Trial Judges and the Police: Their Relationships in the Administration of Criminal Justice

13 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2014 Last revised: 30 Jan 2015

See all articles by Herman Goldstein

Herman Goldstein

University of Wisconsin Law School


Concern for protecting the neutrality of the judiciary has created a major vacuum between the police and the trial courts which, in turn, has precluded the police and the courts from establishing the kind of working relationships that are essential if some of the basic needs of the criminal justice system are to be met effectively.

Among the more obvious functions requiring coordination are the scheduling of court business, the release of arrested persons pending their appearance in court, and the issuance of arrest and search warrants. Less apparent, but much more complex, are the need to make meaningful the trial judge's function of reviewing and controlling police practices under the "exclusionary rule" and the need to review periodically the informal practices that arise in the criminal process.

To safeguard judicial neutrality, some have proposed that contact between the police and the courts be made by an intermediary - the prosecutor - and that at least part of the need for contact can be met by the judiciary through the promulgation of rules governing those police actions subsequently subject to judicial review. The obvious shortcomings inherent in these proposals lend support to the alternative suggestion that police departments be recognized as agencies having a major responsibility in the administration of criminal justice and that police administrators and trial judges enter into a dialogue based upon mutual respect. This would afford potential for resolving some of the major problems in the operation of our criminal-justice system.

Keywords: Police, Law enforcement, policing, trial judges, community, criminal justice, administration, justice system, judiciary

Suggested Citation

Goldstein, Herman, Trial Judges and the Police: Their Relationships in the Administration of Criminal Justice. 14 Crime & Delinquency 14 (1968), Univ. of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1342, Available at SSRN:

Herman Goldstein (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin Law School ( email )

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