Police Misconduct and Corruption Essay Sample

For every bit long as policing has existed in America. there has been misconduct and corruptness associated with any given policing bureau. Police officer malfeasance can run from minor instances of misconduct to the downright condemnable Acts of the Apostless that are considered to be corruptness. It is of import to province here that non all constabulary officers are guilty of misconduct and/or corruptness. but like everything in our media-based society. the bad bulls are of much more involvement and hence are what this paper will concentrate on.

Merriam-Webster online ( 2005 ) defines misconduct as 1: misdirection particularly of governmental or military duties ; 2: knowing error ; specifically: calculated misdemeanor of a jurisprudence or standard particularly by a authorities functionary: Malfeasance ; or 3: improper behaviour. Corruptness. as defined by Merriam-Webster online ( 2005 ) . is 1 a: damage of unity. virtuousness. or moral rule: Corruption ; B: Decay. Decomposition ; degree Celsiuss: incentive to wrong by improper or improper agencies ( as graft ) vitamin D: a going from the original or from what is pure or right ; or 2: an bureau or influence that corrupts. Police corruptness encompasses police misconduct. While police misconduct is normally easy identified. police corruptness is a grey country because people disagree on what is classified as corruptness. This paper will discourse the different types of constabulary misconduct and constabulary corruptness. It will besides speculate about why constabularies misconduct and corruptness occur and the different ways to halt them.


There are two types of corruptness that most constabularies malfeasances autumn under: grass-eating and flesh-eating. Defined by the Knapp Commission in the early 1970s. grass-eating is misconduct that on occasion occurs in normal every twenty-four hours range of constabulary work. ( Schmalleger. 2005 ) . Meat-eating is when police officers actively seek out illicit ways to do money. normally through payoffs. menaces. or bullying ( Schmalleger. 2005 ) .

Grass-eating is normally viewed as the least serious type of corruptness. Some signifiers of grass-eating are comparatively harmless. such as mooching ( police officers accepting free points from givers ) and favouritism ( publishing licence check. window spines. or courtesy cards that exempt users from apprehension or commendation from traffic discourtesies ) . Aside from these illustrations of grass-eating. there are still some types that are undeniably corrupt. These types of grass-eating include graft ( having hard currency or a gift in exchange for past or future aid in avoiding prosecution ) . extortion ( keeping a? street tribunal? in which minor traffic tickets can be avoided by the payment of hard currency? bond? to the collaring officer. with no reception given ) . and shopping ( picking up little points such as confect bars. gum. and cigarettes at a shop where the door has been unlocked at the stopping point of concern hours ) . This type of grass-eating frequently leads to flesh-eating corruptness.

Meat-eating is the more serious type of constabulary corruptness. When a constabulary officer is flesh-eating. if he or she gets caught they are about certain to be fired from their occupation every bit good as perchance arrested if their meat-eating is serious plenty. Some illustrations of flesh-eating include premeditated larceny ( utilizing tools. keys. or other devices to coerce entry and steal belongings ) . shakedown ( taking expensive points for personal usage during an probe of a housebreaking or burglary ) . and bearing false witness ( lying to supply an alibi for fellow officers engaged in improper activity or otherwise neglecting to state the truth so as to avoid countenances ) . Planting grounds. nonjustifiable homicide. and covering drugs and/or helping drug traders in any manner are besides really serious flesh-eating corruptness discourtesies.

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While by definition. the usage of inordinate force and accepting free offers of java and other such goods are considered to be corrupt constabulary patterns. many ( peculiarly constabulary officers ) dont see them or others to be such ( Schmalleger. 2005 ) . What makes some behaviours corrupt while other behaviours are viewed as a portion of the occupation? Possibly it is because constabulary feel that it is all right to accept something every bit long as it is given to them with no strings attached. Maybe it is because constabulary feel the demand to protect themselves when being threatened by a individual that they view is capable of doing them major bodily injury. Maybe it is because constabulary set together even if they are in the incorrect against people that they view as foreigners that are seeking to state them how to make their occupation.

There are legion grounds why constabulary misconduct and constabulary corruptness aren? t easy defined. but likely the most of import one is that non everyone has the same moral criterions and a batch of people would specify that which is ethical otherwise. Many justify their behaviour by stating themselves that every bit long as no 1 else is acquiring hurt by their actions and every bit long as no 1 else finds out about their behaviour so what they are making is O.K. . Many others still warrant their behaviour by stating themselves that everyone else merely looks out for himself or herself and that they are traveling to make the same even if it means holding to interrupt a few Torahs and injury people along the manner.

WHY MISCONDUCT AND CORRUPTION OCCUR There are several theories as to why constabularies misconduct and corruptness occur. One theory centres on the constabulary working personality. Harmonizing to Schmalleger ( 2005 ) constabulary officers portion certain features that are portion of the constabulary working personality. Insecurity. secretiveness. ill will. cynicism. and being individualistic are a few of the features common to most police officers that might do some officers to perpetrate corrupt Acts of the Apostless. These few officers might believe that they are owed something because they are the constabulary and therefore will take what is offered to them and even seek out ways to obtain money illicitly.

The icky barrel. icky apple. and icky group theories all have been used to seek and explicate constabularies misconduct and corruptness. The icky barrel theory suggests that unethical and illegal behaviours have permeated constabularies sections from the street bulls right up to the top administrative functionaries ( Byers. 2000 ) . This theory buzzword be wholly right because there are good bulls who uphold really high moral criterions in about every constabulary section. The icky apple theory postulates that unethical and condemnable behaviour is isolated to a few corrupt persons throughout any given constabulary section ( Byers. 2000 ) . Police decision makers like this account of corrupt behaviour because it doesnt tarnish the whole sections image and it is easy to clean up merely by firing the few officers involved ( Byers. 2000 ) . Harmonizing to Byers ( 2000 ) the newest theory on constabularies misconduct and corruptness. the icky group theory. claims that there are little groups of officers who assist and protect each other in their condemnable activities. This? rotten? theory differs from the other two because it is based on a drug-related constabulary corruptness where the icky barrel and rotten apple theories are based on traditional forms of non-drug related constabulary corruptness ( Byers. 2000 ) .

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Police work is centered on the officers holding great authorization and discretion with really small supervising. Besides. constabulary officers make really small money and are expected to continue high moral and ethical criterions when confronted with the chance to perchance do some excess money by keep backing pecuniary grounds. taking something of pecuniary value from a place that has merely been burglarized because the likeliness of their acquiring caught is slender. turning the other manner when a drug trade goes down in bend for being paid to maintain the information to themselves. and many other grounds. Power combined with authorization and discretion frequently leads to patrol misconduct and corruptness ( Byers. 2000 ) .

HOW POLICE MISCONDUCT AND CORRUPTION CAN BE STOPPED Police misconduct and corruptness are a comparatively common happening. likely more than the bulk of the public even realizes. Since the job is comparatively widespread. so how is the best manner to cut down on and finally extinguish constabularies malfeasances? To get down to cover with the jobs several different issues in patroling will hold to be addressed at the same time.

First. the most obvious. albeit. non so simple. solution to patrol offense is to raise all police officer wage to pay that is comparable to other professions who work about the same figure of hours with similar working conditions as constabulary. The fact that constabularies make less than the mean full clip retail shop helper director is dissing. Police put their life on the line everyday in order to protect and function and patrol officer wage is so pitifully low that some officers? feel like they have to fall back to offense on the side of their occupation in order to do terminals meat.

Another possible solution to patrol misconduct and corruptness is to promote the populace to describe any questionable brushs with the constabulary. A batch of condemnable behaviour done by constabulary is more than probably ne’er reported because citizens dont want to acquire involved or they feel like no affair what they say or do that it won? Ts make any difference. Rogue constabularies acquire off with improper and immoral behavior because they use their place of authorization to intimidate others. If these constabularies fear that their bad behaviour will be reported to their higher-ups and that they will potentially be fired because of it. so the? bad? constabularies are less likely to make anything that they know that their occupation description says that they cant.

Ongoing moralss developing and more thorough hiring patterns can besides be used in the battle against constabulary misconduct and corruptness. If you go over something adequate with constabulary officers. so the information is bound to drop in on some degree. As for the hiring patterns. the background cheque should be improved. The possible constabulary officer should hold to travel through an even more strict psychological scrutiny than they do now. Besides. prior to being hired. constabularies officers should hold to undergo a polygraph trial to seek and acquire the truth about their existent moral character.

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Since there is no easy account as to why constabularies misconduct and constabularies corruptness occur. so it is comparatively safe to presume that there besides isn? t a simple solution to halting corruptness once it has occurred. Reform techniques focused on the malfeasance and misbehaviour of single officers have non succeeded. Better forces testing. preparation. internal procedures. and functional internal and external unity units besides have non to the full addressed the job. In a really existent sense constabulary? direction? has failed? ( Johnson and Cox III. 2004-5. p. 68 ) .

CONCLUSION There isnt merely one manner of covering with constabularies misconduct and corruptness. All solutions entirely will neglect because no one solution to the full addresses the job. Raising the wage and promoting citizens to describe cases of constabulary malfeasances won? t work on their ain because they do non take into history the officer who doesnt merely interrupt the jurisprudence for money. but that break the jurisprudence because they are genuinely rogue. Ongoing moralss preparation and better hiring patterns besides dont to the full address the job. Some people know how to gull polygraph trials by commanding their external respiration and bosom rate. and how precisely are you supposed to learn adult work forces and adult females to be ethical Isnt holding a high moral criterion something that is taught to kids by their parents? Children are more easy molded into what they should be. Adults. on the other manus. are older and are hence set in their ways. whether good or bad. It would be truly hard if non impossible to learn constabulary officers to be ethical if they already werent merely that.

The lone manner to truly set an terminal to patrol misconduct and malfeasances is to alter the constabulary organisational construction and constabulary personality ( Johnson and Cox III. 2004-5 ) . There needs to no longer be a negative stigma attached to the? good? bull if he or she decides to describe to their higher-ups any misconduct or perversive activities that they know to be traveling on with some other constabulary officers at their bureau. Johnson and Cox III ( 2004-5 ) have it right when they say that? the civilization of being above the jurisprudence ends merely when leaders enforce regulations against corrupt behaviour and so acknowledge right behaviour? .


Byers. Bryan. ( 2000 ) . Ethical motives and Criminal Justice: Some Observations on Police Misconduct. In Annual Editions: Criminal Justice 05/06 ( pp. 108-111 ) . Iowa: McGraw Hill.

Johnson. T. A. & A ; Cox III. R. W. ( 2004-5 ) . Police Ethics: Organizational Deductions. Public Integrity. 7. 67-79. Retrieved November 8. 2005. from hypertext transfer protocol: //p2050-library. ucok. edu. vortex2. ucok. edu:2050/login? url=http: //search. epnet. com. vortex2. ucok. edu:2050/login. aspx? direct=true & A ; db=aph & A ; an=15391842 & A ; scope=site Merriam-Webster Online ( 2005 ) . Retrieved November 23. 2005. from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. m-w. com Schmalleger. Frank ( 2005 ) . Condemnable Justice Today: An Introductory Text for the twenty-first Century. Upper Saddle River. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.