, this study examines the influence of neighborhood cohesion and disorder on reentry outcomes, represented by released prisoners’ determination to desist and social isolation. The results of linear regression analyses show that net of the effects of individual-level risk factors, released prisoners’ perception of neighborhood disorder exhibit profound influence on reentry outcomes. Implications for reentry programming and interventions are presented.

2021 ◽  
pp. 1-29
Smita Ghosh ◽  
Mary Hoopes

Drawing upon an analysis of congressional records and media coverage from 1981 to 1996, this article examines the growth of mass immigration detention. It traces an important shift during this period: while detention began as an ad hoc executive initiative that was received with skepticism by the legislature, Congress was ultimately responsible for entrenching the system over objections from the agency. As we reveal, a critical component of this evolution was a transformation in Congress’s perception of asylum seekers. While lawmakers initially decried their detention, they later branded them as dangerous. Lawmakers began describing asylum seekers as criminals or agents of infectious diseases in order to justify their detention, which then cleared the way for the mass detention of arriving migrants more broadly. Our analysis suggests that they may have emphasized the dangerousness of asylum seekers to resolve the dissonance between their theoretical commitments to asylum and their hesitance to welcome newcomers. In addition to this distinctive form of cognitive dissonance, we discuss a number of other implications of our research, including the ways in which the new penology framework figured into the changing discourse about detaining asylum seekers.

2021 ◽  
pp. 001112872199933
Kendra Thompson-Dyck

Leveraging point-level spatial data from the Phoenix area, we consider the role of nearby organizations as contextual factors that amplify or reduce reoffending risk among juvenile offenders after court completion. Using survival models, we examine whether residential proximity to seven types of organizations impacts risk of recidivism, net of neighborhood disadvantage and offender characteristics. Aggregate neighborhood disadvantage was not associated with reoffending risk and organizational findings were mixed. Low-level offenders with more total organizations nearby had a higher risk of new property offenses, while the risk of drug and violent reoffending nearly doubled for diversion youth residing near police facilities or detention centers. Individual demographics and prior offense histories remained the strongest, most consistent predictors of juvenile recidivism.

2019 ◽  
Vol 93 (4) ◽  
pp. 271-289 ◽  
Jillian Peterson ◽  
James Densley ◽  
Gina Erickson

This study presents findings from a process and outcome evaluation of a custom crisis intervention and de-escalation training for law enforcement, delivered in-house to a suburban Minnesota police department (the R-Model: Research, Respond, Refer). Individual officer survey data showed the R-Model significantly decreased stigma and increased self-reported knowledge of mental health resources over baseline. Knowledge of resources held at the 4-month follow-up. One-year follow-up data at the agency level, showed decreases in the number of crisis calls for service and the number of repeat calls to the same addresses, even when compared to crisis call rates at similar police departments. Findings provide preliminary evidence that the R-Model may be an effective model that warrants additional study.

2015 ◽  
Vol 44 (4) ◽  
pp. 643-668 ◽  
Themis Chronopoulos

In the post–World War II period, the police department emerged as one of the most problematic municipal agencies in New York City. Patrolmen and their superiors did not pay much attention to crime; instead they looked the other way, received payoffs from organized crime, performed haphazardly, and tolerated conditions that were unacceptable in a modern city with global ambitions. At the same time, patrolmen demanded deference and respect from African American civilians and routinely demeaned and brutalized individuals who appeared to be challenging their authority. The antagonism between African Americans and the New York Police Department (NYPD) intensified as local and national black freedom organizations paid more attention to police behavior and made police reform one of their main goals.

2021 ◽  
Vol 5 (1) ◽  
pp. 4-21

Received 30 January 2021. Accepted for publication 20 March 2021 The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction (BTWC) does not have a legally binding verification regime. An attempt by the Ad Hoc Group of Experts, created by the UN Committee on Disarmament, to strengthen the BTWC by developing a legally binding document – the Protocol, was blocked by the United States in July 2001. The purpose of this work is to study the history, main provisions, significance and reasons for not signing the Protocol to the BTWC. The attention is paid to the events in biological weapons control, which have led a number of countries to the understanding of the necessity to develop the Protocol. The background of the US actions to block this document is the subject of special consideration. During the Second Review Conference on the Implementation of the Convention (8–25 September 1986, Geneva) the USSR, the German Democratic Republic and the Hungarian People's Republic proposed to develop and adopt the Protocol as an addition to the BTWC. This document was supposed to establish general provisions, definitions of terms, lists of agents and toxins, lists of equipment that was present or used at production facilities, threshold quantities of biological agents designed to assess means and methods of protection. The proposed verification mechanism was based on three «pillars»: initial declarations with the basic information about the capabilities of each State Party; inspections to assess the reliability of the declarations; investigations to verify and confirm or not confirm the alleged non-compliance with the Convention. The verification regime was to be under the control of an international organization – the Organization for the Prohibition of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons. However, the US military and pharmaceutical companies opposed the idea of international inspections. The then US Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, John Robert Bolton II, played a special role in blocking the Protocol. During the Fifth Review Conference in December 2001, he demanded the termination of the Ad Hoc Group of Experts mandate for negotiations under the pretext that any international agreement would constrain US actions. The current situation with biological weapons control should not be left to chance. Measures to strengthen the BTWC should be developed, taking into account the new fundamental changes in dual-use biotechnology. It should be borne in mind, that the Protocol, developed in the 1990s, is outdated nowadays.

2021 ◽  
pp. 088740342110383
Scott M. Mourtgos ◽  
Ian T. Adams ◽  
Samuel R. Baty

Most use-of-force policies utilized by U.S. police agencies make fundamental ordinal assumptions about officers’ force responses to subject resistance. These policies consist of varying levels of force and resistance along an ordinally ranked continuum of severity. We empirically tested the ordinal assumptions that are ubiquitous to police use-of-force continua within the United States using 1 year’s use-of-force data from a municipal police department. Applying a quantitative technique known as categorical regression with optimal scaling, we found the assumptions of ordinality within the studied department’s use-of-force continuum (which is similar to many police use-of-force continua within the United States) are not met. Specifying physical force as a “lower” force option than less-lethal tools is associated with increased officer injury and decreased subject injury. Our findings call into question use-of-force continua featuring ordinal rankings for varying categories of less-lethal force.

2012 ◽  
Vol 20 (3) ◽  
pp. 387-399 ◽  
Benjamin E. Lauderdale

Political scientists often study dollar-denominated outcomes that are zero for some observations. These zeros can arise because the data-generating process is granular: The observed outcome results from aggregation of a small number of discrete projects or grants, each of varying dollar size. This article describes the use of a compound distribution in which each observed outcome is the sum of a Poisson—distributed number of gamma distributed quantities, a special case of the Tweedie distribution. Regression models based on this distribution estimate loglinear marginal effects without either the ad hoc treatment of zeros necessary to use a log-dependent variable regression or the change in quantity of interest necessary to use a tobit or selection model. The compound Poisson—gamma regression is compared with commonly applied approaches in an application to data on high-speed rail grants from the United States federal government to the states, and against simulated data from several data-generating processes.

Sign in / Sign up

Export Citation Format

Share Document