Michigan State University

Ask a Librarian | Hours | Account     Support MSU Libraries

Criminal Justice Resources :

Police Corruption - Police Integrity

This compilation of resources focuses on web sites dealing with police corruption or police integrity issues. Related topics include Law Enforcement and Police Use of Force.

Addressing Police Misconduct
Laws enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice. Oct. 30, 2000.
(Last checked 03/17/14)

Bad Cops: A Study of Career-Ending Misconduct Among New York City Police Officers
Officers whose personal histories included arrest, traffic violations, and failure in other jobs were more likely than other officers to be terminated from their jobs because of misconduct. Officers who held associate or higher degrees were less likely than those without them to be dismissed for misconduct. Those who did well in the academy's recruit training program were also less likely than marginal recruits to be terminated for misconduct. As the representation of Hispanic and Asian officers in the New York City Police Department (NYPD) has increased, their rates of involuntary separation from the department have decreased and become indistinguishable from those of White officers. Black officers representation in the department has remained relatively flat over the years studied; their involuntary separation rates have also decreased, but remain higher than those for other racial groups in the department. James J. Fyfe and Robert Kane. September 2006.
(Last checked 03/17/14)

Building Public Confidence in Police Through Civilian Oversight
In both new and more mature democratic societies, citizens are putting increased pressure on police not only to control crime but also to treat everyone they contact fairly and with respect. This paper explores the different ways that citizens can monitor and shape law enforcement practices, and the challenges of that work. It captures issues discussed at an international meeting on civilian oversight of police held in Los Angeles in May 2002. That meeting brought together police officials from Brazil, the Czech Republic, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Peru, Russia, South Africa, and the United States and those who oversee their work from elsewhere within government and from non-governmental organizations.
The paper begins with a look at why civilian oversight arises, moves on to consider some of the tensions and competing interests related to crafting an appropriate role for civilian overseers, and ends with discussions about how overseers can maintain independence and objectivity while collaborating with police and the need to hold themselves accountable. Emma Phillips and Jennifer Trone, Vera Institute of Justice, September 2002.
(Last checked 03/17/14)

Can Federal Intervention Bring Lasting Improvement in Local Policing?: The Pittsburgh Consent Decree
This study sheds light on ways in which federal oversight of local police forces suspected of patterns of abuse can have continuing benefits. Vera researchers found that reforms initiated under federal oversight—including new systems to track the use of force and traffic stops and searches; new procedures to hold officers accountable; and new policies and training—were sustained even after that oversight ended. Despite recent financial strains, those reforms remain in place today, and the opinions of community leaders and citizens reflect significant improvements in service. Yet Vera also found that many citizens and front-line officers remain skeptical about the reforms' impact. The report follows an earlier study which examined the impact of the consent decree during its implementation. Robert C. Davis, Nicole J. Henderson, and Christopher W. Ortiz, Vera Institute of Justice, April 2005. 62 pages
(Last checked 03/17/14)

Civilian Oversight of Police : Lessons from the Literature
This paper reviews the English language literature on the civilian oversight of police. It was prepared for the third global meeting on Policing in Democratic Societies, which took place in Los Angeles in May 2002. Joel Miller, Vera Institute of Justice.
(Last checked 03/17/14)

Civilian Oversight of the Police in the United States
Merrick Bobb discusses citizen oversight of law enforcement in the St. Louis University Public Law Review. The article discusses the history of policing and police reform in the United States and explores approaches to civilian oversight, including independent monitors, civilian review boards and "pattern or practice" consent decrees. Mr. Bobb's article first appeared in the Saint Louis University Public Law Review, Volume XXII, Number one, 2003. 23pp.
(Last checked 03/17/14)

Code Blue
Prosecuting police brutality requires penetrating the blue wall of silence. The obstacles to policing police brutality and investigating and prosecuting cases of police misconduct and several cases that illustrate the thickness of the blue wall of silence are examined. Jerome H Skolnick. The American Prospect. Princeton: Mar 27-Apr 10, 2000.Vol.11, Iss. 10; pg. 49, 5 pgs.
(Last checked 03/17/14)

Color of Law Investigations
The vast majority of police officers perform their difficult jobs in a professional manner. However, exceptions do occur. In one instance, an on-duty sheriffs deputy approached a verbally abusive drug addict strapped to a gurney in an emergency room, drew his pistol, placed the barrel of the weapon into the addict's mouth, and threatened to pull the trigger if he did not stop shouting. Police misconduct also encompasses less obvious wrongdoing, such as striking suspects more than necessary or threatening to harm them if they do not cooperate. Article by John r. Schafer. The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, Aug 1, 2000.
(Last checked 03/17/14)

Coping with Police Misconduct in West Virginia: Citizen Involvement in Officer Disciplinary Procedures—A Review of Existing Law, Legislative Initiatives, and Disciplinary Models
Based on a background paper produced by the West Virginia Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, this paper summarizes the Committee's research to date and addresses three major themes: the ongoing problem of police brutality and existing disciplinary structure in the State, past legislative attempts to reform disciplinary procedures and the experiences of two recent review boards established in Bluefield and Charleston, and alternative models and methods used successfully in other parts of the country. U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. February 2004.
(Last checked 03/17/14)

Early Warning Systems: Responding to the Problem Police Officer
Published by the National Institute of Justice, July 2001.
(Last checked 09/02/05)

Enhancing Police Integrity
A recently released report by the National Institute of Justice. Takes a new approach to measuring police officer conduct. Rather than focusing on potential corruption, the researchers measured the integrity of police officers—including their willingness to report the misconduct of fellow officers—through uniquely developed tools and techniques. The study finds that an agency’s culture of integrity, as stated in clearly understood and implemented policies and rules, may be more important in shaping an officer’s ethics than hiring the “right” people. Police executives should consider some of the tactics developed through this study to evaluate their own agencies.
(Last checked 03/17/14)

Ethics Training in Law Enforcment

Note: works best with Mozilla Firefox.
Ethics is our greatest training and leadership need today and into the next century. In addition to the fact that most departments do not conduct ethics training, nothing is more devastating to individual departments and our entire profession than uncovered scandals or discovered acts of officer misconduct and unethical behavior. The effects of unethical acts and behavior take many forms. A report by the Ethics Training Subcommittee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police Ad Hoc Committee on Police Image and Ethics.
(Last checked 03/17/14)

Evaluating Police Officers
Note: works best with Mozilla Firefox.
Having methods to evaluate police officers is obviously highly critical to determine if officers are performing in accordance with the mission of the organization and their job description. Article by Robert C. Trojanowicz from the Community Policing Pages. 1998. Still available thanks to the Internet Archive.
(Last checked 03/17/14)

False Arrest, Malicious Prosecution and Police Misconduct: Pleadings and Practice (Book).
Jerome M. Ginsberg Juris Publishing Inc., January 1992. Available in the Gast Business Library Stacks.

Fighting Police Abuse: A Community Action Model
Note: works best with Mozilla Firefox.

Courtesy of the ACLU. August 1997.
(Last checked 03/17/14)

A Global Forum on Fighting Corruption:
Safeguarding Integrity Among Justice and Security Officials
The "Vice President's Conference on Fighting Corruption and Safeguarding Integrity Among Justice and Security Officials" -- the world's first conference to target corruption specifically among police, prosecutors, judges, military personnel, customs officials, border guards, financial regulators and budget/procurement officials -- will be held in Washington, DC from February 24-26, 1999...
(Last checked 03/17/14)

How to Train Cops
New York's Police Academy does a model job of turning raw recruits into efficient officers. It should put more focus on good vs. bad, less on black vs. white. Article by Heather Mac Donald.
(Last checked 03/17/14)

Knapp Commission
The Knapp Commission (officially known as the Commission to Investigate Alleged Police Corruption) stemmed from a five member panel initially formed in April 1970 by Mayor John V. Lindsay to investigate corruption within the New York City Police Department. The creation of the commission was largely a result of the publicity generated by the public revelations of police corruption made by Patrolman Frank Serpico and Sergeant David Durk.
The inadequacy and inability of local law-enforcement agencies to cope with organized crime was underscored by the Knapp Commission, which uncovered relations between New York City police and organized crime.
Also listed under Crime Commissions and Investigations.
(Last checked 03/17/14)

The Knapp Commission Report on Police Corruption (Book)
New York, G. Braziller [1973?]. 283pp.
Also listed under Crime Commissions and Investigations.
(Last checked 03/17/14)

L.A.P.D. Blues
This 2001 site explores the Los Angeles Police Department Rampart [CRASH unit] scandal and investigation, "a tangled web linking officers with street gangs, drug dealing, and the gangsta rap underworld." Includes a chronology; interviews; rap lyrics about the police; and information on the legacy of the Rodney King beating, Suge Knight, and Death Row Records. From the PBS series Frontline (includes transcript).
Also listed under Crime Commissions and Investigations.
(Last checked 03/17/14)

LAPD Computer Targets Rogue Cops
Dogged by scandal, the Los Angeles Police Department is looking beyond human judgment to technology to identify bad cops. This month, the agency began using a $35 million computer system that tracks complaints and other telling data about officers -- then alerts top supervisors to possible signs of misconduct.
(Last checked 03/17/14)

Law Enforcement Ethics: the Continuum of Compromise
Note: works best with Mozilla Firefox.
During the past few years, law enforcement behavior has been the subject of increased scrutiny across the country. Rodney King, Ruby Ridge, Waco, evidence planting in Philadelphia, Mark Furhman's testimony, "Operation Big Spender" and the chase and apprehension of the illegal aliens in Southern California are just some of the incidents that have captured the nation's attention. With each new headline, mistrust of law enforcement increases; police/community relations suffer; and the reputations of good, hardworking and ethical law enforcement professionals and their organizations are tainted. Even the most avid supporters of law enforcement wonder what is happening and are asking, "Can the police be trusted to police themselves?" While high profile cases capture the nation's attention, law enforcement agencies across the country spend an increasing amount of time investigating, disciplining and prosecuting officers for unethical or criminal behaviors that never make it to the front pages. Still available thanks to the Internet Archives.
(Last checked 03/17/14)

Los Angeles Police Department
Board of Inquiry into the Rampart Area Corruption Incident
Note: works best with Mozilla Firefox.
On March 1, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) commanders released the full text and executive summary of an internal, four-month Board of Inquiry investigation. The investigation centered on a host of alleged corrupt and criminal activities by the Rampart Area neighborhood's anti-gang unit. Among its findings were lax departmental supervision, tight-knit and almost gang-like behavior among the unit's members, and the improper assignment of new recruits to risky and sensitive positions, such as the anti-gang unit at Rampart. The report suggests 108 changes in department policies and procedures. Despite resistance from the LAPD, the city's civilian Police Commission announced on Tuesday that it would launch its own review of the force's disciplinary system and its ethics and culture. Still available thanks to the Internet Archive.
Also listed under Crime Commissions and Investigations.
(Last checked 03/17/14)

Mediating Citizen Complaints Against Police Officers:
A Guide for Police and Community Leaders
Samuel Walker et al., University of Nebraska Omaha, Department of Criminal Justice, 2002. 111pp.
(Last checked 03/17/14)

Police Accountability
Note: works best with Mozilla Firefox.
Many assume when talking about police accountability, that it relates to merely how the police organization evaluates personnel and then holds them accountable for their actions. It is much more complex than that, however, because ultimately the police are accountable to the community they serve. Article by Robert C. Trojanowicz from the Community Policing Pages. 1998. Still available thanks to the Internet Archives.
(Last checked 03/17/14)

Police Assessment Resource Center (PARC)
PARC supports and assists those responsible for the oversight of police departments -- monitors, law enforcement executives, civic officials, and government agencies -- to advance effective, respectful, and publicly accountable policing. PARC regularly publishes reports and articles concerning police oversight. Some of these reports detail monitoring activities in various jurisdictions where PARC has been engaged as a consultant to the monitor. Others were articles produced by the PARC staff. On a monthly basis, PARC publishes the Best Practices Review, a newsletter containing up-to-date news, interviews and events. Previous issues of the Best Practices Review can be accessed by clicking here. This page also contains other publications and websites of interest to those concerned with police reform and oversight.
(Last checked 03/17/14)

Police Practices and Civil Rights in New York City

Note: works best with Mozilla Firefox.
On May 26, 1999, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights conducted a hearing in New York City to examine current police practices and their impact on civil rights in the community at large. The Commission had a strong interest in studying the methods used by the city to balance crime fighting with the exercise of appropriate restraint, particularly following the highly publicized tragedies involving Abner Louima and Amadou Diallo. This report is intended to offer insights into some of the tensions that exist between the New York Police Department (NYPD) and the communities that it serves. A report by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. August 2000.
(Last checked 03/17/14)

Prosecuting Police Misconduct:
Reflections on the Role of the U.S. Civil Rights Division
A report by Alexis Agathocleous and Heather Ward of the Vera Institute of Criminal Justice. In June 1998, five former Assistant Attorneys General for Civil Rights, two veteran Civil Rights Division attorneys, and Division Chief Bill Lann Lee gathered at the Vera Institute of Justice to discuss the federal government's efforts to prosecute police misconduct over the past four decades. Prosecuting Police Misconduct: Reflections on the Role of the U.S. Civil Rights Division draws principally on that meeting. By referring to specific cases, the report traces the Civil Rights Division's evolving approach and pinpoints advantages as well as limitations associated with federal prosecution. 1998. 24pp.
(Last checked 03/17/14)

The Public Accountability of Private Police: Lessons from New York, Johannesburg, and Mexico City
PDF: 190 KB/53 pages
Vera Institute of Justice published: 8/1/2000
This paper looks at how private police are actually held accountable through a set of three case studies drawn from different countries. The literature on private policing is remarkably uninformed by empirical data, although a few works have investigated the scope of private policing through interviews with people working in the industry. It is our hope that the case studies will help to fill this gap in the literature.
(Last checked 03/17/14)

Public Corruption: A Comparative Analysis of International Corruption Conventions and United States Law
Peter J. Henning, Wayne State University Law School
(Last checked 03/17/14)

Revisiting Who is Guarding the Guardians?

Note: works best with Mozilla Firefox.
A Report on Police Practices and Civil Rights in America by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Nov. 2000.
(Last checked 03/17/14)

Shielded from Justice:
Police Brutality and Accountability in the USA
This report from Human Rights Watch details the results of an investigation of police brutality in 14 large cities in the United States (includes Detroit). Examined are accountability, systems to deal with abuse, race as a factor, civil rights prosecution, codes of silence and other contributing factors. Note: The corresponding 1998 report is also available in Main Library Stacks HV8141 .S48 1998
(Last checked 03/17/14)

Should the Diallo Cops Face Civil Rights Charges

Note: works best with Mozilla Firefox.
SpeakOut.com overview by Jenny Murphy, February 28, 2000. Still available thanks to the Internet Archives.
(Last checked 03/17/14)

Stephen Lawrence Inquiry (United Kingdom)
Note: works best with Mozilla Firefox.
Home Office investigation into a racially motivated crime and the ineffective follow-up by local police which led to a Code of Practice on reporting and recording racist incidents in response to recommendation 15 of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Report. Feb. 1999 and April 2000.
Also listed under Crime Commissions and Investigations.
(Last checked 03/17/14)

Weeding Out Bad Cops Before They Become Deadly
long link
Paper by Leonard J. Coklow, Detroit Police Department, 2002 for Eastern Michigan University School of Police and Staff Command Program.
(Last checked 03/17/14)

For additional books on police corruption or misconduct, search MAGIC. Try typing in the following subject headings under LC Subject. Police Corruption or
Police Misconduct


WWW http://staff.lib.msu.edu/harris23/crimjust/

Ownership Statement
Jon Harrison : Page Editor
Criminal Justice Specialist
Social Sciences Collections Coordinator
Michigan State University Libraries
366 W. Circle Drive
E. Lansing, MI 48824-1048
Last revised 03/17/14

Phone: 1-800-500-1554 and 1-517-355-2345.  100 Library, East Lansing, MI 48824 USA.  Email us: comments@mail.lib.msu.edu

© 2006 Michigan State University Board of Trustees. MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer.

Michigan State University Acceptable Use Policy of Computing & Digital Networks