The Public Idea Of Discretion

Better Essays
Jaret Crundwell
CJ 488
Dr. Dirks-Linhorst
July 17, 2015
Literature Review Abdullah and Wells (2011) describe the public idea of discretion as a very misunderstood aspect of police work, therefore making the public’s opinions of police operations negative in some circumstances. Abdullah and Wells (2011) also highlight Packers crime control model saying that “A crime control model places high value on efficiency in apprehending and punishing offenders” and “to operate efficiently the officers must act quickly”. A more concise definition of police discretion is viewed by many law enforcement professionals as an officer’s best judgment in determining whether or not action should be taken in the situation that is presented at that point in time. The best example of this is simply deciding which individuals to stop and what action should be taken against them, if any (Sekhon, 2011). While using discretion is one of the most important tools a police officer has in their line of work, it has not always been concisely known of or defined within the criminal justice system. An attempt to define police discretion did not emerge until around 1950 when scholars discovered issues within law enforcement. This problem was narrowed down to the individual police officer. Until then, only “total and complete law enforcement” was believed to be existent (Sekhon, 2011). Sekhon (2011) states in the article that the American Bar Foundation produced a report “concluding that a considerable
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