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Police Control of Interpersonal Disputes

NCJ Number
Social Problems Volume: 31 Issue: 4 Dated: (April 1984) Pages: 468-481
Date Published
14 pages
This paper examines factors which influence police arrest decisions in interpersonal disputes.
We analyze data from direct observation of police-citizen encounters and find that decisions are influenced by situational exigencies of these encounters and that the effects of certain situational variables depended upon the type of neighborhood in which disputes occur. For example, disputes involving cohabiting individuals are more likely to result in arrest in poor neighborhoods. Arrest decisions are also influenced by organizational characteristics of police agencies, such as bureaucratization and professionalism. We discuss the implications of our findings for a general theory of police dispute settlement. Tabular data and 24 references are provided. (Author abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 1984