Current Issue

Click the article title to view article info and download full text.

Volume 13 Issue 2

Community Members' Evaluations of Police-Civilian Interactions

Khogali, M., Fondacaro, M.

We investigated the relationship between a suspect's race and participants' evaluations of police-civilian interactions. Participants were assigned to one of four role play conditions that manipulated a suspect's race (Black, White, or Latino): (1) as a police officer evaluating their own interaction with a suspect, (2) as a civilian evaluating their own interaction with a suspect, (3) as a police officer evaluating the interaction between another police officer and a suspect, and (4) as a civilian evaluating the interaction between another civilian and a suspect. Participants read a vignette and rated how resistant and disrespectful they found the suspect. Overall, White suspects were rated as more resistant than both Latino and Black suspects and more disrespectful than Black suspects. Moreover, participants evaluating their own interaction with the suspect rated the suspect as more resistant than participants evaluating the interaction of another person with the suspect. Finally, participants playing the role of a civilian rated the suspect as more resistant than participants playing the role of a police officer. We discuss the implications of these findings in the context of the current national concern about police-civilian relations.

Individual Differences Relate to Juvenile Offender Stereotypes

Kaplan, T., deBraga, F., Taylor, M., Mulvey, P., Miller, M. K.

Juvenile offenders convicted in adult criminal court receive harsher judgments than juveniles in juvenile court and young adults. This disparity could reflect preexisting stereotypes, such that criminal court actors could consider juvenile offenders waived to criminal court to be superpredators rather than wayward youth. This study assessed the relationship between individual differences and superpredator and wayward youth stereotype endorsement. In a sample of 252 MTurk workers, legal authoritarianism and a tendency to attribute crime to internal factors were positively associated with superpredator stereotype endorsement. Moreover, a tendency to attribute the causes of crime to internal factors mediated the relationships between social dominance orientation (SDO), social conservatism, and superpredator stereotype endorsement. Higher scores on SDO and legal authoritarianism were associated with decreased endorsement of the wayward youth stereotype, while a tendency to attribute the causes of crime to external factors was associated with a greater likelihood of wayward youth stereotype endorsement.

Race and Police Use of Force: A Regression Analysis of Varying Situational Approval from 1972 to 2012

Trahan A., Russell, J.

Recent events of police using force against citizens under arguably suspect circumstances have reinvigorated concern over racial disparities in the use of (excessive) force by police. The study presented here was designed to explore differences in African American and White citizens' acceptance of police use of force in varying situations. Data from the cumulative file of the General Social Survey (1972-2012) were used to determine if race could predict acceptance of police striking an adult male citizen: in some conceivable situation, using vulgar language, being questioned as a murder suspect, attempting to escape, and attacking the officer with his fists. Logistic regressions showed African Americans were less likely than Whites to accept police striking a citizen across time and in all situations except questioning murder suspects. Race was non-significant for acceptance of striking a murder suspect except during the 1990s when African Americans were slightly more accepting than Whites.

Toward a Reconceptualization of Youth Relationship Custody from an Alderian Framework

Bickle, K., Shon, P. C.

The Ministry of Children and Youth Services has recently recommended the use of relationship custody in youth custody facilities in Ontario. There is no clear definition of relationship custody or recognition of the theory that underlies it. A thorough analysis of the available material on relationship custody indicates that a strengths perspective as well as a positive psychology approach underlie the relationship custody model. This paper connects relationship custody, strengths perspective and positive psychology to Adlerian theory and posits that greater consistency to Adlerian theory would strengthen the relationship custody model. A new definition of relationship custody is presented.

Effective Leadership in Law Enforcement: Current and Past Police Chief Perspectives

Garner, R. L.

As a part of a statewide educational program for Texas municipal Police Chiefs, issues relevant to the concept and practice of leadership within the law enforcement arena are examined. Texas communities employ more than 1,000 municipal police chiefs who serve in geographically and demographically diverse settings throughout the State. The Chief's responses include their perceptions of best practices of leaders; indispensable leadership skills; critical mistakes made by leaders; as well as essential qualities necessary for effective leadership. A unique opportunity existed in which this study was not only able to examine the responses from current police leaders, but also contrast those with responses from a survey of police leaders that was administered three decades ago, offering a glimpse of the changes in police-leadership practice and philosophy. Additionally, based on these findings, suggestions regarding topics for police executive training are offered.