Week 7 Announcement:
Effective prevention has proven to be as elusive as effective treatment. Research has found that although it is relatively easy to increase knowledge and change attitudes, it is difficult to bring about long-term sustained behavior change. Drug education efforts can sometimes actually be thinly disguised propaganda, and since there is a correlation between knowledge and use, poorly designed drug education could encourage use. Treatment programs in the criminal justice system have shown an impressive level of success, as have therapeutic communities that provide a resocialization process for particular types of drug abusers. Private chemical dependency programs, some located in health care facilities, depend on clients who have adequate resources, such as medical insurance. These programs often fail to develop theory-centered treatment responses or to incorporate the results of research into their approach to clients.
Week 8 Announcement:
Drug abuse is a combination of susceptibility and availability, and law enforcement can affect availability. Law enforcement efforts are constrained by constitutional due process, in particular the Fourth Amendment, jurisdictional limitations, and corruption, both domestic and foreign. The necessary use of informants and undercover work in the fight against drug trafficking is particularly prone to corruption. People who are involved in the illegal drug business can be arrested and prosecuted for offenses such as manufacture, importation, distribution, possession, and sale. Local law enforcement efforts are typically directed against midlevel or street level dealers; federal efforts focus on large-scale wholesalers, many of whom operate on a transnational basis. While several federal agencies have some responsibility for drug enforcement, it is the DEA and Immigration and Customs Enforcement that have the largest roles. Measuring “success” in drug law enforcement is elusive because of a lack of standard regarding arrests, seizures, and purity levels. Law enforcement that reduces the available supply of a particular drug may cause substitution, and the profits that can result with such market conditions may encourage new players to get involved.
Policing Drugs: Costs and Benefits
Police and the War on Drugs
1,000,000+ men and women arrested each year for drug offenses.
1980-1989: arrests rates for drug possession increased 89%; drug trafficking arrest rates increased 210%
Data collected for FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR)
Includes hard and soft drug arrests
82% arrested for drug use or possession
Typical offender: white male, mid-20s
Explaining Increases in Arrest Rates for Drug Offenses
Two possible explanations:
Arrest rates reflect a dramatic increase in the number of users and sellers
Various policies and practices encourage law enforcement agencies to target drug users and sellers
Did arrests increase as a result of changes in policies and practices?
Broken Windows Theory (Wilson and Kelling, 1982)
Serious street crime flourishes in areas where disorderly behavior remains unchecked
Police departments throughout the U.S. adopted more proactive approaches:
Problem-oriented policing (POP)
Order Maintenance Policing: focus on quality of life offenses (vagrancy, prostitution, loitering)
Targets individuals selling, possessing or smoking small amounts of marijuana
Post-OMP marijuana possession arrest rates increased 500% in NYC
The under cover ‘buy and bust’ tactics
To combat open-air drug dealings
Law enforcement agencies in the United States operate under significant constitutional constraints, generally referred to as due process
Literally meaning the process that is due a person before something disadvantageous can be done to him or her
There is an inherent tension between society’s desire for security and safety and the value we place on liberty
A conflict between two conceptual models of criminal justice: crime control and due process.
The Fourth Amendment and the Exclusionary Rule
The Fourth Amendment guarantees
” the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
The exclusionary rule is the court’s way of enforcing the fourth amendment:
It provides that evidence that is obtained in violation of the fourth amendment cannot be entered as evidence in a criminal trial.
Supreme court as policy makers?
“stop and frisk” procedures
Terry v Ohio (1968)
No probable cause required but officer must have a reasonable belief that person is about to engage in a crime (or already has) or poses a danger to officer or others.
“stop and frisk” constitutional
Terry stops in New York
New York Civil Liberties Union
4 million Terry Stops between 2002-2012 (mostly Black and Hispanic).
Floyd v New York (2013)
Stop and frisk practices violate constitutional rights of minorities; changes ordered.
U.S. 2nd Court of Appeals blocks Judge Scheindlin’s ruling
Newly elected Mayor Bill DeBlasio to implement changes regardless of appellate court decision (2014).
Criticisms of “stop and frisk”
Allows police to freely target anyone and search them for drugs.
Bias and stereotyping by police
Unreasonable to assume that people feel free to walk away
Pretext traffic stops
Traffic stops motivated by officer’s suspicion of illegal drug activity not by actual traffic violations
Whren v US (1996)
Unanimous decision that police can use minor traffic violations as a pretext to investigate possible drug offenses.
Ohio v Robinette (1996) ; Illinois v Caballes (2005)
Pretext traffic stops constitutional
Drug Courier Profiles
First developed by DEA Agent, Paul Markonni
Developed list of characteristics to profile possible drug traffickers in nation’s airports
United States v Mendenhall (1980) & United States v Elmore (1981)
Court upholds drug courier profiling
Reid v Georgia (1980)
Fitting drug profile alone may not satisfy reasonable suspicion standard
Evidence from search suppressed
United States v Sokolow (1989)
“Totality of the circumstances” test
Financial incentives to fight the drug war
Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Program (Byrne Program)
Federal aid to local and state criminal justice agencies to set up drug task forces
Multijurisdictional task force (MJTF)
A cooperative law enforcement effort focused on drug control and violent crime
Two or more criminal justice agencies
High intensity drug trafficking area (HIDTA) created
Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams
Paramilitary units began in 1980s to conduct drug raids
SWAT teams made possible by Department of Defense authorization to transfer military equipment and technology to state and local police
Pentagon gave local law enforcement agencies 1.2 million pieces of military equipment (1997)
Between 1995-1997: pentagon gave 3,800 M-16s, 2,185 M-14s, 73 grenade launchers, 112 armored personnel carriers
By 1997: 90% of cities (with populations of 50,000+) had at least one paramilitary police unit
The Racial Disparity in Arrest Rates
Operation Hammer (1989)
LAPD policing strategy
Arrested 1,000 for drug offenses in one weekend
All were black or Hispanic
Operation pressure point
New York City
Dramatic increase of arresting street dealers
Almost all were minorities
Three explanations why blacks are more likely than whites to be arrested for drug offenses
Blacks use drugs at higher rates
Blacks sell drugs at higher rates
Police arrest and target blacks disproportionately
Do blacks use drugs at higher rates than whites?
Evidence suggests they do not
Do blacks sell drugs at higher rates than whites?
Evidence suggests they do not
Do police arrest and target blacks more than whites for drug offenses?
Yes, but explanations vary…
Police invest more energy in arresting people in inner cities and on the streets (targets drug transactions among blacks).
Racial profiling in police stops identifies disproportionate number of blacks possessing drugs who can be arrested
Drug war efforts aimed at black communities
Counter-argument: blacks deal openly on streets more than whites and, therefore, easier to identify illegal activity, therefore easy arrests.
Beckett et al. studies (2005 and 2006)
The easy availability of large sums of money and the clandestine nature of the business make drug law enforcement vulnerable to corruption
Two basic strategies are available to law enforcement agencies: reactive and proactive, and many use a combination of both:
Reactive law enforcement: responding to criminal actions after they have occurred.
Proactive law enforcement: officers “seek out” criminal behavior, most likely strategy to invite corruption.
Corruption is often intertwined with the problem of informants
An informer is more useful when they are more deeply involved in criminal activity
While they are serving as informers, there is temptation to overlook his or her continued criminal activity
Law enforcement agencies
Drug enforcement administration
Federal bureau of investigation
Customs service and border protection
Immigration and customs enforcement
Internal revenue service – department of the treasury
Us marshals service
Bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives
Bureau of land management & national park service -department of the interior
Us forest service – department of agriculture
Postal inspection service
Department of defense
The international police organization, known by its telegraphic designation INTERPOL, assists law enforcement agencies with investigative activities that transcend international boundaries
As of 2009, there were 187 INTERPOL members; a country becomes a member merely by announcing its intention to join
The United States National Central Bureau (USNCB) is the entity through which the United States functions as in INTERPOL member and serves as a point of contact for US federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement for the international exchange of information
The USNCB receives about 12,000 requests for assistance from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies each year