Police discretion is a very important approach in matters concerning criminal justice. There has been a consistent problem between enforcing the law and the spirit of the law. Discretion in the broader sense can be defined as the individual’s ability to make a decision basing on the principle of courses of the action. During training, police officers are given different possible scenarios that they may experience while on duty. However, the situations presented are not exact and the police come face to face with more riveting situations that demand their personal choices. The
First, there are several positive aspects of police discretion. One, “that it allows the officer to treat different situations in accordance with humanitarian and practical goals” (82). Meaning that in certain situation where a citizen is breaking the law the officer will have compassion and not enforce the law. For instance, a husband speeding trying to rush to the hospital because his wife is in labor. Even though he’s speeding above the speeding limit, when
Discretion is defined as the authority to make a decision between two or more choices (Pollock, 2010). More specifically, it is defined as “the capacity to identify and to document criminal and noncriminal events” (Boivin & Cordeau, 2011). Every police officer has a great deal of discretion concerning when to use their authority, power, persuasion, or force. Depending on how an officer sees their duty to society will determine an officer’s discretion. Discretion leads to selective enforcement practices and may result in discrimination against certain groups of people or select individuals (Young, 2011). Most police officer discretion is exercised in situations with individuals (Sherman, 1984).
There are many advantages of practicing police discretion and the truth is that it ultimately allows the officer to treat people in a caring humane way giving them a second chance without putting them in the system, and improving on what the community and public thinks of the police. If the police were to follow the laws and use full enforcement, they will be seen as unfair by the society and the community would reject and rebel against them which is what is not needed and discretion is
One aspect of the criminal justice system that has been debated for many years is that of police discretion. Police discretion is defined as the ability of a police officer, a prosecutor, a judge, and a jury to exercise a degree of personal decision making in deciding who is going to be charged or punished for a crime and how they are going to be punished. This basically is saying that there are situations when these law enforcement officers have to use their own personal beliefs and make choices coming from their own morals and ethics. The subject of police discretion was discovered in 1956 by the American Bar Foundation and has been an important problem in criminal justice since that time. When it
After reading all the material regarding Jeffery Bell, Darryl Forrest and Dustin Sillings all 3 whom were members of the Kansas City Police special unit known as (SCORE) Selective, Crime, Occurrence, Reduction Enforcement unit. I came up with several unethical behaviors throughout the course of the year from January 2010 to January 2011. One, all 3 officers violated the victims constitutional rights. Rights that were taken away were the freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures and not to have their property taken without due process under the law. (The Criminal Indictment: United States of America v. Jeffrey M. Bell, Darryl M. Forrest, and Dustin Sillings) Each officer took it upon themselves to steal various items including money from
First, I will define Police Discretion. Police discretion is the power or authority that is given to a police officer to act officially in a manner that appears to be just and proper under the presented
In order for a Police agency to prevent and deter Police misconduct, there must be a definition to what actions and behaviors that the term will encompass. The term ‘police corruption’ has been used to describe many activities: bribery; violence and brutality; fabrication and destruction of evidence; racism; favoritism or nepotism. Many different scholars differ in their own examples of the definition. Before attempting to the question of whether a precise definition is possible, it is worth examining the range of activities that might be included within a broad discussion of corruption. In (Bayley and Perito, 2011), it is defined as police corruption is a contested phrase with narrow and broad meanings. Narrowly
Ultimately this course provided me with new ideas on how to handle certain situations in several criminal justice occupations. This course relates very well to officer discretion, corruption and discrimination. In today’s society police officers are faced with problematic situation each day and although we cannot teach fight or flight in a classroom we can try to learn what not to do in a difficult situation. When observing the different controversial decisions that are being made, you learn that when police officers are faced with critical and life changing decisions officers do not have the convenience of time. The decisions are made while that person has adrenalin rushing through their bodies and time moving faster than any person can anticipate. This is the synopsis of ethical issues, the different controversial decisions that must be made as a police officer, judge or correctional officer. What is the correct decision being the topic for discussion? A discussion in which the professor allows all voices to be heard so that we all can learn from one another perspectives.
Today, police discretion is a very important aspect to the criminal justice field. There are different substances where discretion is not discipline enough or not monitored enough even though having discretion is not always bad. There are still ways to abuse it and today police officers have their own way of using police discretion for different situations. Discretion can be defined as someone having the power or authority to make a decision based on what they feel should be done in a certain situation. Police officers are taught how to handle certain situations according the law. But when the officer is on duty no one is there to make sure that they are making the right decisions that follow the law and according to the law, there are not set guidelines in the law for police discretion which give the police officer an advantage. Discretion is used by police officers when they are facing a decision with a bunch of results that could handle the situation but the officer has control to pick which result they would want to choose.
I do believe that officers discretion is a critical component of policing. Although many may think that the use of officers discretion lends itself to favoritism are bias It has been my experience that most officers understand when someone it doing wrong as opposed to making an honest mistake. Without this ability to use officers discretion, many people who honestly have good intentions, would be punished, which would discourage do gooders.
Discretion is not doing as you please. Discretion is bounded by norms. The future of policing as a profession depends upon whether discretion can be put to good use. Two problems impending police professionalization, however, in that there are few uncontroversial areas in police work, than in other professions. Sometimes the public wants no enforcement, and other times they want strict enforcement. Citizens will scream false arrest in the first case, and some groups may file a write of mandamus in the second case.
Police discretion by definition is the power to make decisions of policy and practice. Police have the choice to enforce certain laws and how they will be enforced. “Some law is always or almost always enforced, some is never or almost never enforced, and some is sometimes enforced and sometimes not” (Davis, p.1). Similarly with discretion is that the law may not cover every situation a police officer encounters, so they must use their discretion wisely. Until 1956, people thought of police discretion as “taboo”. According to http://faculty.ncwc.edu/toconnor/ 205/205lect09.htm, “The attitude of police administrators was that any deviation from accepted procedures was extralegal and probably a source of corruption.
In the United States of America, law enforcement has the ability to make their own judgement, while encountering criminals. Although discretion is at all levels of the police department, law enforcement agencies can easily make unlawful decision. Researchers determined that police officers are prohibited from using offensive language or speaking discourteously, abusing their authority, and using unnecessary force (Carroll, Kovath, & Pereira, 2004). Law enforcement officers are expected to respect their community and ensure that all citizens are kept safe. Some police activity can occur in a private view without supervision from the public, which allow police officers to make a reasonable decision. Police often make quick reaction when it comes
"Proper use of discretion is probably the most important measure of a police officer or department." -- Rich Kinsey (retired police detective)