Corruption has always been a danger to law enforcement, just as it has been a danger to all of mankind since the beginning of time. Since the very first police agency was formed in the 1800s, corruption has been widespread. The 19th century was an era in which politics played a very large role in police forces. Various political parties essentially had some police departments in their pockets, and as long as officers served to further those political parties’ agendas, the officers’ continued employment was guaranteed. Since politicians have not always been known for being straight-laced, one can easily see how corruption within police departments became prevalent. Since officers were not serving the people, but rather the political elite, their motives were constantly in question. It was not long before politicians began employing police officers to overlook and even protect their illicit activities. Through this practice, officers began to see the potential monetary and political benefits of allowing and participating in certain illegal actions. Even after the establishment of countermeasures such as police commissions, civil service exams, and legislative changes, corruption remained rampant. This corruption was perhaps best exemplified by none other than the actions of many officers within the Rampart Division of the Los Angeles Police Department.
The Miami River Cops scandal was an unfortunate blemish on the Miami Police Department’s reputation. Many factors contributed to the 100 plus police officers involvement, three of the most significant being; corrupt leadership, personal greed, and victimless crimes. The Miami Police Department responded tenaciously to the corruption by establishing measures with the aim of preventing such rampant corruption in the future. As shocking as the Miami River Cops corruption scandal may seem, it is certainly not the only case of police corruption to happen within the United States. Another equally shocking case of police corruption occurred in Cleveland, Ohio when 44 officers from five law enforcement agencies were charged with corruption stemming from narcotics.
Kappeler, Sluder, and Alpert (2009) discussed a series of opportunity and organizational aspects of policing that contribute to deviance. These aspects are identified as legitimizing police deviance through the authority of law, public perception, isolating police/citizen encounters, and limiting and subverting police supervision (p.61). The police enjoy a legal authority and operational justification to operate in a way that would be seen as criminal behavior if any normal citizen would engage in
“Innocent until proven guilty.” The entire basis of the criminal justice system is to prosecute those who commit crimes and to validate every piece of evidence before prosecuting a suspect. It can be difficult for law enforcement to be precise and procedural in their quest for arresting and convicting a criminal as public outrage and pressure can affect the process of arrest and conviction. However, in other instances, the errors of law enforcement officials are not always due to outside forces or natural human errors. Bias and corruption can affect the outcome of an investigation, case, trial, verdict, and life, of a possible guilty or innocent person. In short, the criminal justice/legal system is not a perfect system, and those that serve both systems are imperfect as well. In the case of Sean K. Ellis, who was 19 years old at the time, was arrested for the murder of a Boston police officer. However, even though Ellis was arrested, tried, and convicted for this crime, he did not commit said crime. The circumstances leading to his conviction were riddled with inconsistencies and the actions taken by the police were ethically questionable as well. Police corruption, racial bias, witness credibility, and the tampering/tainting of evidence, have led to an unfair trial of an innocent man; as a result, Ellis was freed and he will receive a new trial in the coming months.
The official statistics are particularly useful in that they have been collected since 1857 and so provide us with an excellent historical overview of changing trends over time. They also give us a completely accurate view of the way that the criminal justice system processes offenders through arrests, trials and punishments. However, official statistics cannot be taken simply at their face value. They only show crimes which are reported to and recorded by official agencies such as the police. They account for only those crimes which are recognised as such by victims and those detected by the police. Sociologists have argued that there exists a ‘dark figure’ of unrecorded crime. This may be due to social agencies ignoring crimes committed by the ruling class such as white-collar and corporate crime and their views and stereotypes that they have against certain individuals, such as the working-class and ethnic minorities. Arguably, another reason why police recorded may be seem as inaccurate is due to the increased problem of reporting issues. There is evidence that a number of individuals choose not to report a crime on the basis that they have little faith in social agencies or that they feel that the crime may not be serious enough. Positivists favour the official statistics as they believe that they are functional for society, whereas interactionists and Marxists go against the police the statistics as they argue that they are bias. In this essay, I will discuss the
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
In dealing largely with disorderly elements of the society, some people working in law enforcement may gradually develop an attitude or sense of authority over society, particularly under traditional reaction-based policing models; in some cases the police believe that they are above the law. In other cases, police corruption and misconduct may be explained by individuals and individual faults- behavioral, psychological, background factors, and so on.
There are more people incarcerated in the United States of America than any other country in the world willing to count their inmates (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2016). How can this be? Foremost, the criminal justice system in the United States of America (which is made up of the police, the courts, and the corrections) is not working toward reducing mass incarceration the way it should be. The criminal justice system is set up strategically to accomplish two goals: to bring in money and to gain power. The byproducts of achieving these two goals are mass incarceration, ethnic and racial profiling, and minimal justice. The system needs to change its goals to: reducing crime and doing justice. The police, the courts, and the correctional system all feed off of one another and affect each other. Therefore, if real change is going to be made, it needs to happen in all three branches of the criminal justice system. A system that seems to be working well is in Norway. Norway’s criminal justice system does not look like America’s system. The criminal justice system in Norway has different philosophies concerning crime, justice, and the corrections. "We don 't look at our inmates as criminals, but rather as regular people who have committed a crime." (Skulberg, 2010, p. 73) This is a quote from a Norwegian prison guard giving an example of the ideology in Norway. In order for the United States to reduce crime and to have true justice, first, the policing model needs to change
Corruption within the New York Police Department is a quickly growing phenomenon; to an extent, this is largely due to the cop culture that encourages silence and draws the line at honesty. The good, honest officers are afraid to speak up against co-workers and in the process become corrupt themselves. When police departments were first established in the mid-nineteenth century, corruption quickly followed suit. It began with minor acts of misconduct and today deals with serious criminal activities. Scholars have noted that there is a strong correlation between the officers taking part in corrupt acts and officers wanting to fit in with the culture. In this paper, I argue that the deeper an officer in the New York police department gets into the police culture, the more likely it is that they become involved in narcotic corruption
Rather than placing much trust and dependence upon police officers to help maintain a sense of order and safety within communities, many younger generations have correlated police officers with the term corrupt. In a nutshell, the flawed behavior of a minority of our nation’s officers has resulted in a perplex domino effect which has profoundly impacted their image to many individuals. Consequently what has emerged is a complex domino effect which has generally triggered irrational behavior in average individuals and subsequent reprimand from law enforcement officials which has unfortunately done little justice to their already notorious reputation.
The criminal justice system is composed of three parts – Police, Courts and Corrections – and all three work together to protect an individual’s rights and the rights of society to live without fear of being a victim of crime. According to merriam-webster.com, crime is defined as “an act that is forbidden or omission of a duty that is commanded by public law and that makes the offender liable to punishment by that law.” When all the three parts work together, it makes the criminal justice system function like a well tuned machine.
or she did not nee to record it. If the Government do succeed in the
Police corruption has been an issue that has left a lasting blemish on communities and society. Police corruption usually derives a lack of respect officer(s) feel that either the city does not care about them or they are not paid enough for their duties. Throughout this essay I will give you a better understanding on the issue that is police corruption by using terminology from the book such as the “rotten apple theory”, “blue wall of silence” and “deviant subculture”. With corruption this affects the view we have on police and it is up to us not fall into the trap of negativity and create a better society for the future.
These types of misconduct arise throughout police jobs that include routine procedures such as traffic stops, ticket writing, directing traffic, and discouraging potential threats to those in their community. What often go unnoticed, though, are the undercover works and the corruptions that go on within a department. The four terms associated with these conflicting values are deviance, which is behavior inconsistent with the norms, values, or ethics, corruption, which is forbidden acts involving misuse of office for gain, misconduct, which is the violation of departmental procedures, and favoritism which is unfair “breaks” to friends or relatives.
Some argue that corrupt police officers are simply the product of a corrupt culture of the agency they work for. These officers are socially introduced to a number of informal rules when they begin employment. This process and these rules serve two main purposes. First, this process is designed to minimize the chances of external or internal controls being mobilized to address the behaviors and, secondly, to keep corrupt activities at a level that is acceptable and likely undetectable. The rule most often referred to in this connection, is the “Code of Silence.” Officers are socialized into not cooperating with investigations regarding fellow officers. Whether or not the officer participates in corrupt activities for financial gain, an officer’s adherence to the “Code of Silence” places them squarely amongst the corrupt of the profession (Price, 1972).