skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 70236 Find in a Library
Title: Enforcement Workshop - Defining Arrest - Practical Consequences of Agency Differences (Part 1)
Journal: Criminal Law Bulletin  Volume:16  Issue:4  Dated:(July-August 1980)  Pages:376-380
Author(s): L W Sherman
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 5
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The existence of varying legal and operational definitions of arrest is discussed.
Abstract: The greatest source of confusion is the wide variety of police practices that fit competing definitions of arrest and yet are understood by consensus rather than principle not to constitute arrest. Another source of confusion is the recent increase in the use of 'citations in lieu of arrests.' More important than the legal definitions of arrests may be the operational definitions for the purposes of creating an arrest record and counting the number of arrests. Operational definitions of arrest suffer from a great deal of ambiguity; for example, in the first handbook for crime reporting issued with the approval of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the definition of arrest fails to indicate the point at which a person may be said to be taken into custody, and it fails to distinguish booking from charging. The definition of arrest in the Uniform Crime Reports manual does not show how likely each offender is to be punished for each offense, since it does not consider the number of offenders participating in each offense nor the full number of offenses committed by all offenders in multiple offense incidents. The definition also affords great leeway and incentive to police to encourage suspects arrested for other offenses to confess to crimes they did not commit. Part II, which will be presented in the next issue, will consider additional problems with the operational definitions of arrest and suggest some practical implications of these definitional inconsistencies. Footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Arrest and apprehension; Critiques; Definitions
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=70236

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.