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NCJ Number: NCJ 178259   Add to Shopping cart   Find in a Library
Title: "Broken Windows" and Police Discretion
  Document URL: Text PDF 
Author(s): George L. Kelling
Date Published: 1999
Page Count: 59
  Series: NIJ Research Report
  Annotation: This report details how a police officer's role in order maintenance and crime prevention extends far beyond just arresting violators of laws, notes that police discretion exists at every level of the police agency, and explains how the development of police guidelines needs to acknowledge police discretion and to establish accountability
Abstract: The analysis focuses on why police officers make arrests in some circumstances and not others, especially when they are dealing with matters such as handling alcoholics and panhandlers and resolving disputes between neighbors. The author maintains that police officers must and should exercise discretion in such situations. However, giving police officers permission to use their professional judgment is not the same as endorsing random or arbitrary policing. Policing that reflects a neighborhood's values and sense of justice and that understands residents' concerns is crucial; effective policing in a democratic society can be achieved only with community support and community involvement. Considering the police as an administrative agency obliged to develop guidelines publicly to shape its inevitable use of discretion offers one more way to develop community support and involvement in policing urban areas. This viewpoint will improve both the quality of policing and the public understanding and support of police. However, guidelines development must be understood to be an integral, ongoing part of policing in that it is the process of creating a community consensus about the moral and legal basis for urban life. Chapter notes and appended training bulletin and policy statement
Main Term(s): Police discretion
Index Term(s): Police effectiveness ; Police responsibilities ; Police diversion ; Police decisionmaking ; Police crime-prevention ; Police work attitudes ; Police policies and procedures ; Final reports
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 95-IJ-CX-0013
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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