February 4, 2005
New Article Spotlight: Conceptualizing the Private Police
CrimProf Elizabeth E. Joh of UC-Davis has posted Conceptualizing the Private Police on SSRN. The article is forthcoming in the Utah Law Review. Here's the abstract:
The war on terrorism has brought new
urgency to a subject that remains poorly understood: the private
police. The debate surrounding the creation of the Transportation
Security Administration and the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal share
a common question: what is the proper relationship between the state
and policing? This Article lays out the conceptual framework needed to
develop a response. There is much confusion about the private police -
much of which can be attributed to their inadequate conceptualization.
Is private policing a continuation of longstanding historical practice?
Is it related to the privatization of other government services? What
analytic approach is most suitable? The little scholarship on private
policing that exists offers interpretive approaches that are sometimes
inconsistent, or only partially congruent. Likewise, legal scholarship
has often assumed without discussion who the private police are before
proceeding to traditional doctrinal analysis. Even worse, when courts
talk about private policing, they make unstated assumptions about their
topic that are sometimes erroneous. Yet these disagreements and
misunderstandings remain unexamined. Private police now employ more
people and spend more dollars than our public police agencies do. What
is more, private police are increasingly referred to as front-line
soldiers in the war against terrorism. Yet when courts, commentators,
and lawmakers discuss the private police, they demonstrate only a
shallow or incomplete understanding of the nature and extent of the
work private police perform. To that end, in this Article I offer a
socio-legal approach to the problem: how should we think about private
policing? First, I examine and critique the dominant interpretive
perspectives on private policing. Second, based upon a pluralistic
understanding, I offer a typology of private policing that will help
guide the analysis of commentators, courts, and lawmakers. I then
suggest some ways in which the perspective that I have outlined can
enrich or, in some cases, correct some views of private policing.
To obtain the paper, click here. [Mark Godsey]
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An excellent piece.
The proposed definition and the analysis leading up to it is at once sophisticated and provocative.
Well worth the time.
Posted by: Geoff Purley | Feb 4, 2005 4:23:33 PM