Vol 1 | Issue 2

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The Benefits of Philosophical Analysis for Criminological Research, Pedagogy and Practice

Andrew N. Carpenter and Craig N. Bach

The skills and techniques of philosophical analysis, broadly construed, can enhance the professional practice of criminology. In this essay, we discuss the benefits of the philosophical metascientific work carried out in the philosophy of crime/criminology. We then turn to a discussion of how philosophical analysis of texts from the philosophical canon can help students of criminology to understand more incisively foundational issues of the discipline and key criminological concepts, as well as support theory development. We also explore ways philosophical training and collaboration with professional philosophers can support innovative criminological research. Finally, we advocate intensive engagement with philosophical ethics as a means for helping criminological educators, researchers, and practitioners to secure nuanced assessments of the rich ethical dimensions of criminology.

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Possible Antecedents of Correctional Staff Work on Family Conflict

Eric Lambert and Nancy Hogan

As the empirical literature on correctional staff behaviors and attitudes expands, many salient relationships have been identified between the correctional work environment and different aspects of job satisfaction. One area just beginning to be explored is how the work environment affects family life. In the literature, this is referred to as Work on Family Conflict. The following study examines the impact of several work environment antecedents. Using Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression, perceived job dangerousness, role strain, instrumental communication, integration, input into decision-making, supervisor support, job variety, and organizational fairness were tested determine their influence on the dependent variable of Work on Family Conflict. The results indicate that worker position, supervisory status, perceived dangerousness of the job, organizational fairness, and role ambiguity were linked to Work on Family Conflict.

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Police Knowledge of Older Populations: The Impact of Training, Experience, and Education

Brion Sever and Robert Youdin

Older populations are growing at a rapid pace in America, creating new challenges for service related industries, including law enforcement. Since police officers will undoubtedly have more interaction with older populations over the next 20 years, it is critical that attention is also given to their knowledge of these populations. Most research focusing on this issue examined police chiefs and college students’ opinions about laws and penalties for elder abuse and their perceptions of older populations in general. The present study concentrates on officer knowledge of older populations, and examines 126 police officers of all ranks in New Jersey. We find that formal education of the officers as well as their training both lead to increased knowledge of older populations. Policy implications surrounding this study are also discussed.

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The Los Angeles Police Department’s West Point Leadership Program: Participant Survey

David A. Jenks, J. Scott Carter, Catherine A. Jenks, and Mark Correia

The Los Angeles Police Department’s West Point Leadership Program (WPLP) was established in 1996. It is one of very few programs in the country that is directed at improving leadership among current command staff within police organizations. The purpose of this project is to assess perceptions of past participants as to the overall effectiveness/usefulness of the WPLP training. Generally, the WPLP was found to be very effective at meeting its stated goals and better equipping command staff to deal with leadership issues.

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An Examination of Racial Profiling Data in a Large Metropolitan Area

Courtney T. Joiner

This study was conducted to determine if claims of racial profiling had statistical support in a large metropolitan police department. Of interest was whether support existed for the racial profiling of African American, Latino American, and Asian American citizens. Another more specific point examined was whether disparity in case processing was more pronounced with African American suspects than with other minority groups. The results of this study found some support for profiling with the African American and Asian American community, but not the Latino American community. It was also found that African Americans received more disparate treatment than did Asian Americans or Latino Americans.

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A Collection of Traffic Stop Information and Biased Enforcement: The Research and Legal Perspective

Jill Joline Myers and Michael H. Hazlett

Many Americans, especially Americans of color, view policing as discriminatory, either by policy and definition or by its day to day application. Thus, comparable to statutes in many other states, the State of Illinois enacted, The Illinois Traffic Stop Statistical Study Act which requires that every State and local law enforcement agency record data relative to traffic stops made within their jurisdiction. The Act further charges the Illinois Department of Transportation to provide statistical summaries (benchmarks) so that statistically significant aberrations in the race of those allegedly involved in traffic stops can be compared and analyzed against the total population traveling through an area to determine whether these discriminatory beliefs are factually founded. This paper discusses the research and legal perspectives involved in designing, defining and distinguishing behavior based on these benchmarks.

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About Us

This journal is dedicated to the men and women serving and those who have served in our criminal justice agencies. America is fortunate to have such fine and devoted professionals serving on our behalf. Thank you.

Professional Issues in Criminal Justice (PICJ), which started in 2005, has evolved from a newly established journalin criminal justice to an established peer-reviewed journal in the field.