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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99600 Find in a Library
Title: Civilian Review of Complaints Against the Police - A Survey of the United States Literature
Author(s): D C Brown
Corporate Author: Great Britain Home Office
Research and Planning Unit
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 44
Sponsoring Agency: Great Britain Home Office
London. SW1H 9AT, England
Home Office Research Unit
London, England SW1
Sale Source: Home Office Research Unit
Romney House
Marsham Street
United Kingdom
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This British study examines the American experience with the civilian review of police complaints up through the 1970's. Particular attention is given to those aspects significant for practice in Great Britain; for example, the use of civilians as conciliators and complaint investigators.
Abstract: A review of the influences underlying development of civilian review focuses on the deterioration of police-public relations, deficiencies in police accountability, judicial remedies' failure to provide redress, and the influence of civil rights groups and national commissions. Arguments both supporting and opposing civilian review are then presented. The report considers the operation and effectiveness of various civilian review procedures, using illustrative case studies of civilian review in Philadelphia and New York City. Accounts of civilian review boards operating in the 1960's demonstrate why civilian review failed in this period. Studies of civilian review boards developed in the 1970's (Detroit, Kansas City, Berkeley, and Chicago) portray attempts to overcome some of the obstacles encountered in the 1960's. The summary identifies obstacles to effective civilian review of police complaints as well as the structures and procedures most likely to overcome these obstacles. Fifty-five references are listed.
Index Term(s): California; Civilian Review Boards; Complaint processing; Complaints against police; Illinois; Kansas; Michigan; New York; Pennsylvania
Note: Research and Planning Unit Paper 19
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