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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Proactive Policing: Effects on Crime and Communities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24928.
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Proactive
Policing

Effects on Crime and Communities

Committee on Proactive Policing:
Effects on Crime, Communities, and Civil Liberties

David Weisburd and Malay K. Majmundar, Editors

Committee on Law and Justice

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

A Consensus Study Report of

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, DC
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Proactive Policing: Effects on Crime and Communities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24928.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001

This activity was supported by a Grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation and Grant No. 2016-IJ-CX-0001 with the National Institute of Justice of the U.S. Department of Justice, and with additional support from the National Academy of Sciences Presidents’ Fund. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-46713-1
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-46713-6
Library of Congress Control Number: 2017961947
Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/24928

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Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2018). Proactive Policing: Effects on Crime and Communities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: https://doi.org/10.17226/24928.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Proactive Policing: Effects on Crime and Communities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24928.
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The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president.

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The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president.

The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine.

Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.nationalacademies.org.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Proactive Policing: Effects on Crime and Communities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24928.
×

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Consensus Study Reports published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine document the evidence-based consensus on the study’s statement of task by an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and the committee’s deliberations. Each report has been subjected to a rigorous and independent peer-review process and it represents the position of the National Academies on the statement of task.

Proceedings published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine chronicle the presentations and discussions at a workshop, symposium, or other event convened by the National Academies. The statements and opinions contained in proceedings are those of the participants and are not endorsed by other participants, the planning committee, or the National Academies.

For information about other products and activities of the National Academies, please visit www.nationalacademies.org/about/whatwedo.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Proactive Policing: Effects on Crime and Communities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24928.
×

COMMITTEE ON PROACTIVE POLICING: EFFECTS ON CRIME, COMMUNITIES, AND CIVIL LIBERTIES

David Weisburd (Chair), Department of Criminology, Law and Society, George Mason University; Institute of Criminology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Hassan Aden, The Aden Group, Alexandria, VA

Anthony A. Braga, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Northeastern University

Jim Bueermann, Police Foundation, Washington, DC

Philip J. Cook, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University

Phillip Atiba Goff, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York; Center for Policing Equity, New York, NY

Rachel A. Harmon, School of Law, University of Virginia

Amelia Haviland, Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University

Cynthia Lum, Department of Criminology, Law and Society, George Mason University

Charles Manski, Department of Economics, Northwestern University

Stephen Mastrofski, Department of Criminology, Law and Society, George Mason University

Tracey Meares, School of Law, Yale University

Daniel Nagin, Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University

Emily Owens, School of Social Ecology, University of California, Irvine

Steven Raphael, Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley

Jerry Ratcliffe, Department of Criminal Justice, Temple University

Tom Tyler, School of Law, Yale University

Malay K. Majmundar, Study Director

Emily Backes, Program Officer

Leticia Garcilazo Green, Senior Program Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Proactive Policing: Effects on Crime and Communities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24928.
×

COMMITTEE ON LAW AND JUSTICE

Jeremy Travis (Chair), Criminal Justice Department, Laura and John Arnold Foundation

Ruth D. Peterson (Vice-Chair), Criminal Justice Research Center, Ohio State University

Kimberlé W. Crenshaw, UCLA School of Law, University of California, Los Angeles

John J. Donohue III, Stanford Law School, Stanford University

Mark S. Johnson, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Howard University

Mark A.R. Kleiman, Marron Institute of Urban Management, Crime and Justice Program, New York University

James P. Lynch, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Maryland

Daniel S. Nagin, Department of Public Policy and Statistics, Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University

Anne Morrison Piehl, Department of Economics and Program in Criminal Justice, Rutgers University

Steven Raphael, Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley

Laurie O. Robinson, Department of Criminology, Law and Society, George Mason University

Cynthia Rudin, Computer Science Department and the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Duke University

Sally S. Simpson, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Maryland

Susan B. Sorenson, School of Social Policy and Practice, University of Pennsylvania

Linda A. Teplin, Feinberg School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University

Bruce Western, Department of Sociology, Harvard University

Cathy Spatz Widom, Department of Psychology, John Jay College and the Graduate Center, The City University of New York

Kathi L. Grasso, Board Director

Malay K. Majmundar, Associate Board Director

Emily Backes, Program Officer

Tina M. Latimer, Program Coordinator

Leticia Garcilazo Green, Senior Program Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Proactive Policing: Effects on Crime and Communities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24928.
×

Acknowledgments

This Consensus Study Report on the evidence regarding the consequences of different forms of proactive policing for crime and disorder, discriminatory application, legality, and community reaction and receptiveness was prepared at the request of the National Institute of Justice and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. In response to that request, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine appointed the Committee on Proactive Policing: Effects on Crime, Communities, and Civil Liberties (under the standing Committee on Law and Justice [CLAJ]) to carry out the task. Fifteen prominent scholars representing a broad array of disciplines—including criminology, law, psychology, statistics, political science, and economics—as well as two noted police practitioners were included on the committee, which met six times over a 2-year period.

This report would not have been possible without the contributions of many people. Special thanks go to the members of the study committee, who dedicated extensive time, thought, and energy to the project. Thanks are also due to consultants Joshua Correll (University of Colorado Boulder) and Jillian Swencionis (Center for Policing Equity) for their important contributions on issues relating to racial bias.

In addition to its own research and deliberations, the committee received input from several outside sources: academic experts who served as discussants for presentations by committee members; police practitioners and community representatives who participated in roundtables and webinars; and commissioned papers.

The committee’s February and April 2016 meetings included open sessions at which experts commented on members’ presentations. We thank

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Proactive Policing: Effects on Crime and Communities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24928.
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Claudine Gay (Harvard University), Amanda Geller (New York University), and Ruth Peterson (Ohio State University) for their discussant comments on “Evidence on Disparity/Discrimination/Racial Bias;” John MacDonald (University of Pennsylvania) and John Pepper (University of Virginia) for their discussant comments on “Evidence on the Impact of Proactive Policing on Crime and Disorder;” Robert Sampson (Harvard University) and Anne Piehl (Rutgers University) for their discussant comments on “Evidence on the Community Effects of Proactive Policing;” and David Sklansky (Stanford Law School) and Geoffrey Alpert (University of South Carolina) for their discussant comments on “Law and Legality.”

The committee’s April 2016 meeting also included an open session for a police practitioner roundtable and a community representatives’ roundtable. For that practitioners’ roundtable, we thank police chief Art Acevedo (Austin, Texas), police chief Debora Black (Glendale, Arizona), retired police chief Jane Castor (Tampa, Florida), sheriff Bob Gualtieri (Pinellas County, Florida), police commissioner Robert Haas (Cambridge, Massachusetts), and retired police superintendent Ronal Serpas (New Orleans, Louisiana).

For the community roundtable, we thank John DeTaeye, Collaborative Solutions for Communities (Washington, DC); Jin Hee Lee, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (New York City); Joseph Lipari, Citizen Review Board (Syracuse, New York); and Julia Ryan, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (Washington, D.C.).

The committee’s two public webinars, held in June 2016, were on the topic of “Community Perspectives on Proactive Policing—Black Lives Matter.” We thank Alicia Garza, National Domestic Workers Alliance, and Brittany N. Packnett, Teach for America, for their participation in and contributions to the webinars.

The committee also gathered information through several commissioned papers. We thank Geoffrey Alpert (University of South Carolina) for “Police Use of Force and its Relationship to Proactive Policing,” Elizabeth Hinton (Harvard University) for “The Broader Context of Race and Policing,” and Samuel Walker (University of Nebraska) for “History of Proactive Policing Strategies.”

Several staff members of the National Academies also made significant contributions to the report. Emily Backes provided valuable research, writing assistance, and played an important role in helping to draft portions of the report. Leticia Garcilazo Green made sure that the committee meetings ran smoothly, assisted in preparing the manuscript, and provided key administrative and logistical support throughout the project. Thanks are also due to Kirsten Sampson-Snyder for managing the report review process; Yvonne Wise for managing the report production process; and Kathi Grasso, director of CLAJ, for providing overall guidance and oversight. We also thank Robert Katt for skillful editing.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Proactive Policing: Effects on Crime and Communities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24928.
×

This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.

We thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Robert D. Crutchfield, Department of Sociology, University of Washington; John F. Dovidio, Department of Psychology, Yale University; Lorraine Mazerolle, School of Social Science, The University of Queensland; John V. Pepper, Department of Economics, University of Virginia; Ruth D. Peterson, Department of Sociology (emerita), Ohio State University; Donald W. Pfaff, Laboratory of Neurobiology and Behavior, Rockefeller University; Sue Rahr, Criminal Justice Training Commission, Burien, Washington; Nancy M. Reid, Department of Statistical Sciences, University of Toronto; Jennifer Richeson, Department of Psychology, Yale University; Robert J. Sampson, Department of Sociology, Harvard University; Lawrence W. Sherman, Cambridge Police Executive Programme, Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge and Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Maryland; Wesley G. Skogan, Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University; Christopher Slobogin, School of Law, Vanderbilt University; Darrel W. Stephens, Major Cities Chiefs Association; and David R. Williams, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University.

Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by John Monahan, School of Law, University of Virginia, and Ellen Wright Clayton, Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society, Vanderbilt University. They were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies.

David Weisburd, Chair

Malay K. Majmundar, Study Director

Committee on Proactive Policing: Effects on Crime, Communities, and Civil Liberties

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Proactive Policing: Effects on Crime and Communities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24928.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Proactive Policing: Effects on Crime and Communities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24928.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Proactive Policing: Effects on Crime and Communities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24928.
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Evidence on Procedural Justice in Policing

Procedural Justice and Police Practice

Conclusion

7 Racial Bias and Disparities in Proactive Policing

Measuring Disparities, Bias, and the Motivations for Bias: Issues and Challenges

Counterfactual-Based Measures of Bias

Benchmark Measures of Bias

Outcome-Based Measures of Bias

Historical Background on Racial Disparities, Bias, and Animus in Policing

Racial Animus in Federal, State, and Local Policies

Racial Disparities in Federal, State, and Local Policies

Law Enforcement Resistance to the Civil Rights Movement

Racial Disparities in Criminal Justice Contact Driven by Federal Policy

Potential Reasons Why Modern Proactive Policing May Be Associated with Disparities and Bias

Evidence from Psychological Science on Racial Bias in Policing

The Psychological Science of Bias

Evidence from Studies of Racial Bias in Law Enforcement

Risk and Protective Factors for Bias in Proactive Policing

Risk Factors for Biased Behavior

Protective (bias-reducing) Factors for Biased Behavior

Evidence from Criminology, Economics, and Sociology on Racial Bias in Policing

Comparisons of Racial Composition of Police–Citizen Interactions to Alternative Population Benchmarks

Outcome Tests for Racial Disparities in Treatment

Conclusion

8 Conclusions and Implications for Policy and Research

Law and Legality

Crime and Disorder

Place-Based Strategies

Problem-Solving Strategies

Person-Focused Strategies

Community-Based Strategies

Community Impacts

Place-Based, Problem-Solving, and Person-Focused Interventions

Community-Based Interventions

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Proactive policing, as a strategic approach used by police agencies to prevent crime, is a relatively new phenomenon in the United States. It developed from a crisis in confidence in policing that began to emerge in the 1960s because of social unrest, rising crime rates, and growing skepticism regarding the effectiveness of standard approaches to policing. In response, beginning in the 1980s and 1990s, innovative police practices and policies that took a more proactive approach began to develop. This report uses the term “proactive policing” to refer to all policing strategies that have as one of their goals the prevention or reduction of crime and disorder and that are not reactive in terms of focusing primarily on uncovering ongoing crime or on investigating or responding to crimes once they have occurred.

Proactive policing is distinguished from the everyday decisions of police officers to be proactive in specific situations and instead refers to a strategic decision by police agencies to use proactive police responses in a programmatic way to reduce crime. Today, proactive policing strategies are used widely in the United States. They are not isolated programs used by a select group of agencies but rather a set of ideas that have spread across the landscape of policing.

Proactive Policing reviews the evidence and discusses the data and methodological gaps on: (1) the effects of different forms of proactive policing on crime; (2) whether they are applied in a discriminatory manner; (3) whether they are being used in a legal fashion; and (4) community reaction. This report offers a comprehensive evaluation of proactive policing that includes not only its crime prevention impacts but also its broader implications for justice and U.S. communities.

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