Accountability and Enhancement: The Dual Objectives of Use-of-Force Review

Rethinking and Reforming American Policing (Joseph A. Schafer & Richard W. Myers, eds., 2022)

32 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2022

See all articles by Seth W. Stoughton

Seth W. Stoughton

University of South Carolina School of Law; University of South Carolina, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Date Written: January 13, 2022

Abstract

The use of force is the among the most controversial and corrosive aspects of policing. Use-of-force investigations are a critical component of building and maintaining public trust and police-community relations. Meaningful review requires agencies to assess use-of-force incidents with two distinct objectives in mind: accountability and enhancement. Accountability is focused on determining, after the fact, whether agency employees did what they were supposed to do in the manner in which they were supposed to do it. Enhancement, in contrast, is about improving the delivery of police services, learning lessons and implementing changes that can potentially reduce the use of force in future incidents.

This chapter explains why use-of-force review is so important, defines the dual objectives of review, and offers a detailed summary of the questions that a thorough review process should strive to answer.

Keywords: police, policing, use of force, use of force review, use of force investigations, internal affairs, police accountability

Suggested Citation

Stoughton, Seth W., Accountability and Enhancement: The Dual Objectives of Use-of-Force Review (January 13, 2022). Rethinking and Reforming American Policing (Joseph A. Schafer & Richard W. Myers, eds., 2022), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4008475

Seth W. Stoughton (Contact Author)

University of South Carolina School of Law ( email )

1525 Senate Street
Columbia, SC 29201
United States
803-777-3055 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sc.edu/study/colleges_schools/law/faculty_and_staff/directory/stoughton_seth.php

University of South Carolina, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice ( email )

1525 Senate Street
Columbia, SC 29201
United States
803-777-3055 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sc.edu/study/colleges_schools/law/faculty_and_staff/directory/stoughton_seth.php

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