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SOC 3750
Michelle Dumas

IPC Ch.9: Police Deviance, Accountability and Control Definitions of police deviance  Police actions are controlled by different rules and regulations; some that are formal and written down and some that are undocumented and are expectations of society  Criminal code has rules for use of deadly force and others rules in which they are subject  Police acts contain this info, as well as rules on neglecting duty, insubordination, discreditable conduct and duress (more focused on organization expectations, personal conduct and legally relevant behaviour)  Police deviance: refers to behaviour that violates any norms and covers a wide range of activities, from minor infractions to criminal activities  Standard police behaviour is derived from 3 perspectives; o Ethical standards are linked to morality, and concern an individuals moral values, integrity and responsible behaviour; if an officer does not hold a good moral standard, may be more prone to deviant behaviour o Organizational standards are established by individual police departments, police boards and commissions; deviance may involve infraction of one of these o Legal standards are outlined in procedural law; deviance may also involved an infraction of law Theories of police deviance  Sherman (1974) created a typology to distinguish different levels of corruption that exists at different levels o Rotten apples and rotten pockets  Police corruption is limited to a small number of officers who were probably dishonest before employment  Rotten apple: individual officer engaged in deviant behaviour  Rotten pocket: few officers who engage in corrupt activities as a group  This type has little to no organization, not tied to organizational structure and gets no support from managers or superiors  Many people, public and police departments, use this theory as a way to prove that corruption lies within the officers not the organization  Popular in the 60’s and 70’s following accusations of wide scale corruptions o Persuasive unorganized  Suggests deviance and corruption are not limited to a few but that a number of officers are actively participating in this behaviour  Only difference from rotten apples/pockets theory is that the number of officers has increased  Same disorganized, independent nature o Persuasive organized  Every level of command must be involved  Formally taught by police organization  Organizational deviance occurs when police misconduct violates external expectations of what a department should be doing, but is supported by peers, the subculture and the internal operating norms of the organization itself  Rotten apple theory has been criticised for putting too much emphasis on the individual o Some believe it is a combination of things, such as subcultures, organizational laws, departmental rules and groups in society wanting the police to perform a variety of roles Reasons for Police deviance (Sherman 74)  The sheer number of officers means that inevitably some will be deviant  Police work is mostly done without direct supervision, so it gives the officer the perfect opportunity to partake in misconduct  The complex task of policing; incorporating law enforcement, order maintenance and service functions yet places strict power limits on them, creates a contradiction  Discretionary powers and the nature of the work provide potential opportunities; any time an officer can use discretion, possibility of deviance exists  Contacts with deviant and criminal subcultures  The police subculture itself does not recognize and condemn deviance; “code of secrecy”  Police managers and superiors have worked their way and have been subjected to the subculture making objective monitoring of deviance impossible  Police officers believe they are underpaid and valued in society, creating the perfect rationality for corruption Types of deviance  Police misbehaviour o Refers to the violation of organizational rules, standards, policies and procedures  Ex. Improper dress, sloppy work habits, damage to police property, abuse of authority o Also may be seen as unsuitable for a police officer  Ex. Public drunkenness, engaging a prostitute  Police corruption o An activity engaged in by a single officer or a group o 3 levels;  Graft: acceptance of something (gratuities) by the police officer, it has been deemed unethical however no one really knows how frequently it is done, debate around the role it has in policing. Ex. Free coffee, meals, admission  Criminal activity: an officer appropriating goods or money during the course of an investigation OR by the actual commission of an offense; Ex. Retaining drugs during a seizure, removal of goods from the scene of a crime  Administrative practices: discretion on whether or not to investigate certain things, lie in court or on reports to protect themselves/fellow officer Misuse of force  4 types of coercion o Verbal: use of deceit, threats, promises and derogatory language o Physical: use of officers physical strength o Non-lethal: use of a weapon in addition to the officers strength Ex. Pepper spray, baton, police dog o Lethal: deadly use of a weapon in such a manner that a person is likely injured or killed Ex. Firearm  Appropriateness of each is determined by law, organizational policies and community expectations  Police brutality: defined as excessive force, as determined by the organizational policies, or perceived by citizens to be excessive  3 reasons why police use excessive force (Forcese 1992); o Training policies have forced on middle class males who come from an environment that supports aggression and violence o Training is based on the military model and emphasizes the use of force o The working environment of the officer frequently promotes encounters with people who are prone to violence and who may become violent, resulting in the use of physical coercion Police deviance in Canada  Ellis (87) argues that police deviance does occur in Canada, he illustrates 4 things; o It is a reoccurring pattern of activity, not an isolated event o Supervisory officers condone illegal activity by not doing more to investigate it o Officers often justify their actions by saying they were of “good intentions” o Illegal activity is widely distributed across Canada  Obtaining statistics and data on this is hard because police misconduct is dealt with informally in the organization and kept within the subculture Controlling the police  Ensuring accountability is done through two categories: o Internal review processes: policies and procedures that exist in individual police departments and are enforced through chain of command. Ex. Internal affairs, discipline boards o External review processes: agencies that are external to organizations such as police boards, police commissions and inquiries, which monitor police agencies The civilian review process  Involves the creation of a group of civilians to review instances of alleged police misconduct  Police argue that this an intrusion into their area of expertise and only police officers truly understand the job  Fyfe (1985) has objectives for these reviews: o To determine whether individual complaints against an officer are founded and disciplinary action is needed o Identify patterns of wrongdoings by officers who have a number of complaints o The provide feedback to the chief and the organization about their policies and procedures o To demonstrate police credibility and accountability to the public by showing they taken complaints seriously  5 alternative ways to dealing with complaints: o “In-house” model where the police handle the complaints and decide what to do; no public involvement o Externally supervised “in-house” model where the police deal with everything, however an outside individual reviews the situation at the end o Independent adjudication model, where the police investigate however one completed the adjudication is left to an independent body o Independent investigation model where an outside body does the investigation, reports to the chief and the police have the final disposition o Truly independent model where the entire procedure is done by a party external to the police  Toronto was the first city in Canada to create a public complaints commission in 1984, which showed the need for greater civilian involvement in policing o RCMP established one in 1988  Results of investigation into complaints fall into 4 categories: o Sustained complaint: the complaint is justified o Unsustained complaint: the complaint cannot be deemed true or false by those making the decision o Unfounded complaint: complaint did not occur as alleged o Exoneration: the allegation is found to be true, but the officers behaviour was considered justified legal and within the organizational policy Research on citizen complaints  In 1985, the Toronto police received 750 complaints, with each having roughly 2 allegations of misconduct o Most common was failing to act in accordance to police policy (482) o Followed by threat or verbal abuse (450) o Physical and excessive force (385) Police accountability  Accountability is based on the premise that the state has a duty to provide fair and equitable police service to the public  Accountable in 4 different ways: o Administratively: must be fiscally accountable and able to justify the use of resources and personnel, and prove they are effective o Politically: must adhere to the RCMP act and provincial police acts, and must follow guidelines stated by local boards and commissions o Legally: officers must uphold and enforce the criminal law while still recognizing the civil rights of people o To the community: with community policing, police must work with the public and should not operate in isolation Internal review processes  Most formal structure of this can be found in the internal affairs department in organizations  They are designed the measure internal accountability  3 basic functions: o Investigate citizen complaints o Review incident reports filed by officers o Self-initiated investigations into misconduct  Officers who work for internal affairs are viewed with suspicion and cannot be trusted by their fellow officers External review processes  Other than civilian reviews, there are 3 others way to this: o Police boards  Oversee the administration of a number of municipal agencies to make sure they are adhering to contracts and budgets  First board was established in Ontario in 1850’s  Functions are: police budgets, collective bargaining, creating rules, supervising recruitment, hiring, promotions, dismissals, public and community relations  Most boards have 3-5 members o Police commissions  First commission was established in 1962 in Ontario to fill a need for standardization of law enforcement  Objectives: greater coordination and efficiency of police, impose minimum standards of recruitment, training and working conditions, plan and implement overall police policy in a province  No jurisdiction over RCMP o Public inquiries  Can be federally or provincially initiated  Most often initiated after an issue between police and the community  These are also disliked by the officers Police Corruption Chapter 13 – Police & Society Intro  Corruption shocking for two reasons; officers are the last people we would expect to break the law and officers are expected to perform with the highest standard of behavior  Deviance refers to conduct which the people of a group are considered so dangerous or embarrassing or irritating that they bring special sanctions to bear against the persons who exhibit it Occupational and Organizational Deviance  Deviance in policing is often thought of as individualistic, in that we believe that the deviant cop is a “bad apple” in the batch, and that the rest of the police officers are not deviant  Occupational Deviance – Individuals who happen to be in the police force engage in activities that violate departmental policies, laws, and social norms, and misuse the powers of their office, Ex. Asking for a small payment from a motorist to forget a traffic ticket  Deadly force refers to the amount of force that causes death or has the potential to cause death  Organizational Deviance – Coined by sociologists to encompass serious situations occurring within entire organizations and includes behaviours such as police brutality and corruption  Police Misconduct – Unethical, unprofessional, or illegal behavior conducted by a police officer  Five conditions must be met before individual police misconduct can be attributed to a dysfunctional police organization: o 1) Must be contrary to rules or norms maintained by others external to police department o 2) Deviant action must be supported by internal operating norms that conflict with police organization’s formal goals and rules o 3) Compliance with the internal operation norms supportive of police misconduct must be ensured through recruitment and socialization o 4) There must be peer support of the misbehavior by colleagues o 5) It must be supported by the dominant administrative coalition of the police organization  Police departments generally have rules forbidding the acceptance of gratuities, although most will accept them anyways creating an informal “norm” that is covered up by fellow officers  Code of Silence – Police officer’s failure to report police misconduct by officers o Normed Corruption Model  Maintains that agency leadership and discipline shapes perceptions of officers in job behaviours  Factors of Normed Corruption  Political Influence - lack of political influence; requires new police chief with government support to eradicate systemic corruption  Political Leadership – ethical leadership is able to control and eliminate corruption  Recruitment and Retention Policies – useful in reducing, controlling, and eliminating corruption  Education Requirements – decisive in selecting quality applicants  Police Unions – unions have interfered in corruption investigations Code of Silence – “Blue Fraternity” “Us vs. Them”  Requires fellow officers to look the other way when an officer commits a deviant act  Failure to uphold to the code of silence may result in an officer being shunned, being isolated, or even being withheld assistance from fellow officers in emergency situations (but the last point has been proven otherwise, and it is said that police do in fact help any officer in need of emergency assistance)  Therefore, a lot of the Code of silence is exaggerated in a phenomenon meant to intimidate fellow officers  Code is strongest in high corruption police departments or crime ridden precincts where fellow officers depended on each other’s reinforcement for safety, even if it meant not doing it by the books  Learning the “Code” begins in the police academy, where they are told never to snitch or be a rat for your fellow officer – it leads to some officers withholding information, or sometimes even taking the blame for deviant acts they did not commit in order to protect a fellow officer  Code brings about an “Us vs. them” mentality, can refer to public or anyone out to get the street cops, such as Internal Affairs Department  Code exists within organizations and allows the condoning of deviancy  Police officers involved with the Code develop a narrow perception, thinking that only street police officers, patrol officers, and detectives can understand police work and that commanders and administrators have forgotten what police work is all about Types of Police Corruption  Police corruption – can be explained as monetary gain obtained from not performing a legal duty or responsibility as a police officer  Police corruption includes these types of misconducts: o Free or Discounted Meals or Services o Kickbacks  Payments in form of money, goods, or services that officer receives for directing people toward a particular service provider o Opportunistic Thefts  Taking money or property from arrestees, burglary scenes, and unprotected properties by the officer during duty o Shakedowns  Taking money or property from arrestee caught with the fruits of a crime o Bribes Related to Cases  Broad category, covering acceptance of cash payment for not writing motorist traffic ticket to giving false statements in courts for money o Protection of Illegal Activities  Takes two forms: most common form is acceptance of bribes in order to allow crimes such as prostitution, drug sales, or gambling and the other is providing physical protection during drug deals o Internal Payoffs  Internal bribery in which officers pay one another to either acquire good assignments or avoid unpleasant ones o Payment for Protection  Taking bribes not to enforce the law from individuals who are committing crimes Degrees of Corruption  Historically, corruption has been around since the New
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