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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Community Review of Police Conduct: An Intergroup Perspective

  • Author(s): Dailey, René M.;
  • Reid, Scott A.;
  • Anderson, Michelle Chernikoff;
  • Giles, Howard
  • et al.

Law enforcement continually walks a fine-line between the protection and the violation of individual rights. It derives its power from the community it serves, and it is accountable to that community. To ensure the latter, some cities have implemented community review systems that monitor police conduct. These systems are intended to be impartial evaluators of law enforcement, in particular, complaints against law enforcement. We analyze the various structures and characteristics of community review systems, as well as the empirical research attending them. In doing so, we situate the problems associated with community review systems from a social psychological perspective, arguing that their shortcomings may be remedied through a consideration of intergroup processes which focus on shared identity and the role of power differentiation between police and community. Finally, we suggest improvements and further research.

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