Generation Z’s Perception of Police

WIU LEJA professors Bitner, Ekici, & Sergevnin collaborated with LEJA graduate student Chloe Layne and University of Cincinnati professor Ozer to study how members of Generation Z view service of police officers. The research and findings were recently published internationally through a Russian journal in both English and Russian. The English version is available here.

Generation Z and Use of Deadly Force by Police

Faculty and a graduate student from the School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration at Western Illinois University collaborated to study Generation Z’s perception of the use of deadly force by police. Their research was recently accepted for publication in Roll Call: A Leadership and Ethics Publication produced by The Center for American and International Law’s Institute for Law Enforcement Administration.

You can find the article titled Surveying Generation Z’s Paradigms on the Use of Deadly Force by Police through the link below and starting on page 4.

Financing Terrorism: The Case of the PKK

Faculty from WIU’s School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration collaborated with Independent Researchers from Turkey to study kidnapping and extortion as tools for funding terrorism.

The article is published in the Journal of Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression; which is a highly recognized tier one journal published on behalf of the Society for Terrorism Research.

Please use this link to read their pioneering research:

Inquiry on Recidivism

This post was written by Martin Braun. He is currently a junior at WIU in the School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration and minoring in pre-law. Martin reports he has always wanted to work in service to the community and hopes to advocate for people who have been impacted by serious crimes. He hopes to fulfill this through a career with the FBI.

The following information is a synopsis from a larger manuscript Martin wrote for his Research Methods course at WIU.

When asking how we reduce prison recidivism, we first must find out the who contributes to recidivism the most and how we can change their actions. Recidivism is defined as an arrest and conviction for an offense committed within two years after release from a previous conviction. Studies have found that the person most likely to contribute to the recidivism rate is an African American male, age 18-25 that has had prior prison convictions, is or was under government surveillance, has or has had a high use of narcotics, was never strongly employed, has no close family or spouse, has a high participation in prison misconduct, and a lack of participation in educational programs. State by state recidivism rate did differ but average recidivism rate is about 50%. Studies did find however that lower populated states had a lower recidivism rate. Some implementations onto the corrections system that have attempted to reduce recidivism are correctional programs, prison privatization, and prison misconduct procedure. Educational programs within institutions have seen to reduce recidivism rate from 49% down to 20%. Prison privatization, as seen to reduce cost to taxpayers, has seen average higher recidivism rates, an average prison privatization recidivism rate is about 57% according to studies. Prior criminal history has been seen as a factor that contributes to recidivism. Particularly juvenile with prior criminal activity with seven or more changes are Eight percent more likely to contribute to recidivism in the future. While recidivism is widespread and common among many inmates, the reason for recidivism is almost never the same. There is no one solution to recidivism and what works for one individual may not work for another

Service in the Juvenile Justice System

This post was written by Darius Billingsley who is a Law Enforcement and Justice Administration student at WIU currently enrolled in Research Methods. This piece is a synopsis of a research manuscript he produced for the course.

In National Needs Assessment Conducted to Determine Juvenile Justice Training and Service Needs, a manuscript written for the Journal of Correctional Education by Dianne Carter, she identifies the following information concerning juvenile justice.   First, The National Institute of Corrections (NIC), and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency and Prevention (OJJDP) entered into an agreement to initiate training for juvenile justice professionals through the National Academy of Corrections. The main goal was to described “current and emerging training service needs for the juvenile justice community.”

In this process, over 200 issues and needs were identified; which include, Leadership/Management, Strategic Planning, Programs, Human Resources, Public/Community Relations, what’s New and Working, Legal Issues and Funding/ Budgeting.  Leadership was the primary focus, as it was a top priority and had two established objectives. Development of a skilled management workforce in juvenile corrections, with the capability to provide dynamic leadership and direction in a changing environment. The second objective presented was the goal for development and enhancement of professional leadership for juvenile corrections.  Carter’s manuscript further illustrates the legal issues that were focused on, as those at the forum wanted to ensure, through the development of proactive legal training initiatives. Principles that promote sound management practices, minimize/ reduce operational risks and enhance the quality of life for children, youth, family and practitioners.

Another primary focus was to look at what was New and Working in juvenile justice. One of the goals articulated the need to create a national resource center; which would accumulate and disseminate information on model programs, creative ideas, education components resource development and training curriculum packages. This would help trainers, agency and faculty administrators, policy makers, and others associated with juvenile services.

Carter concludes the manuscript on preparing professionals, service delivery strategies, service implementation, service research, technical training or assistance, and publication of important findings. 

Comparative Ethics Review

Gabby Bandovich is currently a LEJA Graduate Assistant and student in the Law Enforcement and Justice Administration Department. She graduated from WIU in May 2019 as a double major in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration and Foreign Languages and Cultures. Gabby will graduate from the LEJA Master’s Program in May 2020 and is looking forward to pursuing a career in federal Law Enforcement.

In a book entitled Law Enforcement Ethics: Classic and Contemporary Issues, author Brian Fitch claims “the patchy, haphazard implementation of ethics training remains little more than a knee-jerk reaction to police abuse or corruption” (Fitch, 2014).  Ethics training fails primarily due to its lecture based methods and lack of practical application during training.  Utilizing The Ethics Primer, by James Svara, an evaluation of Fitch’s ideology can be made through Svara’s ethical triangle. Svara claimed that the three concepts within the ethical triangle, virtue, principle, and consequence, are the most important parts of understanding and applying ethics in an organization. 

The virtue perspective places strong emphasis on how virtues are developed early in life and highlight the benefits for individuals to apply their virtues and prior knowledge within police work to new situations. In discussing the Principle Perspective, Svara declares developing principles which identify the right actions from wrong actions and being able to apply these principles to future scenarios is vital in police work. This application is key to ethics training, as officers must apply principles in training to utilize later in the field.  The Consequentialism perspective focuses primarily on how the results of an action determine whether or not the action was right or wrong. This develops the premise that evaluating future consequences from the present will automatically cause people to make the right, ethical decision. However, law enforcement should feel motivated intrinsically to act ethically in this line of work, rather than extrinsically simply to avoid consequences.

The resolution of this issue is critical to the profession of law enforcement because officers are under increasingly high pressure to perform properly and ethically each day. After briefly applying Svara’s three principles to this issue, the benefits to implementing a newfound strategy to ethical policing are clear. Ethics training should be lengthened within the academy through engaging, hands-on activities and extended in-service training. This will allow the duty of officers and the responsibility to the community to be strengthened via strong ethics.

Intersection of Genealogy and Law Enforcement

Chloe Layne is currently a Graduate Assistant and student in the Law Enforcement and Justice Administration Department. She graduated the undergraduate portion of the integrated program with a major in law enforcement and justice administration and minors in Spanish and psychology.  Chloe is also an active researcher working with multiple faculty to produce peer-reviewed articles and conference presentations.

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) first made its introduction into the American court system in 1986. Since then, not only has DNA aided in the conviction of a multitude of offenders, but it has also led to the exonerations of those who are innocent but were found guilty. DNA has proven other forensic sciences that were largely accepted in the courtroom as proof of identification, to be faulty. More recently, DNA has been used for another purpose within the criminal justice field. In recent cases, DNA has been used through genealogy websites to identify suspects of unsolved cases where DNA was left behind.

Genealogy websites are becoming widely popular and already have over 2.5 million users. The purpose of the websites is to analyze the DNA sent in by their users and return to them a list of origins that their family may come from and give them the names of people they are either closely or distantly related to who have also submitted their DNA to the service. Under the terms and conditions of these sites, it explains that by sending in DNA, users are agreeing to the possibility that law enforcement, when acting under the proper conditions such as a search warrant, may be allowed access to the users’ profiles and information within, including their DNA. This section of the terms is not a hypothetical situation, as law enforcement has already taken advantage of the opportunity to utilize these sites for their own agenda.

The most infamous instance of law enforcement utilizing this strategy is when they were able to apprehend a suspect known as the Golden State Killer. Suspected of over a dozen murders and 50 rapes, Joseph James DeAngelo was arrested over three decades since the last known associated killing. Law enforcement used a DNA sample from one of the crime scenes and used a genealogy site to match it with a distant relative who had also used the site. Law enforcement then charted the family tree and identified a suspect in the right age range and area. They then followed this suspect (DeAngelo) until he discarded DNA samples, and they matched them with the DNA at the crime scene. DeAngelo was arrested in April of 2018. These same methods have been used to identify suspects in at least four other murder cases and one rape case thus far.

Rise of the Warrior Cop – a book review

Kelsey Maldonado is a current Graduate Assistant and graduate student with the Law Enforcement and Justice Administration Department. Kelsey spent the first four years of schooling as an undergraduate student here at Western Illinois University. She majored in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration, and minored in Spanish and Forensic Science. Currently, she is working on a thesis on the topic of detecting deception. With the completion of this work she will graduate from the university in the summer of 2019. Kelsey is looking toward the future considering both municipal Law Enforcement positions as well as Federal positions.

Rise of the Warrior Cop by Radley Balko examines the militarization of police forces. At the start of the book the author illustrates our beginnings. In colonial times the faction that did the policing of the people were the British soldiers. Balko expresses the impact the military force had on the public and for its part it contributed to the Revolutionary War. Once America standing on its own there was a need for policing among the new-found Americans and the standing military came to do the job until the adoption of what is known today as modern policing which can from Sir Robert Peele and his London police. The entire book works in chronological order to provide a full history of policing from the British military, to the 60’s and 70’s which saw the war of drugs. The author states that the war on drugs never truly ended and any money that was left over from other initiatives throughout the years went back to that cause. Balko talks at length about 9/11 and post 9/11 efforts to put anti-terror initiatives into place and the effect that had on the militarization of policing. Couple that with President Obama taking the troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan and the country has an abundance of military grade weapons that are in storage and end up being donated to police departments. At the finale of the book Balko gave six possible solutions for the militarization. First was to scale back the war on drugs, halt the use of SWAT teams where they are not effective, transparency (i.e. body cameras), increased community policing, change police culture to discourage violent behavior, and make police accountable. Overall, the work was informative, but there was not new insight into solutions as many of the ones suggested are already in place.

Parental Monitoring

Law enforcement officers are frequently called to intervene in situations that involve juveniles, and many times it’s discovered that the circumstances which brought police into contact with a juvenile may have grown out of parent-child relationships. 

It’s important for law enforcement workers to know how family dynamics can impact juvenile behavior; such as a parent who abuses drugs or alcohol, is too busy pursuing personal or work goals, or a parent who hasn’t developed proper parenting skills.  Hopefully, through knowing the family dynamics, a law enforcement officer can effectively intervene and steer the family to productive resources for the benefit of the child and family.

Dallas Trone is a WIU LEJA student currently enrolled in Research Methods.  Through the course of developing her research project, she discovered important parenting traits and monitoring skills that show a relationship between attachment and delinquency.  Dallas has taken this information and put it into an easy to read table for law enforcement officers, hoping it will help officers understand how parenting can impact juvenile behavior.

Authoritarian Expresses little warmth, high controlling and high demanding behaviors with low responsiveness.
Authoritative Warm, supportive, firm,  high demanding behaviors with low responsiveness.
Permissive Very warm, understanding, supportive, low demanding behaviors with high responsiveness
Neglectful Deficient of warmth, supervision, and control