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Don't Jump the Shark: Understanding Deterrence and Legitimacy in the Architecture of Law Enforcement - NIJ Research for the Real World Seminar

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2010
12 pages
This is the video and transcript of a presentation by Tracy Meares at NIJ's Research for the Real World series; it pertains to action-oriented research in urban police departments and how Ms. Mears has integrated social psychology with deterrence and violence-reduction strategies.
She explains that the emphasis on deterrence in law enforcement is fading, and she favors replacing this emphasis with concepts of legitimacy and procedural justice. "Legitimacy" is achieved by a police agency when officers enforce laws fairly according to law and the rules that limit their power. Implications of an emphasis on legitimacy are drawn for police stops, particularly pervasive stops as a policy emphasis. Racial profiling by police is part of the discussion. Differences between deterrence and legitimacy is these contexts are discussed. The application of these principles in a Chicago project is described.

Date Published: November 1, 2010