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Lecture 4

WEEK 4 Lec 7 Tues Jan 29 -- Police Discretion.docx

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SOC 3750
Michelle Dumas

WEEK 4 Lec 7 Tues Jan 29. Police Discretion - Decision making o When/how to intervene in situations - Usually no legal sanctions (when apply discretion) - Tension: not always an issue w discretion - Part of an officers job - Selective enforcement - Klockars & Mastrofski o Enforcement o Discretion o Function of law: don't always need to enforce law in order to deter crime Discretion Rationale (general) 1) Laws o Some laws vague and so requires officers use their judgement 2) Resources o Limited resources for police departments 3) Alienation o Alienate community if enforce all laws all the tine 4) Time o Gives more time for more serious offences/cases 5) Cooperation o Encourage cooperation w public Relevant Variables (arrest) - D. Blacks - Complainant - Relational distance o b/w complainant and defender o if strangers arrest more likely, low chance resolve amongst selves - Respect: arrest more likely of less respect - The law: formal guides of actions to be taken Youth (Schulenberg) - Discretion o Typification of delinquent  Offender: repeat offender etc, delinquent friends known to police  Offences: multiple serious offences (gang, weapons, breach probation, violence against persons)  Attitude: indifferent to consequences of behaviour, no respect for authority/law  Family: poor enviro and little supervision o Parental notification 1 WEEK 4 Lec 7 Tues Jan 29. Non-Arrest (Terrill & Paoline) - Probable cause: look at cases where evidence to make an arrest & decided not to - Findings - Primary-level decisions o Non serious problems o Demeanour o Drugs/alch Second-Level Decision Making (actions) - Threats/warning - Command - Citations rd - Use of 3 parties - Mediation - Separation - Nothing - Other: file report Reasons (rationale): Non-arrest - Legality: unsure if should arrest, how behaviour dealt w in law - Severity - Purpose - Practicality: no evidence, don't want to do paperwork - Suspect: if cooperate & are honest - Blame: if on victim & offender or just unclear - Empathy - Other: under control, shift close to ending, weren’t first person on scene Suspicious Person(s) (Stroshine, Alpert & Dunham) - Rules: pl places or circumstances 1) Time and place: things that don't fit 2) Appearance: vehicles w issues, ppl who don't fit 3) Information: stolen vehicle lists, missing ppl (update every day) 4) Behaviour: raise suspicion 5) Do unto others/fairness: treat everyone same
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