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Policing the Police: Theoretical and Practical Contributions of Psychologists to Understanding and Preventing Corruption (From Forensic Psychologist's Casebook: Psychological Profiling and Criminal Investigation, P 143-169, 2005, Laurence Alison, ed,--See NCJ-210952)

NCJ Number
Louise E. Porter
Date Published
27 pages
This chapter highlights the contributions psychology can make toward addressing issues of police corruption.
There are four main issues within the literature regarding police corruption that remain issues of contention: (1) what constitutes corruption; (2) what causes corrupt behavior; (3) how corruption can be investigated sensitively; and (4) how corrupt behavior can be prevented. The first section of the chapter reviews the literature concerning the definitions and causes of police corruption while the second section focuses on the investigation of corruption and strategies for prevention. The author argues that psychologists are uniquely situated to study and investigate claims of police corruption due to their expertise in a variety of research methodologies and specialized knowledge of human behavior. The contributory factors involved in police corruption are identified and include organizational factors, organizational culture, policies and rules, leadership, opportunities for corruption, consequences of corruption, and social factors such as peer influence. Practical strategies for identifying and preventing corruption are offered and include the use of psychologists as external investigators of corruption claims and as advisors for corruption prevention initiatives. In closing, the author underscores the importance of promoting the common goal of ethical policing, which can be attained through proper training and leadership. Tables, notes, references