Putin Again Denies Cyberspying Despite New Details of 2016 Hack of Dems

As Presidents Trump and Putin met Monday in Helsinki, Finland, Trump said the Russian leader’s denial of interference in the 2016 election was “extremely strong and powerful.” Former CIA Director John Brennan tweeted that Trump’s “press conference performance” was “nothing short of treasonous.”

President Vladimir Putin’s denial of interference in the 2016 elections was called “extremely strong and powerful” by President Trump as the two held a press conference Monday following their meeting in Helsinki. Former CIA Director John Brennan called Trump’s position “nothing short of treasonous,” CNN reported. The meeting between the two presidents was overshadowed by the federal indictment Friday of 12 front-line Russian intelligence agents who U.S. officials believe hacked the 2016 presidential election. Friday’s indictment also shows how they did a lot more than steal and disseminate embarrassing emails from Democratic party officials, Politico reports. U.S. intelligence officials say the agents, posing as a Romanian hacker known as Guccifer 2.0, were asked by Wikipedia to send anything ‘hillary-related,” according to The New York Times. 

The indictment provides never-before-seen detail of how the Russian cyberspies operated, based on intercepts that had to have come from American, British or Dutch intelligence, interviews in recent months show. All three eventually got into the Russian networks, but it was the British who had first warned the National Security Agency that they were seeing the D.N.C.’s messages running through communications lines controlled by the Russian military intelligence service, called the G.R.U. The operatives from two units in Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency meddled in the election through an elaborate series of coordinated high-tech influence operations, and by using a global network of anonymous servers, bitcoin purchasers and other unwitting cutouts to cover the digital tracks. That kind of extraordinary capability allowed the Russians “to virtually look over the shoulders of Democratic campaign staffers in real time throughout most of the 2016 campaign,” said Ed McAndrew, a former federal cybercrime prosecutor.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Fed Drug Penalty Enhancements Show Racial Disparities: Report

The US Sentencing Commission found that black offenders constituted the majority (51.2 percent) of federal offenders who received a seldom-used penalty enhancement for drug offenses, followed by white offenders (24.3 percent), and Hispanic offenders (22.5 percent).

While penalty enhancements for federal drug offenders are rarely used, they disproportionately impact black offenders,said a report released Thursday by the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC).

The report, the fourth in a series on mandatory minimum penalties, examines the use of 21 U.S.C. § 851, a penalty enhancement for drug offenders with a prior felony drug conviction. To trigger an “851 enhancement,” a prosecutor must file an information citing which prior convictions support the enhanced penalties.

Subjecting an offender to an 851 enhancement significantly affects his or her sentence length, the USSC analysis found. Offenders’ sentences increased by over five years on average when the government filed an 851 information. Offenders who remained subject to the increased minimum at sentencing received an average sentence of nearly a decade longer than the average sentence for offenders who received relief from the filed 851 information.

Relatively few drug offenders actually saw their sentences increase, however – only 3.9 percent of eligible offenders. This is due in large part to a low filing rate. In 2016, the government filed an 851 information against only 12.3 percent of offenders eligible for an increased penalty under the statute – 757 individuals – and withdrew the information in 22.5 percent of those filings.

The application of 851 enhancements showed great geographic variation. For example, prosecutors in five judicial districts sought 851 enhancements against over half of eligible drug trafficking offenders, while the government in 19 districts did not seek a single 851 enhancements against any eligible offenders.

In cases where 851 enhancements are used, the USSC found, mthere was a ore significant impact on black offenders than on other racial groups.

Blacks were more likely to have the requisite prior convictions to qualify for the enhancement: they comprised 42.2 percent of eligible offenders. Even after accounting for eligibility, however, black offenders made up an increasingly large proportion of offenders as they progressed through each stage of the 851 process.

Black offenders constituted the majority (51.2 percent) of offenders against whom the government filed an information seeking an 851 enhancement, followed by white offenders (24.3 percent), and Hispanic offenders (22.5 percent).

The prevalence of black offenders was even more pronounced for offenders who remained subject to an enhanced mandatory minimum penalty at sentencing, with black offenders representing 57.9 percent of such offenders.

In its 2011 Mandatory Minimum Report, the USSC recommended that Congress more finely tailor the scope and severity of recidivist enhancements for drug offenses to reduce inconsistency. This report calls into question whether that recommendation has truly been put into action.

This summary was prepared by TCR News intern Elena Schwartz. She welcomes readers’ comments.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Trade Fraud: The ‘Wild New Frontier of White Collar Crime’

Federal prosecutions of importers for fraud increased by 900 percent between 2000 and 2016, according to a study in the Oregon Review of International Law. But the government has barely scratched the surface of criminal activity that has cost millions of dollars in lost revenue and endangered the health of Americans, say the authors.

Federal prosecutions of shady importers have increased 900 percent over the past 16 years, but officials can barely cope with a swelling volume of trade fraud that costs the government millions of dollars in lost revenue and endangers consumer safety, according to a study in the Oregon Review of International Law.

“Countries’ borders are too vast, the volume of imports too great, global customs inspections too porous, and law enforcement resources too few for effective monitoring or deterrence,” the study said.

After compiling a database of trade fraud cases between 2000 and 2016, the authors examined 47 criminal and civil cases involving hundreds of defendants, ranging from “mom and pop” businesses to large conglomerates who had been prosecuted by the Department of Justice.

They concluded that the only way to tame what they described as the “wild, new frontier of white-collar crime” was to develop interagency teams that focused on bringing cases under the False Claims Act, a law enacted enacted in 1863 at the height of the Civil War to combat suppliers of fraudulent goods to the Union Army—and amended several times since.

“For many crimes, criminal prosecution is the only way to protect the public from perpetrators,” said wrote the authors. “However, for white-collar frauds against the government, this is not true.

“The FCA’s stiff penalties, treble damages and heightened mens rea requirement carry a big bang for the buck and can deter future wrongdoing effectively.”

Taking note of the fierce contemporary debate between free trade advocates and protectionists, the authors said both sides should be able to agree that import fraud must be “aggressively pursued.”

“No one has the right to lie about what they are bringing into a country,” they wrote.

According to the study authors, Pamela Bucy Pierson of the University of Alabama School of Law and a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, and Benjamin Patterson Buey, an attorney with Frohsin, Barger & Walthall, a white-collar law firm, the primary motivation for unscrupulous importers was avoiding taxes. But in the process, they facilitated the purchase of goods that endangered the health of whoever bought them.

One example in the cases they examined was an importer who claimed to sell flounder and grouper that that was in fact “Vietnamese catfish laced with prohibited antibiotics.”

While the study conceded that it was impossible to completely isolate and block the flow of adulterated drugs, food or fake goods in an economy that imports some $2.71 trillion worth of products annually , they called on the Department of Justice to adopt a more pro-active strategy to “enhance” the effectiveness of FCA prosecutions.

Their recommendations included:

  1. Team up with other federal agencies responsible for border security and trade, such as Customs and Border Protection, Homeland Security, and the Commerce Department, to create an inter-agency task force devoted to fighting trade fraud;
  2. Hire and train dedicated U.S. Attorneys to specialize in investigating trade fraud;
  3. Enhance the transparency of international shipping records by developing a centralized repository to facilitate the investigation of fraud allegations by informers;
  4. Make information about trade fraud cases more readily available to the public and investigators by creating central databases similar to those created for Medicare fraud.

Noting that increased inspections alone wouldn’t address the scope of the problem, the authors said curbing dishonest trade required the use of sophisticated techniques such as “forensic accounting to trace monetary transactions, grants of immunity to obtain testimony, analysis of paper trails, piercing of fictitious organizations, and dissecting layers of fraudulent transactions.”

The study said fraudulent imports can cost American jobs, citing the example of a family-run lighting business forced to cut its staff after a competitor bought cheap lighting in China, falsified the country of origin, and avoided paying import duties—enabling him to undercut prices.

The impact of the FCA on healthcare is illustrative. Until the FCA was amended in 1987 to stiffen penalties and widen its scope, few cases of health care fraud were successfully prosecuted. But by 2016, there were 501 such cases, and nearly $2.5 billion realized in recoveries, the authors said.

“The FCA’s effectiveness is due, in large part, to the public-private partnership it creates between individuals, qui tam relators, (insider informants who reveal fraudulent practices) and the U.S. Department of Justice,” the study said.

Such insiders are crucial to unearthing some of the world’s most complex transactions.

“While all white-collar crime is difficult to detect, trade fraud is harder,” the authors said. “(It) is hidden in layers of organizations, concealed in byzantine electronic communications, and obscured by money laundering.”

A full copy of the study can be downloaded here.

TCR News Intern John Ramsey assisted in the preparation of this summary. Readers’ comments are welcome.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Police Foundation Launches Center for Mass Violence Research Studies

The center, piloted by one of the nation’s leading police think tanks, will explore how police and other first responders can improve their ability to handle mass violence incidents like terror attacks and school shootings.

One of the country’s leading police research organizations is launching a Center for Mass Violence Research Studies to explore how police and other first responders can improve their ability to handle mass violence incidents like terror attacks and school shootings.

The Police Foundation described the center’s mission as an effort to help public safety authorities and community leaders “think critically about mass violence events, so as to develop and implement comprehensive prevention, response and recovery strategies.”

“Public safety officials, policy and decision makers, and community leaders learn from research, data and comprehensive case studies to identify what’s working, and what areas can be improved to enhance public safety’s response to mass violence events,” said Foundation President Jim Bueermann, a former chief of police in Redlands, Ca., in a press statement.

“As threats constantly evolve, it is critical that we continuously evaluate protocols to ensure our communities remain as safe as possible.”

The Foundation said it was spurred to action by recent acts of violence across the U.S., ranging from the terror attack in San Bernadino, Ca. in 2015, at the 2016 massacre at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando, Fl., and the shootings earlier this year at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fl.

Noting that such incidents remained “relatively infrequent,” the Foundation said the chaos and devastation suffered by communities and survivors in their wake, represented a new strategic challenge to emergency response protocols.

The Police Foundation, established in 1970 as a non-partisan think tank with a grant from the Ford Foundation, has sponsored research that has led to significant changes in policing in areas ranging from police ethics and use of force to immigration enforcement and gun policy.

Its senior staff and research fellows includes former police chiefs and senior police managers.

In 2015, with funding from the National Institute of Justice and the Office of Community Oriented Policing, it created the Averted School Violence database, and is currently expanding it to include a state by state review of school and building safety security standards.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Defense Lawyers Decry Disappearance of Jury Trials

Jury trials in criminal cases around the U.S. have declined at an ever-increasing rate to the point that they occur in fewer than three percent of state and federal criminal cases, says the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) in a new report titled the “The Trial Penalty.” 

Jury trials in criminal cases around the US have declined at an ever-increasing rate to the point that they occur in fewer than three percent of state and federal criminal cases, says the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) in a new report titled the “The Trial Penalty.” The group says that jury trials have been replaced by guilty pleas in virtually all cases for the “simple reason [that] individuals who choose to exercise their Sixth Amendment right to trial face exponentially higher sentences if they invoke the right to trial and lose.”

The defense lawyers say that defendants faced with this choice “almost uniformly surrender the right to trial rather than insist on proof beyond a reasonable doubt,” meaning that defense lawyers spend most of their time negotiating guilty pleas rather than ensuring that police and prosecutors “respect the boundaries of the law.”

Judges now spend most of their time in criminal cases hearing plea bargains “rather than evaluating the constitutional and legal aspects of the government’s case and police conduct,” NACDL says.

In federal cases, the defense lawyers maintain, “there is ample evidence” that defendants “are being coerced to plead guilty because the penalty for exercising their constitutional rights is simply too high to risk.” The pressure to plead guilty often is “accompanied by a requirement that accused persons waive many valuable rights, including the right to challenge unlawfully procured evidence and the right to appeal issues which have an impact not only in their cases but also for society at large,” NACDL says.

In a foreword to the report, former U.S. District Judge John Gleeson says that mandatory minimum sentencing laws have played an important role in reducing the trial rate in federal criminal cases from more than 20 percent thirty years ago to 3 percent today.

Neither government officials or the public have resisted the rise of plea bargaining, say the defense lawyers, who agree that “plea bargaining presents a seemingly reasonable alternative that promotes efficiency while providing defendants an opportunity for leniency and putting them on an early road to rehabilitation.”

A major problem is that pressures to plead guilty are “so strong [that] even innocent people can be convinced to plead guilty to crimes they did not commit,” says the NACDL report.

The defense lawyers maintain that the predominance of plea bargaining “is an unacceptable development.” The group says that, “The virtual elimination of the option of taking a case to trial has so thoroughly tipped the scales of justice against the accused that the danger of government overreach is ever-present.”

“For the defense attorney there is no more heartwrenching task [than] explaining to a client who very likely may be innocent that they must seriously consider pleading guilty or risk the utter devastation of the remainder of their life with incalculable impacts on family.”

NACDL offers a long list of recommendations, including eliminating mandatory minimum sentences, required plea-bargaining conferences “in every criminal case supervised by a judicial officer who is not presiding over the case unless the defendant, fully informed, waives the opportunity,” and “judicial ‘Second Looks’ in which courts would review lengthy sentences “to ensure that sentences are proportionate over time.”

from https://thecrimereport.org

Ex-Inmate Jobless Rate Five Times Higher than Population

Ex-inmates’ unemployment is substantially higher than the joblessness during the worst years of the Great Depression, says the Prison Policy Institute.

The unemployment rate for former prisoners is nearly five times higher than the unemployment rate for the general U.S. population, and substantially higher than even the worst years of the Great Depression, says a new report from the Prison Policy Institute. This indicates “extensive economic exclusion” for ex-inmates, the institute says. Formerly incarcerated people want to work. Their high unemployment rate reflects public will, policy, and practice, the institute says. The inequalities persist even when controlling for age. Among working-age individuals (25-44 in this dataset), the unemployment rate for formerly incarcerated people was 27.3 percent, compared with just 5.2% unemployment for their general public peers.

That such a large percentage of prime working-age people are without jobs but wish to work suggests that structural factors like discrimination play an important role, the institute says. Research suggests that employers discriminate against those with criminal records even if they claim not to. Although employers express willingness to hire people with criminal records, evidence shows that having a record reduces employer callback rates by 50 percent. The institute says that formerly incarcerated people are more likely to be active in the labor market than the general public. Among 25-44 year old former prisoners, 93.3 percent are either employed or actively looking for work, compared to 83.8 percent among their general population peers.

Formerly incarcerated black women in particular experience severe levels of unemployment, whereas white men experience the lowest. Overall, “prison penalties” increase unemployment rates anywhere from 14 percentage points (for white men) to 37 percentage points (for black women) when compared to their general population peers.

No Constitutional Right to Cash Bail, Federal Court Rules

A federal appeals court upheld New Jersey’s 2017 bail reform that generally bases release decisions on a risk assessment that considers a defendant’s criminal history and the seriousness of the charges.

Want to pay your way out of jail? You might be out of luck, a federal appeals court ruled Monday, in a decision that was met with cheers from the American Civil Liberties Union and other justice advocacy groups.

The class-action lawsuit before the Philadelphia-based 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals challenged the 2017 New Jersey law prioritizing non-monetary conditions of release over cash bail, where decisions on release are determined by a risk assessment that considers a defendant’s criminal history and the seriousness of the charges.

One defendant, released on home detention with an ankle monitor, argued the law violated several of his constitutional rights, reports the American Bar Association Journal. According to Britton Holland, who was arrested on charges of aggravated assault, the conditions set for his release constituted “excessive bail,” an unreasonable search, and violated his right to due process.

Holland was joined by a second plaintiff, Lexington National Insurance Corporation, a company that does business with the bail bond industry.

After first stating that Lexington National had no standing to challenge the law, the 3rd Circuit rejected all three of Holland’s arguments.

According to ABA reporter Debra Weiss, the court reasoned that at the time these constitutional rights were minted, bail relied on “personal sureties” who would guarantee a defendant’s appearance in court, a system that gradually deteriorated with the adoption of cash bail.

The court found that the original 8th Amendment right to bail therefore does not “include a right to make a cash deposit or to obtain a corporate surety bond to secure pretrial release.”

The court also rejected Holland’s due process argument, as well as his claims of a 4th Amendment violation created by his ankle bracelet, which he argued was more intrusive than cash bail.

In a press release yesterday, ALCU-NJ senior supervising attorney Alexander Shalom said, “This important decision confirms what bipartisan lawmakers in New Jersey have known for years: there is no reason — legal or otherwise — why the thickness of anyone’s wallet should dictate their liberty and freedom.”

The ACLU of New Jersey was joined by the National ACLU, the Drug Policy Alliance, Latino Action Network and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) New Jersey State Conference in submitting a friend-of-the-court brief to the court.

The full decision can be read here.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Fewer Hispanics Apply for Federal Aid Because of Deportation Fears: Study

Growing numbers of Hispanics are reluctant to apply for federal food aid or to participate in the Affordable Care Act, out of fear that they or family members might be deported under Washington’s immigration crackdown, according to a study prepared for the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Growing numbers of Hispanics are reluctant to apply for federal food aid or to participate in the Affordable Care Act, out of fear that they or family members might be deported under Washington’s immigration crackdown, according to a study prepared for the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The study, entitled Fear and the Safety Net: Evidence From Secure Communities, examined the impact of the Secure Communities(SC), immigration enforcement program administered by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE), on safety-net participation among Hispanic Americans in 2017.

Data on take-ups of public assistance programs came from Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), public-use administrative data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and the American Community Survey (ACS).

Results from the ACS found a 10 percent decrease in the take-up rate of food stamps by Hispanic-headed households after SC activation.

In terms of health insurance, the authors estimate sign-up rates for the Affordable Care Act among eligible Hispanics would have been 22 percent higher in areas without SC, and estimated a two percent reduction in sign-ups for every 10 percent increase in the number of detaineees.

The study quotes an interview with one Hispanic resident, reported by PBS News Hour, that it said reflected a common sentiment: “You don’t want to be the family member that, because you signed up for coverage, you’re getting your grandmother, your uncle or your parent deported,”

The study describes SC as a program that “empowers ICE to check the immigration status of anyone arrested by local law enforcement agencies through fingerprint analysis and substantially increases the likelihood that a non-citizen immigrant will be deported, conditional on being arrested…

“SC has led to over 43 million fingerprint submissions, 2.2 million fingerprint matches, and over 380,000 individuals,” during its initial period of implementation ending in 2014, the study said.

The study was written by Crystal Yang, an Assistant Professor at Harvard Law School, and Marcella Alsan, an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Stanford.

The authors observe that other factors, such as a lack of information about the programs, do not explain the slowdown in safety-net enrollment.

“Hispanic individuals in households who previously used food stamps also substantially reduced their use following SC activation,” they wrote.

Another factor the researchers looked at was the effect of so-called “sanctuary cities” on Hispanic households and individuals. They found that SC had no detectable effects in cities where immigration detainers are not as strictly enforced, and even found a positive effect on Hispanics residing in sanctuary cities.

The authors also analyzed Google trends for indications of deportation fears among Hispanics living in SC areas. They found that, following SC activation, “Google searches for deportation-related terms across media markets increased sharply, consistent with at least an awareness of the program, if not fear of its potential consequences.”

The study also notes that the effects of deportation fears may not be limited to Hispanic households and communities, with programs like the ACA.

Citing a previous study that shows Hispanics have been shown to have better health outcomes than similarly situated low-income blacks or whites, a decrease in enrollment in the ACA among Hispanics could raise premiums for other demographics.

The authors conclude by positing the potential harm that could come to low-income Hispanics in the US from decreased public assistance program usage due to fear of deportation.

“Reductions in food stamp usage among Hispanics in response to immigration enforcement could have long-run consequences for health and economic security.”

The study ends by noting that while the health effects of insurance are debated, evidence shows that “there is evidence that it provides protection from medical debt and related financial crises.”

This summary was prepared by TCR news intern Dane Stallone. Readers’ comments are welcome.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Fewer Hispanics Apply for Federal Aid Because of Deportation Fears: Study

Growing numbers of Hispanics are reluctant to apply for federal food aid or to participate in the Affordable Care Act, out of fear that they or family members might be deported under Washington’s immigration crackdown, according to a study prepared for the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Growing numbers of Hispanics are reluctant to apply for federal food aid or to participate in the Affordable Care Act, out of fear that they or family members might be deported under Washington’s immigration crackdown, according to a study prepared for the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The study, entitled Fear and the Safety Net: Evidence From Secure Communities, examined the impact of the Secure Communities(SC), immigration enforcement program administered by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE), on safety-net participation among Hispanic Americans in 2017.

Data on take-ups of public assistance programs came from Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), public-use administrative data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and the American Community Survey (ACS).

Results from the ACS found a 10 percent decrease in the take-up rate of food stamps by Hispanic-headed households after SC activation.

In terms of health insurance, the authors estimate sign-up rates for the Affordable Care Act among eligible Hispanics would have been 22 percent higher in areas without SC, and estimated a two percent reduction in sign-ups for every 10 percent increase in the number of detaineees.

The study quotes an interview with one Hispanic resident, reported by PBS News Hour, that it said reflected a common sentiment: “You don’t want to be the family member that, because you signed up for coverage, you’re getting your grandmother, your uncle or your parent deported,”

The study describes SC as a program that “empowers ICE to check the immigration status of anyone arrested by local law enforcement agencies through fingerprint analysis and substantially increases the likelihood that a non-citizen immigrant will be deported, conditional on being arrested…

“SC has led to over 43 million fingerprint submissions, 2.2 million fingerprint matches, and over 380,000 individuals,” during its initial period of implementation ending in 2014, the study said.

The study was written by Crystal Yang, an Assistant Professor at Harvard Law School, and Marcella Alsan, an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Stanford.

The authors observe that other factors, such as a lack of information about the programs, do not explain the slowdown in safety-net enrollment.

“Hispanic individuals in households who previously used food stamps also substantially reduced their use following SC activation,” they wrote.

Another factor the researchers looked at was the effect of so-called “sanctuary cities” on Hispanic households and individuals. They found that SC had no detectable effects in cities where immigration detainers are not as strictly enforced, and even found a positive effect on Hispanics residing in sanctuary cities.

The authors also analyzed Google trends for indications of deportation fears among Hispanics living in SC areas. They found that, following SC activation, “Google searches for deportation-related terms across media markets increased sharply, consistent with at least an awareness of the program, if not fear of its potential consequences.”

The study also notes that the effects of deportation fears may not be limited to Hispanic households and communities, with programs like the ACA.

Citing a previous study that shows Hispanics have been shown to have better health outcomes than similarly situated low-income blacks or whites, a decrease in enrollment in the ACA among Hispanics could raise premiums for other demographics.

The authors conclude by positing the potential harm that could come to low-income Hispanics in the US from decreased public assistance program usage due to fear of deportation.

“Reductions in food stamp usage among Hispanics in response to immigration enforcement could have long-run consequences for health and economic security.”

The study ends by noting that while the health effects of insurance are debated, evidence shows that “there is evidence that it provides protection from medical debt and related financial crises.”

This summary was prepared by TCR news intern Dane Stallone. Readers’ comments are welcome.

from https://thecrimereport.org

‘Liberal’ Police Less Effective Under Criticism, Study Finds

A University of Texas psychologist surveyed 164 officers about how they view the criminal justice system and how well the public understands the challenges of their job. She found that conservative officers did not suffer performance issues when they were criticized.

In recent years, thanks in no small part to smartphone videos, police departments in Texas and across the nation have faced demands for accountability in the wake of outrageous abuses of authority and force. How does public criticism affect policing?

A new study by Texas researchers says empathetic officers – police with more liberal approaches to their work – become less effective, reports the Texas Standard.

Shefali Patil, an organizational psychologist at the University of Texas, studies how employees react in their work environment. After a 2017 Pew Research study found that a majority of police officers believe the public doesn’t understand the risks and safety concerns they face, Patil became interested on how police officer job performance is being affected by public criticism.

Patil divides the ways police officers approach crime into liberal and conservative. She says that the liberal approach focuses on rehabilitation and empathy, while the conservative approach focuses on detention. Police officers’ reaction to public criticism depends on their approach to crime, Patil says.

“[Police officers] who are more empathetic expect the public to understand the job. What is happening is they have those expectations and the public is responding with criticism and a lack of public appreciation,” Patil says. “The more conservative, more authoritarian officers don’t expect it. The reason why they have the uniform is because they have duties and responsibilities that other people are not expect to understand.”

Patil surveyed 164 officers about how they view the criminal justice system and how well the public understands the challenges of their job. She had independent experts analyze 794 bodycam videos of the officers carrying out their everyday duties, including jail transports, traffic and DUI stops, transient arrests, car crashes, building searches and house alarm calls.

She found that those who favored a more compassionate approach to justice struggled to be effective when they felt underappreciated. These officers were more likely to score lower on overall performance, competence and use of tactical best practices for officer safety.

Officers who lean conservative — favoring punitive rather than rehabilitative approaches to justice — did not suffer performance issues in the face of the same negative public perceptions. The expert raters found that these officers generally performed as trained.

“Conservative cops believe there should be a divide between themselves and the community,” Patil said, whereas the more empathetic officers may strive for mutual understanding and become frustrated in the effort.

Patil says that police officers experience anxiety and frustration when they feel the public’s narrative of their job is different from their own.

“I think at least from the officer’s perspective, they feel that when an incident happens, the police officer never has a chance. It’s automatically assumed that they did something wrong. Sometimes police officers do do something wrong. They feel that it’s not due process,” Patil says. “I think [officers’] narratives get lost in the debates we are having nationwide.”

Ted Gest is president of Criminal Justice Journalists and Washington bureau chief of The Crime Report. Readers’ comments welcome.

from https://thecrimereport.org