use of judgments about circumstances of certain offenses that lead to appropriate variation in how system respond to offenses.
same conseq. for all ppl who commit same crime
Where can discretion be used?
every stage of criminal prosecution.. legal profess. have several courses of action available to them.
in the battle between discretion vs. equality
...neither position is satisfying
Discretion as judgment
opposite of routine, brings KNOWLEDGE, SKILL and INSIGHT to bear in Unpredictable ways. it adapts rules to local circumstances.
Discretion as choice
making personal contributions or judgment calls , FOLLOWING YOUR CONSCIOUS
DISCRETION AS DISCERNMENT
MAKING GOOD and VITREOUS CHOICES... not about making "safe choices" uses tolerance and empathy.
Discretion as liberty
permission to act as free and equal agent.
Discretion as license
opposite of standard expectations, privalage to go against the rules.
NOT doing as you please; its bounded by norms.
The practice of the police, in the normal course of their duties, to either arrest or ticket someone for an offense or to overlook the matter.
Law enforcement agency - 5 informal types
1: Federal government
2: state police and criminal investigation of the 50 states
3:Sheriffs in more than 300 counties
4:City police officers/ town police/village/ Burroughs
5:private police/ security
Law enforcement agencies: organization ..
most police department are organized by a formal and highly complex division of labor.
Police organization - Military like
reliance on rules and regulations,*built on a subordinating chain of commands. func. divisions follow the activities they handle e.g. traffic police, crowd control; investigative work.
it has a high degree of cohesion and solidarity. authoritarian character and code of silence.
Use of police function discretion:
use of arrest, and alternative uses of arrest, control and harass, street sweeps, e.g. demonstrators. ---> best thing for that particular discretion.
Why do police choose not to arrest?
Police believe that the community wants lenient or lax enforcement, police believe other duties are more urgent or important and that not arresting may serve another need e.g informants, back-ups
What influences whether a police officer is likely to excersie discretion?
Offender Variables, Situation Variables, System Variables.
Adult Vs. Juvenile, Race, gender, mental health
Criminals vs. Other matters, presence of weapons, type of property, initiator, others present