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How to Succeed in Criminal Justice Without Really Trying

Roger Koppl

Whitman School of Management

Meghan Sacks

Fairleigh Dickinson University

November 8, 2011

We examined the incentive structure of the various actors of the criminal justice system within an organization economics framework. Specifically, we examined the incentives of the police, forensic scientists, prosecutors and public defenders. We found that police, prosecutors and forensic scientists often have an incentive to garner convictions with little incentive to convict the right person, whereas public defenders lack incentives to provide a vigorous defense for their clients. Further, we analyzed the role this skewed incentive structure plays in leading to false convictions.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 56

Keywords: multitask problem, criminal justice, forensic science, false convictions

JEL Classification: K14, L32, D2, D73

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Date posted: November 8, 2011 ; Last revised: November 9, 2011

Suggested Citation

Koppl, Roger and Sacks, Meghan, How to Succeed in Criminal Justice Without Really Trying (November 8, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1956568 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1956568

Contact Information

Roger Koppl (Contact Author)
Whitman School of Management ( email )
United States
(315) 443-4543 (Phone)
(315) 442-1449 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://whitman.syr.edu/faculty-and-research/faculty/showInfo.aspx?id=468
Meghan Sacks
Fairleigh Dickinson University ( email )
285 Madison Avenue
Madison, NJ 07940
United States
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