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SOC 3750 (50)
Chapter 9

IPC Chapter 9.docx

4 Pages

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SOC 3750
Michelle Dumas

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IPC Chapter 9  Police Deviance, Accountability and Control Definitions of Police Deviance - Behaviour that violates norms, covers wide range of activities - Standards of police behaviour derived from 3 perspectives 1. Ethical: linked to morality, concern individuals moral vales (ex. integrity, responsible behaviour) – if don't have moral/ethical standards will be more prone to deviance 2. Organizational: established by police departments/boards/commissions 3. Legal: outlined by substantive & procedural law Theories of Police Deviance Rotten Apples and Rotten Pockets - Police corruption limited to small # officers who were dishonest prior to becoming a cop - “rotten apple” – 1 officer engaged in deviant behaviour OR “rotten pocket” – a few officers deviant as a group - Not organized, no admin support, advanced often by police themselves when discretions found - Prevalent in 1960s/70s when wide scale corruption found – sociologists criticize Pervasive Unorganized - Like rotten apple – suggest deviance & corruption not limited to a few but a number of officers are actively & passively involved in corrupt activities - Still unorganized & independent although more ppl involved, learned through informal socialization Pervasive Organized - For corruption to be organized every level and a large # of people must be involved, formally taught by organization, most serious - Occurs when police misconduct violates external expectations of what a department should be doing but is supported by peers, police subculture, and internal operating norms of the organization Reasons for Police Deviance - Large number of officers (a few will be deviant) - Lack of direct supervision, low visibility of actions - The complex task of policing which incorporated law enforcement, order maintenance and service but yet places limits on powers of police (complex & ambiguous role) - Discretionary power & nature of work provide opportunities for deviance - Contacts formed w deviant/criminal subculture - Police subculture powerful mechanism of group solidarity (reluctant to condemn misconduct) - Managers also part of subculture & follow same code of secrecy - Believe themselves to be underpaid and undervalued by society Types of Police Deviance Police Misbehaviour - Violation of organizational rules such as abuse of authority, sloppy work habits, neglect of duty etc. - Conduct unbecoming to a police officer , may not violate public norms but is still unsuitable Police Corruption - Police act as a group for personal gain often at the public’s expense, acceptance & extortion of benefits by police who use their position to engage in crime for profit - 3 levels 1. Graft: officer accepts something of value (ex. free coffee), depts have policies against, Canada’s formal policy is police can’t accept anything – difference b/w accepting gratuities & bribery 2. Criminal activity: officer appropriating goods/money during investigations (more common) OR by commission of an offence – b/c of opportunistic situation 3. Administrative practices: difficult to identify, relates to administration of justice (ex. deciding not to investigate certain events/ppl b/c of personal reasons) Police Misuse of Force - 4 types of coercion 1. Verbal: deceit/threats etc 2. Physical: use of physical strength 3. Non-lethal: use of weapon in addition to strength 4. Lethal: use deadly weapon in a manner that a person is likely to be injured or killed (usually firearm) - Various levels of coercion/authority are appropriate or not depending on circumstance - 3 reasons why police engage in excessive use of force 1. Training policies focus on working-class males from environments supporting aggression & violence 2. Training based on military model & emphasizes use of force 3. Work environment has encounters w violent people who need use of force on Police Deviance in Canada - Some believe not an issue some believe all departments have deviance, treat informally in the organization - Canadian police deviance illustrates 4 things 1. Recurring pattern of activity (not isolated) 2. Supervisory officers condone illegal activity by not doing more to investigate 3. Officers justify actions by referring to “good intentions” 4. Illegal police activity widely distributed across Canada
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