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The role of police psychology in controlling excessive force

Author: Ellen M Scrivner; National Institute of Justice (U.S.)
Publisher: Washington, D.C. : U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice, [1994]
Series: NIJ research report.
Edition/Format:   Print book : National government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
This report discusses the role of police psychologists in preventing and identifying individual police officers at risk for using excessive, nonlethal force and examines factors associated with police use of excessive force in performing their duties. A sample of 65 police psychologists were asked what professional services they provided to police departments and how these services were used to control the use of  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Scrivner, Ellen M.
Role of police psychology in controlling excessive force.
Washington, D.C. : U.S. Dept. of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice, [1994]
(OCoLC)762931592
Material Type: Government publication, National government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Ellen M Scrivner; National Institute of Justice (U.S.)
ISBN: 0788114344 9780788114342
OCLC Number: 30466987
Notes: "A report presented to the National Institute of Justice."
Shipping list no.: 94-0151-P.
"April 1994."
"Award number 92-IJ-CX-0002"--Title page verso.
Description: v, 30 pages ; 28 cm.
Contents: Summary --
Part 1. Introduction --
Part 2. History of psychological services to police --
Part 3. Research methodology --
Part 4. Analysis of major findings --
Part 5. Discussion of findings --
Appendix. Literature review and implications for excessive force --
References.
Series Title: NIJ research report.
Responsibility: Ellen M. Scriver.

Abstract:

This report discusses the role of police psychologists in preventing and identifying individual police officers at risk for using excessive, nonlethal force and examines factors associated with police use of excessive force in performing their duties. A sample of 65 police psychologists were asked what professional services they provided to police departments and how these services were used to control the use of force. They were also asked to characterize police officers who abuse force and to suggest intervention strategies based on police psychology that could help police managers reduce the incidence of excessive force. Survey results indicated that psychologists were more involved with counseling and evaluating police functions than with training and monitoring police officer behavior. Counseling was more likely to occur in response to excessive force incidents than as a means of prevention. Five different profiles of police officers with excessive force problems emerged: (1) officers with personality disorders, such as lack of empathy for others and antisocial, narcissistic, and abusive tendencies; (2) officers with previous job-related experiences, such as involvement in justifiable police shootings; (3) officers who experienced early career problems related to their impressionability, impulsiveness, low tolerance for frustration, and general need for strong supervision; (4) officers who have a dominant parole style that is particularly sensitive to challenge and provocation; and (5) officers who have personal problems, such as separation, divorce, or perceived loss of status, that cause anxiety and destabilized job functioning. Police psychologists used psychological tests and clinical interviews to evaluate police candidates, to the near exclusion of other screening methods. Lack of coordination of core psychologist functions was seen as a major impediment to the delivery of effective and credible psychological services by police departments. Psychologists favored increased monitoring and training to reduce the use of excessive force.

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