Criminal Justice Faculty Publications

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The purpose of this study is to explore whether being named as a party-defendant in federal civil rights litigation is correlated with other types of police misconduct. As part of a larger study of police officers who were arrested during the years 2005-2011, the names of each officer arrested (N = 5,545) were cross-checked against the master name index in the federal court Public Access to Courts Electronic Records (PACER) system. The findings indicate that more than one-fifth of the arrested officers (22.2%, n = 1,232) were named as a party-defendant in one or more federal court civil actions pursuant to 42 USC 1983 at some point during their law enforcement career. Additional findings and policy implications are discussed relating to strategies that could better identify problem officers and those at risk for engaging in police misconduct and its correlates.

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 recording are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Justice.

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Police Integrity Lost