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NCJ Number: 65906 Find in a Library
Title: STREET JUSTICE (FROM POLICE BEHAVIOR - A SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE, 1980, BY RICHARD J LUNDMAN - SEE NCJ-65902)
Author(s): J VANMAANEN
Corporate Author: Oxford University Press, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: Oxford University Press, Inc
New York, NY 10016
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS ARTICLE STATES THAT UNNECESSARY POLICE FORCE IS OFTEN PROVOKED BY A CITIZEN'S DEVIANT ACTIONS OR DEFIANT ATTITUDES AND THAT, IN THE EYES OF THE PATROL OFFICERS, SUCH PEOPLE DESERVE ONLY STREET JUSTICE.
Abstract: THE ARTICLE EXPLORES THE COMMONPLACE AND COMMONSENSE MANNER IN WHICH THE DEVIANT TAG ARISES, STICKS, AND GUIDES POLICE ACTION DURING A STREET ENCOUNTER. THIS STIGMATIZATION PROCESS IS DIVIDED INTO THREE STAGES--AFFRONT, CLARIFICATION, AND REMEDY. PATROLMAN-TO-CITIZEN EXCHANGES ARE MORAL CONTESTS IN WHICH THE AUTHORITY OF THE STATE (PERSONIFIED BY THE PATROLMAN) IS EITHER CONFIRMED, DENIED, OR LEFT IN DOUBT. AN AFFRONT IS A CHALLENGE TO THIS AUTHORITY, CONTROL AND DEFINITION OF THE SITUATION. IN THE CLARIFICATION STAGE, THE PATROLMAN MUST DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT INDIVIDUALS COULD HAVE ACTED IN AN ALTERNATIVE FASHION OR REALIZED THE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR BEHAVIOR. IF THE AFFRONT IS SEEN AS UNAVOIDABLE OR UNINTENDED, THE PERSON IS UNLIKELY TO BE SUBJECTED TO HARSH TREATMENT. IF THE PERSON IS VIEWED AS CULPABLE AND BLAMEWORTHY FOR HIS AFFRONTING ACTION, POLICE WILL RESPOND WITH FORCE. REMEDY TO AN AFFRONT WILL OFTEN BE AN ASSERTION OF POLICE CONTROL. FINDINGS SUGGEST THAT THE EXISTENCE OF A DEVIANT DEMONSTRATES AND CONFIRMS THE POLICE VIEWS OF THEIR IMPORTANCE AND WORTH AS INDIVIDUALS AND SIMPLIFIES AND ORDERS THE POLICEMAN'S WORLD. DEVIANT ARRESTS PROVIDE A PATROLMAN WITH EXCITEMENT AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO USE HIS SKILLS AND FURNISH AN EXPRESSIVE OUTLET FOR POLICE FRUSTRATION. THE DEVIANT, FINALLY, REPRESENTS ALL THOSE PERSONS WHO WOULD QUESTION, LIMIT, OR OTHERWISE IMPEDE POLICE CONTROL. SINCE POLICE VIEW THEIR CRITICS AS THREATENING AND AS PERSONS WHO SHOULD BE CASTIGATED, THE EXPLOSIVE POTENTIAL OF CITIZEN-POLICE ENCOUNTERS WILL CONTINUE TO GROW. REFERENCES ARE CITED. (MJW)
Index Term(s): Citizen Police Observer Program; Deviance; Lawful use of force; Patrol; Patrol procedures; Problem behavior; Sociology; Work attitudes
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