skip navigation


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: 71020 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: NARC'S Game - Organizational and Informational Limits on Drug Law Enforcement
Author(s): P K Manning
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 331
Sponsoring Agency: MIT Press
Cambridge, MA 02142
US Dept of Justice

US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 74-NI-99-0029
Sale Source: MIT Press
28 Carleton Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Taking readers into the daily world of narcotics agents, this book points out features common to drug enforcement agencies that obscure the agencies' purposes and in the end interfere with their effectiveness in drug control.
Abstract: The study draws on the author's extensive field experience (episodes of enforcement practice, raids, interrogations, investigations, surveillances, and planning sessions), records analysis, and interviews gathered in two southeastern U.S. drug enforcement units. It seeks to strip away the rhetoric, the self-serving organizational myths, and the conventional wisdom that surround drug-law enforcement. After an analysis of traditional organizations, the book examines the historical influences on drug-law enforcement. The prohibition model was predicated upon modes of pharmacological action, potential for addiction, and the threat of the spread of opiates. The model was applied to a great diversity of drugs which were termed intrinsically evil. The legal mandate regarding drug enforcement, as well as the control organizations that were created as a result, developed on a corrective-control model. This book examines the site, settings, and methods of drug enforcement within this model. It maintains that enforcement units have grown in response to a projected sense of the drug problem (rather than from empirical evidence of a drug problem), a sense of its place and character, and a projected image of the dealing-using world. Ambiguity colors narcotics enforcement organizations, as does a feeling of inability to gain control, and individual narcotics agents make decisions on perceptions of organizational policy rather than on writtten policy. This ambiguity is further complicated by the limited and largely unsystematic flow of data to narcotics enforcement agencies, the lack of clear links from these data to future plans, and the lack of planning from an empirical base. Three target models of enforcement are examined: the military, the goals-meanings (common to drug enforcement agencies and characterized by lack of clear terms for guiding action), and the citizen complaint. Alternatives to the current and ineffective approach to drug enforcement are suggested, including decriminalization and limiting the Federal enforcement structure. Footnotes, references, and an index are provided.
Index Term(s): Drug law enforcement; Drug law enforcement units; Effectiveness; Efficiency; Federal drug laws; Federal law enforcement agencies; Management; Organization studies
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*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.