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Hunting for "Dirtbags": Why Cops Over-police the Poor and Racial Minorities

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  • ISBN: 9781555538132 | 1555538134
  • Cover: Paperback
  • Copyright: 7/9/2013
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Why do the police over-patrol in poor and minority-dominated communities? Are these communities fraught with crime or are officers responding to demands from their superiors, regardless of criminal activity in these communities? This ethnographic study, which includes participant observation research and in-depth interviews with police officers in a major California city and a large East Coast city, explains the where, the why, and the consequences related to police officers and their discretionary time. Providing highly textured insights into police discretion, the authors show that America's "tough on crime" approach to justice has too often proved to be a smokescreen for controlling people deemed undesirable rather than a genuinely effective strategy for reducing crime.

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