CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Kugler et al. on Law Enforcement Responses to COVID-19

Matthew B. KuglerMariana OliverJon Chu and Nathan Lee (Northwestern University - Pritzker School of LawNorthwestern University, Pritzker School of Law, Stanford University and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)) have posted American Law Enforcement Responses to COVID-19 (Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology Online, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
During the spring and summer of 2020, what role did law enforcement play in promoting COVID-19 restrictions in the United States? Because most law enforcement in the US occurs at the local level, we conducted a survey of local police departments to examine their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our results show that most departments, especially departments in smaller jurisdictions, played a minimal role in enforcing COVID-related restrictions and tended to only encourage compliance. Further, it was extremely rare for a department to use sophisticated surveillance technology to monitor COVID compliance. This lack of monitoring stands in stark contrast to both the regimes employed by several comparable industrialized countries and the broad surveillance powers permissible under the U.S. Constitution.

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