Vol 40. No.3 Spring 2016 | School of Law | SIU

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Vol 40. No.3 Spring 2016

ARTICLES

Keynote Address at the Southern Illinois University School of Law and School of Medicine Symposium: The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing: Procedural Justice, Policing, and Public Health

Ronald L. Davis..........................................................................................419

Policing has changed significantly during the last thirty years and, although the current period involves many challenges, many changes have been successful. Community policing has advanced considerably and has been accompanied by advances in police technology.  The current period of crisis in policing also presents opportunities to create a new era of policing in the United States.  This generation’s civil rights movement does not have to involve conflict between police and activists, who should be working together to reform American policing.  The work of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing provides a framework for building a new era of policing for a twenty-first century democratic society.  The window of opportunity for progress is limited in duration, however, and reform must be initiated before the window closes.

Remarks at the Southern Illinois University School of Law and School of Medicine Symposium: The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing: Procedural Justice, Policing, and Public Health

Sean Michael Smoot.....................................................................................427

Police officers are expected to play contradictory roles in society.  They are told that they are warriors—soldiers in the war on drugs, crime, and violence—but they are also expected to function as social workers, counselors, and peacekeepers.  These inconsistent roles create intense stress and mental struggle for officers.  Statistics can show the presence or absence of crime, but measuring the presence or absence of justice is far more difficult.  A comprehensive approach to officer training and practicing internal procedural justice in our law enforcement agencies is a critical step to establishing trust and improving performance.  The disease of addiction is the number one issue affecting crime, violence, and the criminal justice system, and police must receive training about the disease.  The Illinois Police and Community Relations Improvement Act, passed by the General Assembly, provides for police to get the training they need to improve outcomes.  There are still areas where improvement is possible, including introduction of sentinel event reviews, a national peer-to-peer hotline for police officers, and medical research evaluating the effect shift work has on police officers. 

  

Remarks at the Southern Illinois University School of Law and School of Medicine Symposium: The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing: Procedural Justice, Policing, and Public Health

Tracey Meares.............................................................................................435

Public trust in legal authority is intimately connected with compliance with the law and with citizen engagement and cooperation.  Excessively aggressive policing can undermine public trust in legal authority.  Members of the public want to have the opportunity to tell their side of the story and to participate in development of agency strategies and policies, they want to be treated with dignity and respect for their rights, they want to be able to assess the extent that decisions affecting them are fair and neutral, and they want to be able to expect to be treated benevolently in the future.  These elements of procedural justice create legitimacy, which is a precursor to democratic society.  Procedural justice is also good for police officers, because it helps them remain mentally, emotionally, and physically whole.

Officer Wellness: A Focus on Mental Health

Stephen M. Soltys, MD...................................................................................439

Police officers have a significantly shorter life expectancy than the general population.  Vehicle accidents, suicide, and homicide, along with poor nutrition, lack of exercise, and sleep deprivation contribute to reduced life expectancy among police officers.  The failure to recognize and treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is associated with an increased risk of suicide in association with concurrent depression.  Police officers have an elevated risk of PTSD because many police officers are exposed to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence, both as risks to themselves and as threats to the community members they serve.  Identifying PTSD and providing effective treatment is crucial to preventing negative outcomes for law enforcement officers. Efforts to encourage community policing that is sensitive to the needs of the community will, to a degree, fail without effective identification and treatment of PTSD in law enforcement officers. 

Reflections on Judging in a Mental Health Court and Challenges Beyond the Courtroom Doors

Justice Kathryn E. Zenoff & Carl Norberg.............................................................445

Mental illness poses unique challenges to the justice system, which the traditional model of criminal justice is poorly suited to confront.  In the last few decades, problem-solving courts specifically tailored to reflect this dilemma have emerged, and early research into the effectiveness of these courts has shown promising results.  The Community Mental Health Act of 1963 began the process of deinstitutionalizing people with mental illnesses, but the legislation was underfunded and only half of the proposed community mental health centers contemplated by the legislation were ever built.  In the absence of appropriate treatment, people with mental illnesses began to be incarcerated in disproportionate numbers, resulting in the replacement of deinstitutionalization with trans-institutionalization.  Winnebago County, Illinois, opened a problem-solving court called the Therapeutic Intervention Program Court (TIP Court) in February 2005.  The author was a Circuit Court Judge in Winnebago County at the time the TIP Court opened, and chaired the community-wide task force that created the court.  In this article, the author reflects on her experiences presiding over a problem-solving court in Illinois.

Using Science to Advance the Police Profession

Howard Spivak, MD, Maureen McGough, JD, and Nancy Rodriguez, PhD...............457

A destructive rift exists between law enforcement and the people they are sworn to protect, and the American public is looking to law enforcement to improve performance standards and advance the field as a profession.  Essential in this process is the infusion of science into practice, ensuring that policies reflect the latest state of knowledge as to what works and what matters in policing.  This article explores how science can support and inform policing practice both in terms of developing solutions—such as the recommendations of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing—and furthering policing as a profession. The article stresses that the burden of integrating science into police practice lies not only with law enforcement agencies as consumers of research but also with policing researchers who must look beyond their journal publications and the tenure requirements of their profession to generate relevant, applicable knowledge to advance police practice.

Assessing and Responding to Substance Misuse in Law Enforcement

Ted R Miller, PhD and Deborah M. Galvin, PhD........................................................475

Law enforcement personnel face the challenge of misuse of alcohol, illegal drugs, and prescription drugs.  Police officers may themselves misuse substances, and they may be aware of misuse among their family members or colleagues.  This paper assesses the extent of substance misuse among law enforcement personnel and provides lessons about how to structure effective prevention programs. Lessons are drawn from programs supported by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) cooperative agreements.  Successful implementation of prevention programs requires support from top management; an understanding of workplace culture; awareness of substance use attitudes and patterns of employees, management, and union leadership; effective and regular communication; and other factors.  The paper ends with a summary of SAMHSA workplace prevention resources relevant to the law enforcement workforce. 

Racism Creates Barriers to Effective Community Policing

Robette Ann Dias.............................................................................................501

Robette Ann Dias has been the executive co-director of Crossroads Antiracism Organizing & Training since 2002.  Crossroads is a national organization that works in institutions and communities to create antiracist policy, practice and culture.  In this article Ms. Dias briefly reflects on four barriers to building trust and legitimacy in community policing that are created by racism: US society is built on a foundation of racism, every system including the legal system and law enforcement were originally designed to perpetuate white supremacy; denial of racism as a continued problem and policing as part of the problem, the prevalence of violence and our desensitization to it; and finally, the formation of police officers and increased militarization of policing.  Four suggestions to begin to address racism in policing are also named as necessary steps forward.

  

COMMENTS

 

From Macks Creek to Ferguson: How Illinois Can Learn From Missouri to Prevent Predatory Enforcement Practices by Municipalities

Brian Scott......................................................................................................513

Some municipalities, including several in the St. Louis, Missouri, metropolitan area, are suspected of writing excessive traffic tickets to generate revenue.  A Missouri statute known as the Macks Creek law is intended to protect residents from ticketing practices aimed at generating revenue for municipalities.  In the aftermath of the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri legislators are reexamining the Macks Creek law to make it stricter on municipalities engaged in the practice of raising revenue through writing traffic tickets.  This Comment provides background information on the Macks Creek law and compares it to similar statutes in other states.  The Comment analyzes problems with the Macks Creek law to learn from its mistakes and proposes objectives that should be considered for an improved version of the law.  Finally, the comment argues that Illinois should adopt an improved version of the Macks Creek law to prevent Illinois municipalities from using traffic tickets to generate revenue.

  

Excuse Me Judge, Can You Spare a Little Speech? Freeing the Beggar’s Right to Solicit Donations From Content-Based Restrictions in the Traditional Public Forum

Aaron O’Brien...................................................................................................537

Panhandlers often receive citations for violating municipal ordinances prohibiting solicitation for immediate donations for items of value.  Anti-panhandling laws have a long history and are sometimes used to force the homeless to relocate to other towns.  Federal appellate courts are split on the question of whether ordinances prohibiting panhandling represent content-based or content-neutral restrictions of free speech in the public forum.  This Comment reviews the historical and legal background of such ordinances, and argues that panhandling is pure speech conveying a message of neediness, and that laws prohibiting solicitation for immediate donations for items of value represent content-based restrictions that should be subject to strict scrutiny analysis.  Because of the unique characteristics of the public street, the state has a less compelling interest to regulate speech in the public forum. 

 

CASENOTES

Don’t Get Caught Holding the Bag in Illinois: Analyzing the Court’s Decision in People v. Cregan, 2014 IL 113600

Brian Scott.......................................................................................................561

The Fourth Amendment protects the right of the people to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, and require probable cause for the issuance of warrants, but the terms of the amendment do not require a warrant for all searches.  The United States Supreme Court has approved certain categories of “warrantless searches,” including the search incident to arrest, and police use them to gather evidence for prosecution of crimes.  In People v. Cregan, 2014 IL 113600, the Illinois Supreme Court broadened the scope of the search incident to arrest by holding that any item in the physical possession of an arrestee is immediately associated with the arrestee and can be searched incident to the arrest.  This Note examines the court’s analysis that led to the creation of its “rule of possession.”  The Note argues that the majority’s analysis was incorrect, and that the court should have used an analysis more consistent with that used by other courts scrutinizing similar questions.