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Columbia Law School

Criminal Law

Policing

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Do The Ends Justify The Means? Policing And Rights Tradeoffs In New York City, Amanda Geller, Jeffrey Fagan, Tom R. Tyler Jan 2018

Do The Ends Justify The Means? Policing And Rights Tradeoffs In New York City, Amanda Geller, Jeffrey Fagan, Tom R. Tyler

Faculty Scholarship

Policing has become an integral component of urban life. New models of proactive policing create a double-edged sword for communities with strong police presence. While the new policing creates conditions that may deter and prevent crime, close surveillance and frequent intrusive police-citizen contacts have strained police-community relations. The burdens of the new policing often fall on communities with high proportions of African American and Latino residents, yet the returns to crime control are small and the risks of intrusive, impersonal, aggressive non-productive interactions are high. As part of the proffered tradeoff, citizens are often asked to view and accept these ...


Aggressive Policing And The Educational Performance Of Minority Youth, Joscha Legewie, Jeffrey A. Fagan Jan 2018

Aggressive Policing And The Educational Performance Of Minority Youth, Joscha Legewie, Jeffrey A. Fagan

Faculty Scholarship

An increasing number of minority youth are confronted with the criminal justice system. But how does the expansion of police presence in poor urban communities affect educational outcomes? Previous research points at multiple mechanisms with opposing effects. This article presents the first causal evidence of the impact of aggressive policing on the educational performance of minority youth. Under Operation Impact, the New York Police Department (NYPD) saturated high crime areas with additional police officers with the mission to engage in aggressive, order maintenance policing. To estimate the effect, we use administrative data from about 250,000 adolescents aged 9 to ...


Understanding Recent Spikes And Longer Trends In American Murders, Jeffrey Fagan, Daniel C. Richman Jan 2017

Understanding Recent Spikes And Longer Trends In American Murders, Jeffrey Fagan, Daniel C. Richman

Faculty Scholarship

Since 2015, homicide rates have increased in several U.S. cities, while remaining stable in many others. Examining both recent and long-term trends in homicides and other violent crime across major cities, we find no reason to believe that these increases presage a new homicide epidemic, or that we will return to the era of elevated homicide rates that persisted in many U.S. cities over three decades through the mid-1990s. The homicide spikes may be momentary upticks in the two-decade long-term decline, and may also signal a new era of unpredictable and random surges or declines during an otherwise ...


Understanding Recent Spikes And Longer Trends In American Murders, Jeffery Fagan, Daniel Richman Jan 2017

Understanding Recent Spikes And Longer Trends In American Murders, Jeffery Fagan, Daniel Richman

Faculty Scholarship

On September 7, 2016, four of the nation’s newspapers of record weighed in on the connected crises in crime and policing. The New York Times revealed the tensions between the Mayor’s office in Chicago and several community and professional groups over a plan to overhaul Chicago’s police disciplinary board – a plan developed in the wake of the shooting of an unarmed teenager, Laquan McDonald, and the release of a video of that killing. The Wall Street Journal related a vigorous defense of New York City’s “broken windows” policing strategy – a strategy that has been a recurring ...


The Duty Of Responsible Administration And The Problem Of Police Accountability, Charles F. Sabel, William H. Simon Jan 2014

The Duty Of Responsible Administration And The Problem Of Police Accountability, Charles F. Sabel, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

Many contemporary civil rights claims arise from institutional activity that, while troubling, is neither malicious nor egregiously reckless. When law-makers find themselves unable to produce substantive rules for such activity, they often turn to regulating the actors’ exercise of discretion. The consequence is an emerging duty of responsible administration that requires managers to actively assess the effects of their conduct on civil rights values and to make reasonable efforts to mitigate harm to protected groups. This doctrinal evolution partially but imperfectly converges with an increasing emphasis in public administration on the need to reassess routines in the light of changing ...


Street Stops And Police Legitimacy: Teachable Moments In Young Urban Men’S Legal Socialization, Tom Tyler, Jeffrey Fagan, Amanda Geller Jan 2013

Street Stops And Police Legitimacy: Teachable Moments In Young Urban Men’S Legal Socialization, Tom Tyler, Jeffrey Fagan, Amanda Geller

Faculty Scholarship

An examination of the influence of street stops on the legal socialization of young men showed an association between the number of police stops and a diminished sense of police legitimacy. This association however is not only a consequence of the number of street or car stops they experience or of the degree of police intrusion that occurs during those stops. Rather, the estimated impact of involuntary contact with the police is mediated by evaluations of the fairness of police actions and judgments about whether the police are acting lawfully. Whether the police are viewed as exercising their authority fairly ...


Neoliberal Penality: A Brief Genealogy, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2009

Neoliberal Penality: A Brief Genealogy, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

The turn of the twenty first century witnessed important shifts in punishment practices. The most shocking is mass incarceration – the exponential rise in prisoners in state and federal penitentiaries and in county jails beginning in 1973. It is tempting to view these developments as evidence of something new that emerged in the 1970s – of a new culture of control, a new penology, or a new turn to biopower. But it would be a mistake to place too much emphasis on the 1970s since most of the recent trends have antecedents and parallels in the early twentieth century. It is important ...


Henry Louis Gates And Racial Profiling: What's The Problem?, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2009

Henry Louis Gates And Racial Profiling: What's The Problem?, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

A string of recent studies has documented significant racial disparities in police stops, searches, and arrests across the country. The issue of racial profiling, however, did not receive national attention until the arrest of Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., at his home in Cambridge. This raises three questions: First, did Sergeant Crowley engage in racial profiling when he arrested Professor Gates? Second, why does it take the wrongful arrest of a respected member of an elite community to focus the attention of the country? Third, why is racial profiling so pervasive in American policing?

The answers to these questions are ...


Reefer Madness: Broken Windows Policing And Misdemeanor Marijuana Arrests In New York City, 1989-2000, Bernard E. Harcourt, Jens Ludwig Jan 2007

Reefer Madness: Broken Windows Policing And Misdemeanor Marijuana Arrests In New York City, 1989-2000, Bernard E. Harcourt, Jens Ludwig

Faculty Scholarship

The pattern of misdemeanor marijuana arrests in New York City since the introduction of broken windows policing in 1994 – nicely documented in this issue in Andrew Golub, Bruce Johnson, and Eloise Dunlap's article (2007) – is almost enough to make an outside observer ask: Who thought of this idea in the first place? And what were they smoking?

By the year 2000, arrests on misdemeanor charges of smoking marijuana in public view (MPV) had reached a peak of 51,267 for the city, up 2,670% from 1,851 arrests in 1994. In 1993, the year before broken windows policing ...


A Reader's Companion To Against Prediction: A Reply To Ariela Gross, Yoram Margalioth, And Yoav Sapir On Economic Modeling, Selective Incapacitation, Governmentality, And Race, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2007

A Reader's Companion To Against Prediction: A Reply To Ariela Gross, Yoram Margalioth, And Yoav Sapir On Economic Modeling, Selective Incapacitation, Governmentality, And Race, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

From parole prediction instruments and violent sexual predator scores to racial profiling on the highways, instruments to predict future dangerousness, drug-courier profiles, and IRS computer algorithms to detect tax evaders, the rise of actuarial methods in the field of crime and punishment presents a number of challenging issues at the intersection of economic theory, sociology, history, race studies, criminology, social theory, and law. The three review essays of "Against Prediction" by Ariela Gross, Yoram Margalioth, and Yoav Sapir, raise these challenges in their very best light. Ranging from the heights of poststructuralist and critical race theory to the intricate details ...


Reefer Madness: Broken Windows Policing And Misdemeanor Marijuana Arrests In New York City, 1989-2000, Bernard E. Harcourt, Jens Ludwig Jan 2006

Reefer Madness: Broken Windows Policing And Misdemeanor Marijuana Arrests In New York City, 1989-2000, Bernard E. Harcourt, Jens Ludwig

Faculty Scholarship

The pattern of misdemeanor marijuana arrests in New York City since the introduction of "broken windows" policing in 1994 is remarkable. By the year 2000, arrests on misdemeanor charges of smoking marijuana in public view (MPV) had reached 51,267 for the city, up 2,670 percent from 1,851 arrests in 1994. In 2000, misdemeanor MPV arrests accounted for 15 percent of all felony and misdemeanor arrests in New York City and 92 percent of total marijuana-related arrests in the State of New York. In addition, the pattern of arrests disproportionately targeted African-Americans and Hispanics.

In this paper, we ...


Muslim Profiles Post-9/11: Is Racial Profiling An Effective Counterterrorist Measure And Does It Violate The Right To Be Free From Discrimination?, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2006

Muslim Profiles Post-9/11: Is Racial Profiling An Effective Counterterrorist Measure And Does It Violate The Right To Be Free From Discrimination?, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

Racial profiling as a defensive counterterrorism measure necessarily implicates a rights trade-off: if effective, racial profiling limits the right of young Muslim men to be free from discrimination in order to promote the security and well-being of others. Proponents of racial profiling argue that it is based on simple statistical fact and represents just smart law enforcement. Opponents of racial profiling, like New York City police commissioner Raymond Kelly, say that it is dangerous and just nuts.

As a theoretical matter, both sides are partly right. Racial profiling in the context of counterterrorism measures may increase the detection of terrorist ...


Broken Windows: New Evidence From New York City And A Five-City Social Experiment, Bernard Harcourt, Jens Ludwig Jan 2006

Broken Windows: New Evidence From New York City And A Five-City Social Experiment, Bernard Harcourt, Jens Ludwig

Faculty Scholarship

In 1982, James Q. Wilson and George Kelling suggested in an influential article in the Atlantic Monthly that targeting minor disorder could help reduce more serious crime. More than twenty years later, the three most populous cities in the United States – New York, Chicago, and, most recently, Los Angeles – have all adopted at least some aspect of Wilson and Kelling's theory, primarily through more aggressive enforcement of minor misdemeanor laws. Remarkably little, though, is currently known about the effect of broken windows policing on crime.

According to a recent National Research Council report, existing research does not provide strong ...


Policing L.A.'S Skid Row: Crime And Real Estate Development In Downtown Los Angeles [An Experiment In Real Time], Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2005

Policing L.A.'S Skid Row: Crime And Real Estate Development In Downtown Los Angeles [An Experiment In Real Time], Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

Disorderly neighborhoods in the United States were the center of heated debate and much political initiative at the turn of the twenty-first century. Among criminal law scholars, sociologists, and students of policing, New York City drew the most attention, and presented the question whether order-maintenance policing really brought down crime and transformed disorderly neighborhoods like Times Square into high-end, commercially viable, urban communities. In this debate, the NYPD was generally the lead protagonist and crime reduction the dominant plot.

But is that right? Did the NYPD's "broken windows" policing really lead the urban renewal in New York City? Or ...


Broken Windows: New Evidence From New York City And A Five-City Social Experiment, Bernard E. Harcourt, Jens Ludwig Jan 2005

Broken Windows: New Evidence From New York City And A Five-City Social Experiment, Bernard E. Harcourt, Jens Ludwig

Faculty Scholarship

In 1982, James Q. Wilson and George Kelling suggested in an influential article in the Atlantic Monthly that targeting minor disorder could help reduce more serious crime. More than 20 years later, the three most populous cities in the U.S. – New York, Chicago and, most recently, Los Angeles – have all adopted at least some aspect of Wilson and Kelling's theory, primarily through more aggressive enforcement of minor misdemeanor laws. Remarkably little, though, is currently known about the effect of broken windows policing on crime.

According to a recent National Research Council report, existing research does not provide strong ...


Against Prediction: Sentencing, Policing, And Punishing In An Actuarial Age, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2005

Against Prediction: Sentencing, Policing, And Punishing In An Actuarial Age, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

Actuarial methods – i.e., the use of statistical rather than clinical methods on large datasets of criminal offending rates to determine different levels of offending associated with one or more group traits, in order to (1) predict past, present or future criminal behavior and (2) administer a criminal justice outcome – now permeates the criminal law and its enforcement. With the single exception of racial profiling against African-Americans and Hispanics, most people view the turn to the actuarial as efficient, rational, and wealth-maximizing. The fact is, law enforcement agencies can detect more crime with the same resources if they investigate citizens ...


The Preventive Effects Of Arrest On Intimate Partner Violence: Research, Policy And Theory, Christopher D. Maxwell, Joel H. Garner, Jeffrey A. Fagan Jan 2002

The Preventive Effects Of Arrest On Intimate Partner Violence: Research, Policy And Theory, Christopher D. Maxwell, Joel H. Garner, Jeffrey A. Fagan

Faculty Scholarship

This research addresses the limitations of prior analyses and reviews of five experiments testing for the specific deterrent effect of arrest on intimate partner violence by applying to individual level data consistent eligibility criteria, common independent and outcome measures, and appropriate statistical tests. Based on 4,032 cases involving adult males who assaulted their female intimate partners, multivariate regression analyses show consistent but modest reductions in subsequent offenses targeting the original victim that is attributable to arresting the suspect. Although the reductions attributable to arrest are similar across all five studies, other factors, such as the suspect's prior arrest ...