Police Requests for Compliance: Coercive and Procedurally Just Tactics

Police Requests for Compliance: Coercive and Procedurally Just Tactics

Police Requests for Compliance: Coercive and Procedurally Just Tactics

Police Requests for Compliance: Coercive and Procedurally Just Tactics

Synopsis

Taking the newer approach of focusing on citizen actions as a dependent variable rather than as an explanation of police-client interactions, McClosky (criminal justice, Michigan State U.) studies situational factors determining compliance with police requests for identification and self-control. Implications for policy, procedures, and future research are discussed based on the findings that justice- seeking<-->perception of request legitimacy, police respect, and impartiality<-->rather than coercion informs compliance. Appends methodological notes. Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Excerpt

In the existing police literature the examination of police-citizen interaction is largely focused on police actions in dealing with citizens as the outcome or dependent variable (e.g., Smith and Visher, 1981; Smith, 1986; Worden 1989; Mastrofski, Snipes, Parks, and Maxwell, 2000; Novak, Frank, Smith, and Engle, 2002). Citizen behavior and characteristics have been taken into account as explanations of police actions and tactics. Research on factors that predict arrest include, for example, citizen’s demeanor. Demeanor, by some measures, includes actions that citizens take in the course of police-citizen encounters (see Klinger, 1994; Worden and Shepard, 1995; and Worden, Shepard, and Mastrofski, 1996).

A relatively new approach to examining the dynamics of policecitizen interactions is to focus on citizen actions as a dependent variable (McIver and Parks, 1983). Mastrofski, Snipes, and Supina’s (1996) work involving the Richmond police department represents seminal research that moves the study of criminal justice toward explaining the actions of clients and not just actors. The focus of the present research is on a citizen’s decision to comply with police requests. Compliance with two kinds of police requests are examined in this study: police requests for identification and police requests for citizen self-control.

Studying the response of citizens to criminal justice is an important task for understanding how a criminal justice system works both in a theoretical sense, and for making informed policy decisions. Theoretically, criminal justice often draws on deterrence as the rationale for operating procedures, however, the linkage between various practices and the production of lower crime rates appears tenuous (Bayley, 1998: Introduction). Hence, to understand what . . .

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