Essay on Racial Profiling

11241 Words Apr 9th, 2012 45 Pages


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Racial profiling and searches: Did the politics of racial profiling change police behavior?*

Patricia Y. Warren
Florida State University

Donald Tomaskovic-Devey
University Massachusetts, Amherst
Research Summary
Scholarly research has documented repeatedly that minority citizens are disproportionately stopped, searched, and arrested relative to their baseline populations. In recent years, policymakers have brought increased attention to this issue as law-enforcement agencies across the
United States have faced allegations of racial profiling. In the 1990s, the politics generated by accounts of racially biased policing placed heightened
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Direct correspondence to Patricia Y.
Warren at 634 West Call Street, College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Florida
State University, Tallahassee, FL 32301 (e-mail:

CRIMINOLOGY & Public Policy
Volume 8 Issue 2 Copyright 2009 American Society of Criminology





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Warren and Tomaskovic-Devey
Policy Implications
The results of this study suggest several important policy recommendations. First, law-enforcement agencies must monitor the policing practices of their officers because such supervision can influence officer compliance with fair and unbiased policing policies. Next, supervisors need to familiarize themselves with enforcement data to identify potential problem officers and organizational practices. By doing so, police organizations will not only increase officer accountability but also will potentially improve communication with their local communities. Such communication can empower community members to file charges against officers who violate their civil rights. Next, the media and political effects documented in this study suggest that external oversight can be particularly influential on police practices. Therefore, police agencies should consider developing a citizen complaint board, which is an external oversight board that would be

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