The Law and Politics of Police Discretion

The Law and Politics of Police Discretion

The Law and Politics of Police Discretion

The Law and Politics of Police Discretion

Synopsis

"The author, a law professor and former deputy sheriff, discusses the problems attending the extensive discretion given to police officers on the job. The book focuses primarily on the decision to arrest and on the development of the mechanisms to control the discretionary nature of that decision. Convinced that individual prejudices can and do play a part in arrest decisions, Professor Williams evaluates alternatives designed to produce impartial and controlled law enforcement. He concludes that only through the collective efforts of the police, state and local government officials, and the judiciary can effective guidelines be formulated and implemented." Harvard Law Review

Excerpt

From my early work as a deputy sheriff, over twenty years ago in Muncie, Indiana, to the present, I have been interested in the issue of police discretion. This book is an effort to try to focus on one aspect of that discretion--the decision to arrest. Although the issues discussed here are not new, there has been a general reluctance to deal openly and directly with them. It is my hope that this book will aid in opening up discussion about police discretion, especially in the arrest decision, and help bring public attention to a very important question regarding the appropriate range of police power.

It would be impossible to list everyone to whom I am indebted for their contributions to my knowledge about the police, nonetheless, I would like to thank some of those who have aided me in this work. I was able to prevail upon many of my colleagues at the University of Iowa College of Law to read the manuscript at various stages. I am particularly grateful to Professors Ronald Allen, Richard Kuhns, Peter Shane, and Robert Clinton for their comments. Other faculty members, too numerous to mention, were always willing to discuss particular aspects of the work or to offer encouragement, and I appreciate the scholarly atmosphere they fostered. Especially important in enhancing that atmosphere was Dean N. William Hines. Dean Hines was . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.