Police Discretion Of The United States Essay example

Police Discretion Of The United States Essay example

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CRJ 104 Writing Assignment #2
The citizens of the United States gives a lot of power and authority to the police as part of the social contract. So in other words, we give up some of our freedom in exchange for protection and order from the government in order to live in a greater society. This is true when we give power to the police so they can protect us. According to the book, “police discretion is the authority that police officers have to use their individual judgements concerning decisions that they must make on a daily basis” (Aberle 116). In society, police discretion is almost universally accepted so that they can make decisions based on their training, background, experience, etc. This concept exists because police will have to use their own judgement to make tough decisions that they face every day on the job. However, just like there are two sides to every coin, police discretion does have its strengths and weaknesses. For strengths, police discretion is great when trying to break up a bad situation like bar fights or domestic violence in a home. In many police departments in America, there isn’t any direct supervision, so police officers work using their own judgements. Sometimes depending on an officer’s discretion, citizens in society can be beneficial of this too. An example would be if someone ran a red light and an officer pulled them over. If it didn’t cause any accidents or was a threat to society, an officer may have the discretion to just issue a warning. On the flip side, there are some weaknesses to police having discretion. In modern society, there has been lots of news about the police using their discretion in the wrong way. To be more specific, in the last couple of years there have been many cases of...


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...nd prisons cells which are full of people who got arrested for crimes that are ridiculous. Some examples would be arresting people for marijuana. Our prison system is atrocious because of the fact we hold the most prisoners in the world, buy many are there because there not guilty or for low level crimes that don’t hurt society at all. The story of a kid robbing food to support his siblings or family and getting a harsh punishment is typical. I get its wrong to steal even though it’s to help out your family. However, getting 20 years or more for that, it’s cruel and unusual punishment especially for a kid who will get robbed of his child hood and his adult life. Perhaps community service in order to pay the stolen goods would be more beneficial to society and himself. Even though to the rest of society it seems morally wrong, to that young boy, it’s morally right.

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