Discretion, Accountability & Future of Policing - Essay Example

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Discretion, Accountability & Future of Policing Customer Inserts His/Her Name Customer Inserts Grade Course Customer Inserts 8th February, 2012 Introduction The society we live in today experiences a lot of problems including high crime rate and a lot of social problems…
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Discretion, Accountability & Future of Policing
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Download file to see previous pages The essay will explore several theories advanced in elucidating on police discretion and how effective are these policies are in addressing the challenges facing law enforcers. Current Theories on Police Discretion Several theories have been advanced to analyze the behaviour of the police in undertaking their duties. One of the theories that have been advanced to explain the approaches to policing includes the Barley and Nixon theory. According to these authors, policing is a state of analysing the needs of the people in the society with the idea of providing security. These authors explore the activities of the police in the United States during in the 80’s and offer several lessons on policing. One of the lessons that we get to learn is that the police do not prevent crime but deal with criminal situations when they arise. However, these authors advance the theory that policing is best practised when it is analysed from a professional and constitutional manner (Broderick, 1977). For instance, they analyse the state of policing in the United States with the aim of providing solutions and setting up policing institutions. According to Barley and Nixon, through the solution of the problems facing the police we get to solve the problems associated with policing in the society. Another theory that was advanced in the analysis of policing was done by Bernard and Angel, whereby they elucidated on the aspects of the criminal justice system. Their theory analyses the differences in police discretion from a rational goal against the functional system model. Several theories are advanced by Bernard and Angle, whereby they talk of the theory of police professionalism as highlighted by Bittner in 1974. Other theories that were analysed include the theory that looks into problem-oriented issues and community policing. One of the theories that was analysed was the broken window theory, whereby researchers looked into a system where neighbourhood order was essential, using this model it was concluded that mutual regard for the system was good. The broken window theory was in effect an approach whereby people in different neighbourhoods felt safe when the police patrolled around their homes (Broderick, 1977). However, these activities had no effect in reducing the crime rate around these neighbourhoods. Most of the theories on policing were activity oriented and thus in the late 1990’s, new theories and approaches to policing were introduced to deal with realities and complexities of criminal justice. The criminal justice system is organised in a manner where the police force remain an integral part of the system. These new theories were aimed at total re-organization of entire areas of the criminal justice system. Some theories have been linked to the societal developmental changes such as economic changes or change in imprisonment rates. The court system which operates hand in hand with the police in the criminal justice system was reformed to improve on efficiency thus leading to changes in the policing sector (Gottfredson, 1979). New and improved systems of police operations were adopted across different countries with the aim of improving the effectiveness of the different police forces. For instance, the city of Cincinnati police force has adopted the use of crime prevention data obtained through research into crime (Duffee, 1980). The city has collaborated with ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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