Category Archives: Research

Acclaimed Law Professor Susan A. Bandes Joins the Center for Policing Equity

September 5, 2017

Media Contact:
Lauren E. Williams

Acclaimed Law Professor Susan A. Bandes Joins the Center for Policing Equity

NEW YORK, NY — Today, the Center for Policing Equity welcomed DePaul University Centennial Professor Emeritus Susan A. Bandes as a Distinguished Research Scholar.  Nationally renowned as a scholar in criminal procedure, civil rights, and the role of emotion in the law, Bandes will spearhead policy legal analyses.

“Susan Bandes brings a wealth of knowledge to CPE at a critical time. As we continue to expand our research efforts in evidence-based approaches to police accountability, Susan’s scholarly and policy expertise will continue to position CPE as a national leader in police reform. I look forward to sharing ideas and working with her,” said Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, president and co-founder of the Center for Policing Equity.

“The Center for Policing Equity uses data to empower our nation’s law enforcement, improve community and police relations, and promote accountability, transparency, and fairness in the law. I am pleased to join Dr. Goff and the CPE team and proud to become part of its research initiative.” said Bandes.

Bandes’ legal career began in 1976 at the Illinois Office of the State Appellate Defender. In 1980, she became staff counsel for the Illinois ACLU, where she litigated a broad spectrum of civil rights cases. She joined the DePaul faculty in 1984, and was named Centennial Professor in 2012. She has published more than seventy articles, which appear in law journals including the Yale, Stanford, University of Chicago, Michigan and Southern California law reviews, as well as interdisciplinary journals such as Law and Social Inquiry, the Annual Review of Law and Social Science, and the Law and Society Review. Her book The Passions of Law was published by NYU Press in 2000.

Bandes is a member of the American Law Institute and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. She is cofounder of the Law and Society Association’s Collaborative Research Network on Law and Emotion. She received her B.A. from the State University of New York at Buffalo and J.D. from the University of Michigan.


Identity Traps: How to think about Race & Policing

Since the summer of 2014, Americans have seen more videos of violent interactions between police and non-Whites than ever before. While the interpretation of some specific incidents remains contentious and data on police use of force are scant, there is evidence that racial disparities in policing exist even when considering racial disparities in crime. The traditional civil rights model of institutional reform assumes that racial bigotry is the primary cause of these disparities; it attempts to address problems through adversarial litigation, protest, and education. Read more

CPE, Austin Police Department Release New Research on Racial Disparities in Austin

(AUSTIN, TX) — Today at a press conference at the Austin Police Department headquarters, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo joined Center for Policing Equity (CPE) President and Cofounder Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff and Director of Law Enforcement Engagement Chief Chris Burbank to release the findings of, “The Science of Policing Equity: Measuring Fairness in the Austin Police Department”, a new report analyzing racial disparities in the Austin Police Department.

Read more here.

CPE Study Supports Suspicion That Police Use of Force Is More Likely on Blacks

The vast majority of interactions between police officers and civilians end routinely, with no one injured, no one aggrieved and no one making the headlines. But when force is used, a new study from the Center for Policing Equity has found, the race of the person being stopped by officers is significant. Read the full article on the New York Times. 

Justice from within: The relations between a procedurally just organizational climate and police organizational efficiency, endorsement of democratic policing, and officer well-being.

Recent clashes between law enforcement and the public have led to increased attention on policing strategies that build trust and motivate cooperation in communities through the application of fair procedures and decision-making. A growing body of policing research has highlighted that officers commonly report working within police departments that lack procedural fairness and that these intra-departmental dynamics influence officers motivation and behavior on the street. This study builds on this work by examining the influence of a procedurally fair organizational climate on officer’s organizational behavior, commitment to democratic policing, and well-being. Patrol officers and sergeants in a large urban police force completed surveys assessing their perceptions of their department, the communities they police, their views on different policing styles, and their well-being. Results showed that when officers were in a procedurally fair department, they were more likely to trust and feel obligated to obey their supervisors, less likely to be psychologically and emotionally distressed, and less likely to be cynical and mistrustful about the world in general and the communities they police in particular. More importantly, these effects were associated with greater endorsement of democratic forms of policing, increased organizational efficiency, and officer well-being. Taken together these results clearly show the utility of infusing procedural justice into the internal working climate as a means to improve police officer job performance, their well-being, and their relationship with the communities they police. Continue reading here.

U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Announces New Research Partnership with CPE, EEOC to Advance Diversity in Law Enforcement

(Washington, DC) — Today, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, announced a research partnership with the Center for Policing Equity to advance diversity in law enforcement through a Civil Rights Division-Equal Employment Opportunity Commission interagency effort.  Read Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Gupta’s full announcement here.


The Impact of Psychological Science on Policing in the United States: Procedural Justice, Legitimacy, and Effective Law Enforcement

The May 2015 release of the report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing highlighted a fundamental change in the issues dominating discussions about policing in America. That change has moved discussions away from a focus on what is legal or effective in crime control and toward a concern for how the actions of the police influence public trust and confidence in the police. This shift in discourse has been motivated by two factors—first, the recognition by public officials that increases in the professionalism of the police and dramatic declines in the rate of crime have not led to increases in police legitimacy, and second, greater awareness of the limits of the dominant coercive model of policing and of the benefits of an alternative and more consensual model based on public trust and confidence in the police and legal system. Psychological research has played an important role in legitimating this change in the way policymakers think about policing by demonstrating that perceived legitimacy shapes a set of lawrelated behaviors as well as or better than concerns about the risk of punishment. Those behaviors include compliance with the law and cooperation with legal authorities. These findings demonstrate that legal authorities gain by a focus on legitimacy. Psychological research has further contributed by articulating and demonstrating empirical support for a central role of procedural justice in shaping legitimacy, providing legal authorities with a clear road map of strategies for creating and maintaining public trust. Given evidence of the benefits of legitimacy and a set of guidelines concerning its antecedents, policymakers have increasingly focused on the question of public trust when considering issues in policing. The acceptance of a legitimacy-based consensual model of police authority building on theories and research studies originating within psychology illustrates how psychology can contribute to the development of evidence-based policies in the field of criminal law. Read on here.

We Can Transform Perceptions of Black Men and Boys

According to Perception Institute’s research adviser Phillip Atiba Goff’s Center for Policing Equity, we can make policing fairer by using data to identify officers likely to engage in biased practices. In education, simply removing identifying demographic information from high stakes tests can improve scores for black students. Using data to track suspension rates by race can help us see where bias may be affecting decision making, while following specific scripts when providing criticism to students of color can help increase their desire to learn and improve. Read entire article here.