Alternatives to Arrest

Alternatives to Arrest

This project reviewed existing research and consulted with subject-matter experts to better understand the principal questions concerning arrest and police-led diversion, critically evaluate the tentative answers to those questions that empirical evidence provides, and form suggestions for future inquiry.

The tremendous power of the government to deprive community members suspected of crimes of their liberty and freedoms lies with uniformed police officers. At the street-level, police officers use their discretion in decisions regarding which laws will be enforced, against who, and when. The IACP/UC Research Center compiled a literature review to extract from existing research the principal questions concerning arrest and police-led diversion. This review was written by the staff associated with the IACP/UC Research and their affiliate partners at the John F. Finn Institute for Public Safety.

The report identifies factors associated with arrest and alternatives to arrest (including citations in lieu of arrest and third-party diversion), evaluates the research that has been conducted thus far, highlights the most consistent and applicable lessons learned, and outlines suggestions for future scholarship to better illuminate unanswered empirical questions – which will have the potential to better impact policy and programs related to alternatives to arrest.

Additionally, a focus group was conducted in February 2018 that brought together leading police executives and research experts with the goals of discussing and better understanding arrest discretion, identifying viable options for alternatives to arrest, and identifying gaps in research and knowledge.

The IACP synthesized findings from the literature review and the qualitative focus group to create a series of translational products. These include the above video featuring alternatives to arrest in practice. three one-page infographic guides, and a desk reference explaining pre-arrest diversion for police agencies, below.

 

arrest alternatives

Arrest Alternatives 

(infographic)

Impacts of Arrest

Impacts of Arrest 

(infographic)

Implementation and Evaluation

Implementation and Evaluation 

(infographic)

Reassessing Arrest

Reassessing Arrest 

(desk reference)

 

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