Levine Presents Article at Touro and Northern Kentucky Law Schools

Professor Kate Levine presented her article, Discipline and Policing, to the faculties of Touro Law Center (on February 14) and Northern Kentucky, Salmon P. Chase College of Law (on March 1).  levineShe will also present Discipline and Policing at the Internet Law Works in Progress conference at New York Law School on March 24.

Here is the abstract for the article:

This paper examines police disciplinary records (PDRs). These records are part of an officer’s personnel file and contain reported wrongdoing from sources such as supervisors, Internal Affairs Bureau investigations, and Community Complaint Review Boards. Kate’s article argues that a current movement, led mostly by civil rights groups, to make PDRs public is problematic on a number of levels. The paper first shows how prevalent the notion of transparency has become in police reform scholarship and policymaking. It questions the efficacy and long-term benefits of the “transparency cure” for policing problems generally, and then does so specifically for PDRs. Advocates of PDR transparency hope that making records public will ramp up discipline of bad officers, reform police departments, and make communities safer. The paper argues that these hopes are in vain, and that, in fact, there is a real concern that police departments will retrench if forced to make discipline more public. The paper then shows how similar arguments in favor of making PDR’s public are to arguments deployed successfully by those who wished to make criminal records public — a reality that has been lamented and critiqued by scholars for decades. Finally, the paper shows that many of the problems inherent in making criminal record public: inaccuracy, arbitrariness, overdermination, and racial injustice, are just as problematic for PDRs, which emerge from a system comparable in its confusion and byzantine nature to the criminal justice system. Thus, the arguments scholars have made for decades about criminal record publication should be considered when it comes to PDR publication. And, the language which police groups use to defend their rights can and should be leveraged to argue for a tamping down of harshness toward criminal defendants. This paper builds on a series of articles arguing that the trend toward harshness for police who are accused of wrongdoing legitimates the harshness with which criminal defendants are treated.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: