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SOCI 3410 (64)

Lecture 3

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Carleton University
SOCI 3410
Darryl Davies

Last week: Looked at policing in terms of some of the challenges they face What it entails when they move from training to on the job policing Different steps in the profession Stages of cynicism and ressentiment Policing as a whole This week:  Police discretion o Full enforcement of the law as practical and enforceable o Which laws they’re going to enforce, they have t establish a set of priorities o What are the influences and factors that influence officers to arrest/charged/tried…etc.? o Wide range of alternatives at their disposal, o Area that has the greatest likelihood for abuse o Where does that authority come from? o Kenneth: Need for confining and structuring discretion o When do you use discretion? – There are no guidelines for it o on the one hand it can be potentially abusive, but on the other hand, you couldn’t operate a justice system without it o Soften the charges so people wouldn’t loose their job o Varies from officer to officer, from jurisdiction to jurisdiction  Constraints on enforcing discretion: o Police are technically prohibited to use certain methods to collect evidence o Institution of Privacy – some people have more protection than others – because financially not everyone can challenge when their rights have been infringed up o Police are embedded in networks with other organizations – work with mental health agencies – cannot take action in certain areas o Police are constrained by interpretational issues – subjected to interpretation, give rise to ambiguity, o Police are constrained in their work by ideological and ___ discretion – everyone has their own beliefs and moral standards, o Police like other employees have occupational worries- can be held responsible for criminal charges – always to some extent looking over their shoulder because they never know when a complaint can be made against them o Leading authorities James Q Wilson – “Varieties of Police Behaviour”  Police must cope with different behaviour from jurisdiction  Some police behaviour will be influence by the police chief – or whoever is in charge  The administrators view of particular problems and the extent of the decisions may be influenced intentionally or unintentionally by politics – chief policies may be influence by politics  Determinants of discretion – make a point to know about the difference between the two o Differencing between law enforcement and order maintenance o Law enforcement – involves a violation of the law and an assessment of guilt or innocence o Order maintenance – may entail a legal infraction but it involves an additional dispute in which the law must be interpreted and blame assigned, involves people in conflict, a party at 2 in the morning, or people in a parking lot fighting, etc… o Of those two concepts there are two major catalyst that can make these thins happen  Being police invoked - police enforce the law  Law enforcement: police take it upon themselves to stop someone, was on his own perception/discretion o Police have absolute discretion o On the other hand they have their hands tied….?  Order Maintenance: intervene in situations in actual or potential disorder – they come upon someone who’s drunk, someone’s yelling at someone else o Police have absolute discretio
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