Police organizational structure
In 2004, the National Institute of Justice created the social science research on forensic sciences (SSRFS) research program to explore the impact of forensic sciences on the criminal justice system and the administration of justice. Much of the early research from the SSRFS program focused on DNA processing and the use of DNA in investigations and prosecutions.
Macro-Level Influences on Police Decision-Making and Engagement with Victims of Serious Violent Crimes: A Narrative Case Study of Two States
What does science tell us about case factors that can lead to a wrongful conviction? Dr. Jon Gould of American University will discuss the findings of the first large-scale empirical study that has identified ten statistically significant factors that distinguish a wrongful conviction from a "near miss." (A "near miss" is a case in which an innocent defendant was acquitted or had charges dismissed before trial). Following Dr. Gould's presentation, Mr. John R.
Professor Christopher Stone recently completed a study of police-on-police shootings as part of a task force he chaired in New York State. He reported on his findings and recommendations, exploring the role of race in policing decisions, methods to improve training and tactics to defuse police-on-police confrontations before they become fatal, and methods to improve the investigations of such shootings.
Bill King discusses the operations of the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN), a program through which firearms examiners at state and local crime laboratories compare tool marks on fired bullets or cartridges found at a crime scene to digitized images of ballistic evidence in a nationwide database.
In the face of budget cuts, changing workforce demands, new varieties of crime and new technologies, how should police executives manage officers and other personnel and still ensure that organizational goals are being met?
Professor Rosenbaum and a panel of colleagues discuss a study to demonstrate the feasibility of creating a foundation from which to launch studies about multiple aspects of policing using standardized definitions and measurement tools. Their goal is to advance knowledge about policing and translate data into evidence-based best practices that improve training, supervision and accountability systems. The effort is expected to produce a better understanding of what motivates police officers and makes them healthier, happier and more effective.
Don't Jump the Shark: Understanding Deterrence and Legitimacy in the Architecture of Law Enforcement
Deterrence theory dominates the American understanding of how to regulate criminal behavior but social psychologists' research shows that people comply for reasons that have nothing to do with fear of punishment; they have to do with values, fair procedures and how people connect with one another. Professor Meares discussed the relevance of social psychologists' emerging theory to legal theory and practice and how deterrence and emerging social psychology theories intertwine.
Panelists will discuss the results of the recent Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's National Survey on Children's Exposure to Violence and findings from a seven-year follow-up study, funded by NIJ, on home visitation in New York. The survey's findings included startling figures: More than 60 percent of the children interviewed were exposed to violence, crime and abuse within the past year, and more than 1 in 10 were injured in an assault.
Panelists debate the premise of a Harvard Executive Session working paper that suggests police organizations are striving for a "new" professionalism. Leaders are endeavoring for stricter standards of efficiency and conduct, while also increasing their legitimacy to the public and encouraging innovation. Is this new? Will this idea lead to prematurely discarding community policing as a guiding philosophy?