SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article #1: Schulenberg, J. (2015). Moving beyond arrest and reconceptualizing police discretion: An investigation into the factors affecting conversation, assistance, and criminal charges. Police Quarterly, 18, 244–271.

Abstract: Research on police discretion largely focuses on explaining the arrest disposition, while little attention is directed to the range of nonarrest decisions within an encounter. The research objective is to contribute to the discourse on police behavior by exploring the factors affecting different types of discretionary outcomes, a reconceptualization of demeanor, and the role of offence seriousness in different contexts. Using field observational data from a mid-sized Canadian police service, logistic regression models investigate the factors affecting police action identified in prior discretion research on three measures: conversational requests and directives, police assistance, and laying a criminal charge. The results support demarcating demeanor into disrespect and noncompliance, as they have unique independent effects on the use of discretion. Contrary to expectations, offence seriousness is only a significant predictor of noncoercive actions, while situational factors are better predictors of the arrest or charge decision than nondispositional outcomes.

Journal Article #2: Sung, H. (2006). Democracy and criminal justice in cross-national perspective: From crime control to due process. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 605, 311–337.

Abstract: In this article, the author argues that the transformation of justice administration in democratizing countries is a transition from a crime control to a due process orientation. In authoritarian states, criminal justice systems rely on a larger law enforcement-punishment apparatus for order maintenance and produce higher rates of arrest, prosecution, conviction, and incarceration. By contrast, in liberal democracies, justice is sought as the defense of civil liberties through the due process of law, which leads to a heavier investment in the judiciary and a higher rate of case attrition in the criminal justice process. The analysis of United Nations data refutes the hypothesis of larger police and prison workforce in authoritarian countries and larger judicial staff in liberal democracies. Instead, democracy increases both the personnel strength of the courts and that of the police and the prisons. The proposed relationship between democracy and increased criminal case attrition receives very strong support.