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A month ago
Discuss civilian review boards and terms of their advocates and opponents.
Textbook 
Police Community Relations and the Administration of Justice
Edition: 9th
Authors:
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A month ago
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Most law enforcement agencies have some internal machinery for reviewing allegations of misconduct against their agents. However, dissatisfaction with this machinery, particularly among members of minority groups, has led to the establishment of civilian review boards, usually in the face of severe police opposition. The typical civilian review board has consisted of seven to nine members, including some members of the police, but with a civilian majority. As was to be expected, civilian review boards have provoked controversy. The advocates cite a number of advantages of police review boards such as they create a climate in which citizens can freely state their complaints about police misconduct, they educate the public about their legal rights, they provide for the public exoneration of police officers by an impartial agency, and they are primarily concerned with getting the truth. However, the opponents suggest that civilian review boards have the following demerits such they destroy police administrators' authority to investigate and discipline their officers, they demoralize police officers and make them hesitant to act on complaints, they might be biased against the police, and they could be staffed by civilians unqualified to judge the performance of police officers. So should we have police civilian review boards? Perhaps it depends in part on how many complaints are leveled against the police and the severity of these complaints. For example, if numerous instances of police misconduct come to light, a civilian review board might be an advantage. One the other hand, if there are very few complaints leveled against a police force, it might be that a civilian review board is not all that necessary.
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