Criminal Justice Faculty Publications

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Police scandals during the 1980s and 90s exposed dramatic cases of drug-related corruption in a number of large American cities. The scandals in New York City culminated in the establishment of the Mollen Commission which focused on the investigation of corruption within the New York City Police Department (NYPD). The two year investigation identified a nexus between police misconduct and the operation of local drug markets, in particular cocaine and crack. A handful of scholarly studies from the same period provide the basis for most of our knowledge on the problem of drug-related police corruption. Data from these studies are primarily qualitative and/or difficult to generalize because they are derived from a single or small number of local police agencies (see e.g., Carter, 1990; Carter and Stephens, 1994; Kraska and Kappeler, 1988). The purpose of our study is to provide contemporary empirical data on drug-related corruption that augments the comparatively short line of existing research on the topic, and to describe the various forms of drug-related corruption as the phenomenon occurs in police agencies across the United States. Our research identifies and describes incidents in which police were arrested for criminal offenses associated with drug-related corruption through content analyses of published newspaper articles.

Publisher's Statement

This project was supported by Award No. 2011-IJ-CX-0024, awarded by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Justice.

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