How Can We Achieve Accountability in Policing? The (Not-So-Secret) Ingredients to Effective Police Reform

60 Pages Posted: 30 Dec 2020

See all articles by Michael White

Michael White

Arizona State University (ASU)

Henry Fradella

Arizona State University - School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Michaela Flippin

Arizona State University (ASU) - School of Criminology & Criminal Justice

Date Written: October 18, 2020

Abstract

The summer of 2020 has been marked by a series of high-profile police killings of citizens, highlighting excessive force as the most pernicious form of racial injustice in American policing. The persistence of the excessive use of force problem over decades raises serious questions regarding what we know about police accountability, and has led some to argue for defunding or even abolishing the police. However, the roadmap to effective police accountability is tangible and known. In this Article, we delineate eight guiding principles and eight strategies that have emerged as reoccurring themes in the pursuit of police accountability and transparency. The principles and strategies of effective police accountability have proven difficult to implement and maintain, and we discuss the primary barriers to positive change. Despite these obstacles, we conclude with a sense of optimism about the potential for real police reform in the immediate to near future.

Keywords: police accountability, police reform

Suggested Citation

White, Michael and Fradella, Henry and Flippin, Michaela, How Can We Achieve Accountability in Policing? The (Not-So-Secret) Ingredients to Effective Police Reform (October 18, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3720162 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3720162

Michael White

Arizona State University (ASU) ( email )

Farmer Building 440G PO Box 872011
Tempe, AZ 85287
United States

Henry Fradella (Contact Author)

Arizona State University - School of Criminology and Criminal Justice ( email )

411 North Central Avenue, Suite 600
Phoenix, AZ 85004-0685
United States

Michaela Flippin

Arizona State University (ASU) - School of Criminology & Criminal Justice ( email )

411 N. Central Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85004
United States

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