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Community Policing in Stereo: Can Jails Participate in Community Policing Initiatives?

NCJ Number
American Jails Volume: 13 Issue: 5 Dated: November/December 1999 Pages: 39-43
Michael J. Laky
Date Published
5 pages
This article touts the importance of and describes the features of community policing concepts applied to jail management and operations.
It is important that community policing concepts encompass the whole of a law enforcement agency's operations, including the jail. The research suggests that jails serve two distinct communities: the inmate or resident community and the public community. A mental picture of stereo headphones illustrates the jail's relationship to the two communities. The inmate community is contained in one headphone, and the public community in the other. The jail administrators and employees link the two communities and supervise that which occurs between the two communities. The overall challenge for jail administrators and their employees is to apply community policing initiatives and components to the incarcerated community and the public community. Research shows that there are at least five key components that should be considered in community policing: problem solving, empowerment, attitude, accountability, and training. The success of community policing initiatives is tenuous and difficult to measure. The research suggests that feedback from the community is one way to measure success. Jails must be innovative in finding ways to solicit feedback and then be responsive to the feedback. 13 references