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SOCI 3410 Lecture Notes - Ressentiment, Juvenile Court

Course Code
SOCI 3410
Darryl Davies

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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
o What are the influences and factors that influence officers to
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
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
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