Applying Sentinel Event Reviews to Policing

37 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2019 Last revised: 30 Sep 2019

See all articles by John Hollway

John Hollway

University of Pennsylvania Law School - Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice

Ben Grunwald

Duke University School of Law

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

A sentinel event review (SER) is a system-based, multistakeholder review of an organizational error. The goal of an SER is to prevent similar errors from recurring in the future rather than identifying and punishing the responsible parties. In this article, we provide a detailed description of one of the first SERs conducted in an American police department—the review of the Lex Street Massacre investigation and prosecution, which resulted in the wrongful incarceration of four innocent men for 18 months. The results of the review suggest that SERs may help identify new systemic reforms for participating police departments and other criminal justice agencies.

Keywords: criminal justice policy, systems approach, law enforcement, policing, procedural justice, quality improvement, root cause analysis, sentinel event review, organizational management

Suggested Citation

Hollway, John and Grunwald, Ben, Applying Sentinel Event Reviews to Policing (2019). Criminology & Public Policy, vol. 18, p. 705, 2019; U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 19-34; Duke Law School Public Law & Legal Theory Series No. 2019-63. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3449312

John Hollway (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania Law School - Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice ( email )

3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Ben Grunwald

Duke University School of Law ( email )

210 Science Dr.
Durham, NC 27708
United States

HOME PAGE: http://bengrunwald.com

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