Walker, Chapter 13


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Walker, Chapter 13

  1. 1. Police in America Chapter Thirteen Police Corruption
  2. 2. A Definition of Police Corruption <ul><li>Police Corruption : A form of misconduct or deviant behavior by police officers that involves the misuse of authority in a manner designed to produce personal gain for themselves or for others. </li></ul><ul><li>Occupational Deviance : Criminal and improper non-criminal behavior committed during the course of normal work activities or under the guise of a police officer’s authority. </li></ul><ul><li>Abuse of Authority : An action by a police officer “that tends to injure, insult, trespass upon human dignity…and/or violate an inherent legal right” of a citizen. </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Costs of Police Corruption <ul><li>A corrupt act by a police officer is a criminal act. </li></ul><ul><li>Corruption usually protects other criminal acts. </li></ul><ul><li>Corruption undermines the effectiveness of the criminal justice system. </li></ul><ul><li>Corruption undermines the professionalism of a police department. </li></ul><ul><li>Corruption is a secret tax adding up to millions of dollars a year. </li></ul><ul><li>Corruption undermines public confidence in the police. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Types of Corruption <ul><li>Gratuities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Free meals, dry cleaning, or discounts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Receive or not receive? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why would business persons give gratuities? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grass eaters” vs. “meat eaters” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bribes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For not enforcing the law </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Selling information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Protecting illegal activities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Theft and burglary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Taking money from people arrested for drunkenness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stealing property, money, or drugs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Corruption and Brutality </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Officers bust drug dealers, steal their drugs or money and then sold drugs to other dealers or officers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Rite of initiation” </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Corruption and Brutality <ul><li>Brutality - new form of corruption that emerged in the 1980s & 1990s </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New York City </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Los Angeles </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Levels of corruption <ul><li>Type I: Rotten apples and rotten pockets </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rotten apples - Only a few corrupt officers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rotten pocket - a few corrupt officers cooperating with one another </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Type II: Pervasive unorganized corruption </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Majority of personnel are corrupt but have little relationship to each other. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Type III: Pervasive organized corruption </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Penetrates higher levels </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Theories of Police Corruption <ul><li>Individual-officer explanations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rotten apples </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The criminal law </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Regulation of activities that people regard as legitimate or matters of private choice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regulatory ordinances </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Culture conflict </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conflict over the goals of the system </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Local Political Culture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Corruption pervades other parts of government </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Neighborhood Explanations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Organizations foster corruption </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High levels of poverty, racial diversity, population turnover, and low levels of informal social control may lead to police misconduct </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Nature of police work </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Low visibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Officer attitude </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Theories of Police Corruption Cont. <ul><li>Police organization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality of management and supervision </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exists because the department tolerates it </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Police subculture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Initiates officers into corrupt activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Covers up corrupt activities </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Becoming Corrupt <ul><li>The Moral Careers of Individual Officers according to Sherman: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Police officers are often all honest at the outset of their careers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Moral career begins with minor gratuities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Peer pressure involved </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Small bribes like free meals </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Second and third phases involve regulatory offenses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Officer more likely to engage in these activities if he/she knows other officers are doing it </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fourth, fifth and sixth phases involve more serious offenses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Accepting large amounts of money </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Protection of certain activities such as prostitution and drug trafficking </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Corrupting Organizations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Initial stage involves individuals or isolated groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Second and third stages involve all officers becoming corrupt </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Final stages involve “pervasive organized corruption: </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Controlling Corruption <ul><li>Internal Mechanisms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Attitude of Chief of Police </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rules and Regulations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal Affairs investigations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Parting the “blue curtain” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Proactive Integrity tests </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Effective Supervision </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rewarding good officers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personnel Recruitment </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Controlling Corruption <ul><li>External Mechanisms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Special investigations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Criminal prosecution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobilizing public opinion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Altering the external environment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Media </li></ul>
  12. 12. The Limits of Anticorruption Efforts <ul><li>Anechiarico and Jacobs argue anticorruption efforts have been ineffective and have made government itself ineffective </li></ul><ul><li>Corruption persists in the NYC police department despite special investigations every 20 years </li></ul><ul><li>However, NYC is unique and other police departments in other cities have been successful in reducing corruption </li></ul>