CJ340-01 Unit 8 Assignment 2

Are order maintenance or zero tolerance enforcement approaches to low-level and/or status offenses effective? How do these enforcement models impact police legitimacy in the procedural justice model? Do you agree with the use of models for order maintenance? How do these models impact the public perception of police officers and law enforcement agencies?

From everything I have been reading, it does not appear that the order maintenance or zero tolerance enforcement approaches to low-level and/or status offenses are effective because they do not generate significant reductions in crime. (Braga, Welsh, & Schnell, 2015) According to Professor Jacinta M. Gau of California State University – San Bernardino, citizens’ perceptions of police legitimacy are questioned in the procedural justice model because “the targeted offenses are minor and are often not well-defined. Citizens stopped for low level offenses may view such stops as a form of harassment, as they may not believe they were doing anything to warrant police scrutiny.” (Gau, 2009) It seems like the intent of these approaches are to “overreact” to the little infractions so they do not escalate into bigger and more severe things, so that is something I can agree with. I can see how a citizen could perceive that they are being harassed by the police if they are stopped for every little thing they do wrong, but at the same time, there is a very simple solution… they can just do the right thing (whether people are watching or they are alone) and the police won’t need to bother them. I think that most citizens will not look at it that way; they will only see that “the cops are on my butt AGAIN…” and will stop trying to change their bad behavior if it is overly persistent.

Braga, A. A., Welsh, B. C., & Schnell, C. (2015). Zero Tolerance and Aggressive Policing (And Why To Avoid It) In Depth. Retrieved February 4, 2019, from https://www.rand.org/pubs/tools/TL261/better-policing-toolkit/all-strategies/zero-tolerance/in-depth.html

Delattre, E. J. (2011). Character and cops: Ethics in policing. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group.

Gau, J. M. (2009, April 30). Procedural Justice and Order Maintenance Policing: A Study of Inner‐City Young Men’s Perceptions of Police Legitimacy. Retrieved February 4, 2019, from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/07418820902763889

Status Offenders. (2015, September). Retrieved February 4, 2019, from https://www.ojjdp.gov/mpg/litreviews/Status_Offenders.pdf

You made some interesting points. I especially liked the part about first-time offenders and juveniles. They may not completely comprehend that what they did was wrong or understand the repercussions of their actions. In those instances, simply nipping the behavior “in the bud” seems like it would suffice. If officers consistently find that they are stopping the same people, then more serious punishment should be pursued! 🙂 Good post! Very thorough!

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