Transforming Police Organizations from within

Posted: 16 Jul 2008

See all articles by Monique Marks

Monique Marks

University of KwaZulu-Natal - Department of Sociology

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2000


This paper explores the slow pace of change within police organizations. It examines some possible reasons for this slowness, and suggests that new policies and legislation do not automatically bring about desired transformation within the police. The paper argues that effective police transformation may require a more radical challenge of established police culture. Such a challenge, it is argued, may be generated by'dissident' police groupings which defy existing police practice and frameworks. The paper explores two such groupings that emerged within the South African Police Service in the eighties and nineties. One of these organizations takes the form of a trade union, and organizes rank and file members. The other takes the form of a black management network, and is concerned with organizing black police in a management function. The paper explores the reasons for their genesis, the challenges they have posed, and makes some comments on the impact they have had on the police management and dominant police culture. The paper concludes by comparing these two South African dissident police groupings with similar groupings in the United States and Britain.

Suggested Citation

Marks, Monique, Transforming Police Organizations from within ( 2000). British Journal of Criminology, Vol. 40, Issue 4, pp. 557-573, 2000, Available at SSRN:

Monique Marks (Contact Author)

University of KwaZulu-Natal - Department of Sociology ( email )

South Africa

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