StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Police Discretion Position - Essay Example

Nobody downloaded yet

Extract of sample
Police Discretion Position

One will find that it is very common throughout the country that virtually all of police work involves discretion, with the exclusion of mandatory arrests. Furthermore, it is not just the police officer who has to use discretion, but it is also the prosecutor deciding what charges to file or how the offender should be sentenced, and the judge who has the most discretion of all when it comes to setting the ultimate punishment at the culmination of the case. Therefore, it is unlikely that discretion is a myth. It simply must exist for the criminal justice system to function as is. Laws cannot be passed to cover every possible scenario, which makes the practice of using discretion necessary in law enforcement.
According to Maggs (1992, pg. 1), "Few issues in criminal justice presently arouse the public's attention more than how much flexibility and discretion the police should have. Police departments and their officers traditionally have had broad authority to decide how to perform their work, and most people simply have trusted that they will exercise their powers in a professional manner. Yet, acceptance of the traditional arrangement has diminished, perhaps more in the past year than ever before. Disturbing incidents of misconduct, incompetence, and unresponsiveness have suggested to many a need for closer control over individual officers and for external constraints on departmental policy-making."
There are a number of causes of discretion that should be taken into consideration. They are commonly grouped into three categories: offender variables, situation variables, and system variables. There are stern but true facts that surround each of these variables (APSU, 2007).
The first group is offender variables. Juvenile complaints are taken less seriously than those made by adults. African Americans are more likely to receive excessive force or be arrested than other races. People who are polite and cooperative with police are treated better by them. Better police service is given to individuals with middle to upper income levels than other those in lower income brackets. Police also tend to handle situations involving individuals suffering from mental illnesses differently. Gender plays a role in how individuals are treated by police. Only some offenders are lectured and sympathized with by police (APSU, 2007).
The second group is situation variables. Matters involving crime are taken more seriously by police than matters not involving crime. Police often overact to the presence of weapons or to resistance by an offender. Police actions are also affected by the type of property that is involved in a property crime and their decision whether or not to pursue any investigation on that crime. If a police officer initiates an act versus a citizen, it is more likely to be acted upon. When it comes to vice enforcement, visibility of the vice is the major factor in acting upon it. When the media, an audience, or witnesses are present, the police are far more likely to behave more bureaucratically than they would otherwise (ASPU, 2007).
The final category is system variables. ...Show more


When asked whether full enforcement is constantly practiced, police usually answer in the affirmative, citing "policy" as the reason. The main ingredient of all law enforcement policies is a commitment to enforce all laws. Even though a shortfall exists in the resources needed to enforce all laws and police officers' perceptions about prosecutors, judges, and the entire court system may influence their decisions to enforce all laws, police still fail to acknowledge the lack of full enforcement…
Author : nlabadie
Police Discretion Position essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Police Discretion Position"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Check these samples - they also fit your topic

Critically analyse the problems involved in Police use of discretion
This paper shall critically analyse the problems involved in the police use of discretion. It shall specifically discuss the practice of ethnic and other subjective considerations in routine stops and searches, the evaluation of domestic violence incidents, and similar police activities.
14 pages (3500 words) Essay
Police Corruption
Researchers have been conducted on this subject as police corruption has proved to play a negative role for different societies. Researchers have concluded that individuals responsible to conduct police duties are vulnerable to corruption as these individuals have authority, they have discretion to take actions on their own, their duty is such that they are in constant contact with different crime committers, and actions they perform are not always in the best interest of the public.
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
How Police Officers learn Professional Ethics
Officers of police are apprehended to a superior criterion of conduct by community, for the reason that they are stewards of the communal trust and are authorized to use power and eliminate constitutional rights when legally right. They undertake an oath of responsibility, are anticipated to obey with professional rules of moral values, plus are subject to a variety of principles, laws and policies.
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Police Use of Force
The profession can be described as stressful and risky since it involves violent encounters. Police may be forced to use aggression so as to control a violent situation (Bittner 125). Police often find themselves in a precarious position when determining the amount of force to use when dealing with suspects (Sacks 292).
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Discuss the Pros the Cons of Police Discretion in Domestic Violence Situations
The objective of this research is to acquire a better insight of reasons why police apply discretion in domestic violence cases. Most police officers will apply discretion and refuse to conduct arrest because female victims are often not willing to cooperate and police personnel often judge that arrest of the breadwinner would hurt the family
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
Police Administration
Police Administration.Question 1: Managing Police Operation The first major similarity between NYPD Crime Control Model and the Community policing is that, both have a common premise in their dealing, and that is based on the presumption that by controlling severe crimes then law enforcement officials will be better balanced to control and solve various community issues when it comes to public safety (McDonald, 2002).
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Police Discretion Position Paper
This modern view operates on the assumption that police work is often complex, that situations are rarely neat and simple, and that discretion results in better police work than a mechanistic application of the law. Police discretion can best be characterized as the use of judgment in fluid situations and settings.
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Police discretion postion
Dantzker (2005) states that according to Black’s Law Dictionary police discretion can be defined as “the power to act in an official capacity in a manner which appears to be just and proper under the circumstances”. Discretion denotes the
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Explain what police discretion means and critically consider its impact on the way the police do their job
According to Bronitt and Stenning “police work by its very nature is discretionary” (2011, pg 320). The ability of a police officer to make a decision that is based on a particular incidence encompasses the window of
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
Police Discretion
order to protect the harmony in the organization of society, the latter designed law enforcing agencies to make sure that actions which are performed by the citizens do not undermine the fundamentals of peace, prosperity and security. This paper will analyze the notion of police
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Hire a pro to write
a paper under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment
Contact Us