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Evaluating Police Reform in Post-Conflict Nations: A Solomon Islands Case Study

NCJ Number
International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice Volume: 34 Issue: 1 Dated: Spring 2010 Pages: 213-234
Garth Den Heyer
Date Published
22 pages
This study examined the primary issues involved in police reform in post-conflict nations.
The process of post-conflict police reform has been the subject of serious scholarly attention, principally driven by the sense that police institutional rebuilding cannot be achieved quickly and that the police are only one part of the wider justice sector. However, police reform is a complicated process, and the cultural, institutional, and political challenges to effective development are immense. The process of reform is further complicated through the inherent difficulty in evaluating the impact of a development program on police performance. This study uses an outcomes- or evidence-based police measurement system called 'Police Reform Indicators and Measurement Evaluation' (PRIME) to assess the performance of the police capacity-building program and other improvement projects that have commenced since the deployment of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) in July 2003. The application of the process to the Royal Solomon Islands Police (RSIP) identified that, although there are a number of areas that are still to be strengthened or rebuilt, the Participating Police Force (PPF) has been able to implement capacity development programs that have resulted in the advancement of the RSIP towards a professional police service. The application of PRIME to the RSIP and the intervening police mission demonstrates that it could be used as a tool to evaluate police reform efforts in similar post-conflict nations such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Tables, notes, and references (Published Abstract)