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Understanding Police Deviance

  • James F. Albrecht
Chapter
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Criminology book series (BRIEFSCRIMINOL)

Abstract

Given the rampant negative reporting about the police and the perceived lack of public trust and confidence in law enforcement officials in the United States, one may be surprised to learn that allegations of acts of police brutality, serious misconduct, and corruption are extremely rare. Empirical evidence reveals that the overwhelming majority of American law enforcement personnel routinely conduct themselves professionally and with the public’s interests and concerns in mind. However, the few isolated incidents that have involved the excessive use of force by police or acts of corruption, among other forms of police deviance, have clearly tarnished the positive reputations of law enforcement personnel, not only locally but at times nationally. A number of respected criminology and criminal justice researchers have attempted to define police deviance, corruption, misconduct, and inappropriate behavior, but none of them have done so with universal agreement and often not reflecting practical realities. The author has proposed a new typology for the five most obvious categories of police deviance: (1) police corruption, (2) police criminality, (3) excessive use of force, (4) abuse of authority, and (5) police misconduct.

Keywords

Police deviance Police corruption Police brutality Noble cause corruption Control balance theory 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • James F. Albrecht
    • 1
  1. 1.Pace UniversityNew YorkUSA

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