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Civil rights

Caught in the Act

Date Published
1999
Publication Type
Report (Technical), Program/Project Description
Agencies
NIJ-Sponsored

Wrongful Convictions: The Latest Scientific Research & Implications for Law Enforcement

March 2013

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.

Why Is the United States the Most Homicidal Nation in the Affluent World?

December 2013

Ohio State University Since World War II, the homicide rate in the U.S. has been three to ten times higher than in Canada, Western Europe, and Japan. This, however, has not always been the case. What caused the dramatic change? Dr. Roth discussed how and why rates of different kinds of homicide have varied across time and space over the past 450 years, including an examination of the murder of children by parents or caregivers, intimate partner violence, and homicides among unrelated adults.

Police-on-Police Shootings and the Puzzle of Unconscious Racial Bias

June 2010

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.

Civil Protection Order Enforcement

October 2009

T.K. Logan discusses her study that looked at the impact of civil protective orders for domestic violence victims in five Kentucky jurisdictions. Civil protective orders, sometimes known as restraining orders, may cover various situations, such as ordering an assailant to avoid a victim's home and workplace or forbidding any contact with the victim, including by mail or telephone.

Legitimacy and Community Cooperation With Law Enforcement

August 2009

Tom R. Tyler, chair of the New York University psychology department, describes research on profiling and community policing. His research found that citizens of all races show greater respect for law enforcement when they believe officers are treating them fairly. Even citizens who experienced a negative outcome getting a traffic ticket, for example showed higher levels of respect for and cooperation with law enforcement as long as they believed they were not being singled out unfairly.

Don't Jump the Shark: Understanding Deterrence and Legitimacy in the Architecture of Law Enforcement

November 2010

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.

The Evaluation of NIJ by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences: NIJ's Response

June 2011

The National Academies conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the National Institute of Justice. This panel provides an overview of the evaluation and NIJ's response to it. NIJ has accepted many of the recommendations in the NRC report, and you will learn what the agency is doing to implement them. A few of the recommendations were challenging and created considerable debate within NIJ. Plans to address these thorny issues also are discussed.

The National Broadband (Communications) Plan: Issues for Public Safety

June 2011

The Federal Communications Commission delivered the National Broadband Plan in March 2010. As part of the plan, the FCC proposed a strategy for implementing a national public safety broadband network that would allow public safety responders anywhere in the nation to send and receive critical voice, video and data to save lives, reduce injuries, and prevent acts of crime and terror. How this strategy is implemented will have a significant impact on criminal justice and other public safety agencies nationwide, both with respect to operational capability and to resources.

The State of the Police Field: A New Professionalism in Policing?

June 2010

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?

Are CEDs Safe and Effective?

June 2010

Thousands of law enforcement agencies throughout the United States have adopted conducted energy devices (CEDs) as a safe method to subdue individuals, but are these devices really safe? What policies should agencies adopt to ensure the proper use of this technology? This NIJ Conference Panel discusses the physiological effects of electrical current in the human body caused by CEDs, as well as how this technology can reduce injuries to officers and suspects when appropriate policies and training are followed.

Discussing the Future of Justice-Involved Young Adults

September 2015

New science in brain development is transforming young adult involvement with the justice system. On Tuesday, September 8, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Assistant Attorney General Karol Mason, and experts from NIJ and the Harvard Kennedy School Program in Criminal Justice who serve on the Executive Session on Community Corrections discussed the future of justice-involved young adults.