Sample Research Proposal On Police Corruption

Type of paper: Research Proposal

Topic: Crime, Police, Social Issues, Corruption, Law, United States, Criminal Justice, Theory

Pages: 10

Words: 2750

Published: 2020/10/06

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Background

Police corruption has been an ever –present feature in the United States police since this entity of law enforcement was first formed in the mid-1800’s. At this time, it was mainly the political parties that ran municipal governments and agencies. One could be assured of various favors including employment if one abided by the directives of political parties. Many of these directives mostly involved protecting illicit activities committed by members of these parties, particularly the elite members. An environment where corruption was accepted emerged and this evolved into more practices that directly benefited individual police officers as well as police departments. Police officers would accept bribes to ignore various criminal activities including prostitution and drug sale. The police would also demand bribes for smaller crimes such as pick pocketing and conning. The first half of the 20th Century also saw a rampant level of police corruption in the United States. This period was characterized by large-scale criminal cartels that engaged in intensive criminal activities such as extortion, drug dealing and bootlegging. Many of these crime cartels were protected by entire police departments who happily accepted huge bribes to turn a blind eye to their criminal activities.
Unfortunately, corruption is still present in the police entity. Corruption exhibits itself in local, state and even at the federal level. Some states are notorious for having police departments with humongous levels of corruption. This corruption has had a significant effect on the quality of service delivery, and it is from this that this paper draws its premise.
However, it would be wise to first understand what police corruption essentially entails or means. In general terms, police corruption refers to the abuse of police authority either for personal or organizational gain. This police corruption comes in several sizes and shapes. The police who are the law personnel put forth to enforce law and order are often persuaded to turn a blind eye to various criminal activities and legal violations committed not only by family members, peers and friends but also by other members of the society who give them favors, gifts and bribes. This makes up a huge component of what is known as police corruption. However, extensive police corruption also involves other activities including drug abuse, brutality and the framing of suspects. The main thing, however, is that no matter the type or class of police corruption, it is a phenomenon that has negatively affected the delivery of services and tainted the entity of law enforcement.
This research project aims to look at the nature of police corruption in the United States and how it has affected the enforcement of laws and regulations as well as the delivery of other services that the police is officially charged with.
The project will involve an intensive exploration of the nature of police corruption in the United States including its history, how it has evolved over time and some of the dominant factors that have favored its occurrence. This will then be followed by an extensive exploration of the effect of police corruption in the United States with particular focus on how it has affected the enforcement of law and order.
The research project will utilize various credible sources to come up with information and data on police corruption. At the end of the project, a comprehensive report that articulates and assembles all the major findings will be developed.

Research Questions

What is the nature of police corruption in the United States?
This part will explore police corruption in the United States from a general perspective. The section will look at the prevalence or rates of corruption in the United States police force. The discussion will look at local, state and federal police departments and existence and prevalence of corruption in these departments

What are the primary factors that favor police corruption in the United States

This section of research will attempt to find out the main factors facilitate the occurrence and existence of police corruption. It will examine the factors that motivate police officers to engage in corruption.

How does police corruption affect the delivery of policing related services, as well as the enforcement of law and order?

This section of research will look at the consequences of police corruption. Research will be conducted to find out how corruption affects the police department and how it affects the society as a whole. Since the main purpose of the police is to serve the people, research will be conducted to establish how corruption affects service delivery to the people by the police and the implications of this.

Hypothesis

Corruption is a common feature in the United States police entity that is facilitated by a wide range of factors that are of economic, social and political nature. These factors encourage or pave the way for corruption to grow in the police department. Corruption within the police force interferes with the efficient delivery of policing and diminishes the level to which law and order are enforced in the society. Corruption also encourages the growth of crime mainly due to the fact that criminals get the feeling that they can buy their way out of trouble by simply bribing police officers, police departments and even entire police organizations.

Variables

Independent Variable: Police Corruption
Police corruption is one of the independent variables in this study. This is because a large part of this project involves examining how police corruption leads to other aspects. In this part of the research, it is treated as a variable that is independent, and that leads to other consequences.

Dependent Variables

1. Delivery of police related services – This is a dependent variable since its prevalence and intensity is treated as being dependent on corruption. Corruption, an independent variable is treated as having an effect on the level and quality of service delivery by the police entity
2. The level of law and order enforcement and crime prevention- These aspects are treated in this paper as being dependent on the nature and level of police corruption, and this is why they make up the independent variables.

Theories

The theory that will be utilized in this study is the social learning theory. This is a theory that is consistently used in criminology to explain various types of criminal phenomena. This is especially in regards to deviance and misconduct. Since police corruption is a form of deviance, the theory can be used to explain why this phenomenon takes place.
The social learning theory was initially developed or formulated by Akers as an extension of the differentiation theory developed by Sutherland to explain acts that mainly violate the social norms.
The primary assumption behind this social learning theory is that the same learning process can essentially produce both conforming as well as delinquent and deviant behavior. According to Akers, there are four variables that function to strengthen and instigate attitude towards specific social behavior. These four variable are differential association, reinforcement, definition, and modeling. Akers then postulates that the balance of these four influences determines if one is prone to engaging in either conforming or deviant behavior. The central variable however in this theory is differential association. This refers to the influence of the people that one associates with on a frequent basis. According to Akers, people develop either favorable or unfavorable definitions to deviance in the course of interactions with their peers. The definitions that people acquire are then reinforced either negative, or positively by punishments or rewards (perceived or real) that follow a particular behavior. Additionally, peers usually provide the models of behavior that people will follow.
Therefore, the social learning theory will be used to explain why some police officers engage in criminal acts and how this form of deviance or misconduct is reinforced.

Annotated Bibliography

Chappell, A. T., & Piquero, A. R. (2004). Applying social learning theory to police misconduct. Deviant Behavior, 25(2).
This source will be extremely useful when it comes to the application of theory to the research topic. The social learning theory is the primary theory that will be used to guide this research. The theory will be utilized to understand police corruption and how as a deviant behavior, it is reinforced with the police entity. This source contains an accurate description and discussion of the social learning theory and how it can be used to explain police deviance. The source uses concepts from the original publication by Akers (the creator of the social learning theory) and uses them to explain police deviance. Corruption is one of the examples of police deviance that is discussed in this source. The source also contains original research conducted in the Philadelphia Police Department that’s showed the social learning theory application to the police deviance such as corruption. Therefore, this article will greatly aid this research.
Ivković, S. K. (2003). To serve and collect: Measuring police corruption. Journal of criminal law and criminology, 593-650.
This article looks at the prevalence of police corruption in America as well as in other nations across the world. The source treats corruption as an aspect that is present in almost every police force. The authors attempt to show how understanding the prevalence of corruption can help on the development of strategies to curb the vice. This source will be extremely useful in this research as it will provide the research with an understanding of the level of police corruption in America and from this, it will be possible to point out some the factors that facilitate corruption and how it can prevented.
Kelling, G. L., & Moore, M. H. (1989). The evolving strategy of policing. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice.
This source looks at how this police entity has grown and evolved over time. The source explores the beginning of the police and how it has continued to grow and expand over time. It looks at how the police entity was initially controlled by local politicians and how they used it to their own advantage. This, in fact, appears to be the beginning of corruption within the police entity. The source then explores how the police eventually became an independent department but how corruption continued to be enshrined within its structure. This source will be extremely useful to this research. It will provide sufficient information about the evolution of the police. This will help to deduce how this evolution has not been able to eliminate the aspect of corruption as well as how corruption within the entity has evolved with the evolution of the police.
Pogrebin, M., & Atkins, B. (1976). Probable causes for police corruption: Some theories. Journal of Criminal Justice, 4(1), 9-16.
This will be one of the most important sources in this research project. The authors of this source present an exhaustive and conclusive discussion on some of the factors and causes of police corruption. This is one of the core areas of this research and, therefore, this source will be used extensively to get information and data. The authors present several theories that explain why the police engage in criminal activities. These include theories on factors or causes such as organizational deviance, individual failings lack of deterrence, cynicism, and the absence of consensus on victimless crimes and so on. The authors also present a conceptual framework that can be used to study the issue of police corruption in the future. Therefore, this source will be extensively used in the research and will furnish it with a lot of relevant data and information.
Polinsky, A. M., & Shavell, S. (2001). Corruption and optimal law enforcement. Journal of Public Economics, 81(1), 1-24.
This source will provide vast information on various acts of corruption within the American law enforcement entity. The source will aid the research in coming up with a proper definition of corruption and some of the acts that constitute corruption in the American police force. The source looks at actions such as bribe payments, extorting money from individuals by threatening to frame them among others. The source also looks at the penalties available for engaging in these types of corruption. Therefrom, this source will be used sparingly in the course of this research to shine a brighter picture on corruption with the law enforcement in America.
Punch, M. (2000). Police corruption and its prevention. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, 8(3), 301-324.
This source explores police corruption from a general perspective. The article dispels previous myths about corruption in the police and how it can be eliminated. The article particularly suggests that corruption is a recurring hazard that is generated by the police organization itself. The source also goes forth to suggest that there is a consensus on some of the most effective measures that can be used to tackle the vice and promote integrity in the police. This source will be extremely useful to this research. It will help to dispel unfounded myths about corruption and provide an accurate description of its existence. In addition, the source will also shed light on some of the factors that motivate or facilitate the continued existence of corruption in police departments not only in the United States but also across the world.
Rose-Ackerman, S. (1999). Corruption and Government: Causes, consequences, and reform. Cambridge University Press.
This source provides a vivid description of corruption and its consequence across various government agencies and organizations. The police force is obviously one of these organizations. The source looks at how corruption in an agency such as the police office interferes with the enforcement of law and order and how it derails concepts of justice and democracy. The book also looks at how corruption in various agencies combines to bring about an even greater effect on the government as a whole. This source will be extremely useful to the research as it will avail crucial data and information that will facilitate the development of viable conclusions and recommendations particularly in regards to police reforms that can reduce instances of police corruption.
Stevens, D. J. (1999). Corruption among narcotic officers: A study of innocence and integrity. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, 14(2), 1-10.
This source will be of great value to the research as it provides a vivid view of corruption within one of America’s police entities. The article looks at corruption among narcotic officers in the American police force. According to the authors of the article, the narcotics division of the police force is one that has been plagued by rampant corruption throughout the years. Many officers in this field accept bribes to protect narcotic sellers and peddlers. Therefore, the source will furnish this research will a practical description of corruption at work. The source will provide some of the factors and motivations that prompt or encourage corruption among narcotic police officers and indeed all police officers, in general.
Turvey, B. E., & Cooley, C. M. (2014). Miscarriages of Justice: Actual Innocence, Forensic Evidence, and the Law. Academic Press.
This book explores the miscarriages of justice in the United States across various institutions including the police department. One of the ways through which justice is miscarried is through corruption. The third chapter of the book particularly focuses on the aspect of police corruption. This chapter will greatly aid this research by showing how corruption in the police leads to the miscarriage of justice. It will show how corruption interferes with the delivery of policing related services that the police force is supposed to provide to the public in the most effective manner. In simple terms, the book will be used to show some of the primary consequences of police corruption and its effect on the society. The authors of the book are well learned and recognized in the field of criminal justice and are therefore trustworthy and credible.
Walker, S., & Katz, C. M. (2012). Police in America. McGraw-Hill.
This is one of the most comprehensive books about the police force in America. The book contains a lot of subtopics that are key to understanding the nature of corruption in the American police force. The book looks at the history of the American society and how the police have interacted with the society since its inception. The book also looks at the nature of police organizations in America and the daily duties, roles and responsibilities of everyday police officers in the United States. The book also looks at some of the key events that have taken place or that have revolutionized the American police force. This book will provide a key background on the police force in America and will therefore greatly aid to infer how corruption is enshrined within this entity. The source will provide key facts and information that will be used to even construe why the police engage in corruption and other associated acts of deviance or misconduct.

References

Chappell, A. T., & Piquero, A. R. (2004). Applying social learning theory to police misconduct. Deviant Behavior, 25(2).
Ivković, S. K. (2003). To serve and collect: Measuring police corruption. Journal of criminal law and criminology, 593-650.
Kelling, G. L., & Moore, M. H. (1989). The evolving strategy of policing. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice.
Pogrebin, M., & Atkins, B. (1976). Probable causes for police corruption: Some theories. Journal of Criminal Justice, 4(1), 9-16.
Polinsky, A. M., & Shavell, S. (2001). Corruption and optimal law enforcement. Journal of Public Economics, 81(1), 1-24.
Punch, M. (2000). Police corruption and its prevention. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, 8(3), 301-324.
Rose-Ackerman, S. (1999). Corruption and government: Causes, consequences, and reform. Cambridge University Press.
Stevens, D. J. (1999). Corruption among narcotic officers: A study of innocence and integrity. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, 14(2), 1-10.
Turvey, B. E., & Cooley, C. M. (2014). Miscarriages of Justice: Actual Innocence, Forensic Evidence, and the Law. Academic Press.
Walker, S., & Katz, C. M. (2012). Police in America. McGraw-Hill.

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Sample Research Proposal On Police Corruption. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/sample-research-proposal-on-police-corruption/. Published Oct 06, 2020. Accessed June 22, 2021.
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