EXEMPLARY STANDARD 202: Pursuing Justice – Apprehending and Holding Offenders Accountable.

All those who suffer pain or loss from crime are victims who have a moral claim to see that justice is done and that the criminal is held accountable.

 A critical dimension of the policing mission relates to the pursuit of justice for victims and their families with the goal of ensuring that offenders are held accountable. It pursues this mission by law enforcement practices to identify, arrest, prosecute and convict lawbreakers.[1]  Arrests, however, can provide a misleading measure of success unless they result in successful prosecutions or achievement of some other legitimate policing goal such as offender deterrence, diversion or restorative justice[2]. Thus, an Exemplary Policing Agency pursues justice for victims and their families by meeting or exceeding specific measurable goals with respect to identifying perpetrators of reported crimes and as appropriate providing the prosecutor with sufficient admissible evidence to obtain conviction.

Standard 2.02. PURSUING JUSTICE: Apprehend and Hold Offenders Accountable. An Exemplary Policing Agency pursues justice for victims and their families by identifying and apprehending offenders and gathering sufficient evidence to ensure that they are held accountable through prosecution and conviction.

2.02(A). Priorities and clearance objectives. Agency annually reviews clearance rate history and trends for UCR crimes and establishes specific overall community and neighborhood goals with respect to the identification, apprehension, prosecution and conviction of offenders.

202(B). Clearance rates. Agency adopts protocols to assure that arrests are associated with successful prosecutions and convictions. Agency does not clear multiple offenses with apprehension of a particular offender unless there is a confession or persuasive evidence that the offender committed other crimes cleared

202(C).    Investigating Crimes. Agency employs professional policing and scientific methods to investigate crimes, including interrogating suspects, interviewing victims and witnesses, obtaining search warrants, computer research, and the use of scientific analytical and identification techniques to identify the perpetrators.

202(D).    Apprehending Offenders. Agency employs principles of procedural integrity and Constitutional policing to achieve clearance rate objectives by making quality arrests of perpetrators of reported crimes. Agency does not use arrest or citation quotas as a measure of officer productivity.

202(E).  Successful Prosecution. Agency ensures that officers have the training and resources to provide the prosecutor with professionally organized and documented cases with sufficient admissible evidence to obtain a conviction or guilty plea for the crimes charged. Agency collects, reviews, and includes in its reporting, data on the percentage of arrests that resulted in voluntary dismissal, acquittal and conviction.

[1] Section of the LAPD Online Manual states the duty clearly:  APPREHENSION OF OFFENDERS.  The administration of criminal justice consists of the identification, arrest, prosecution, punishment, and rehabilitation of a law violator, and it has as its objective the voluntary compliance with the law as an alternative to punishment. Once a crime has been committed, it is the duty of the Department to initiate the criminal justice process by identifying and arresting the perpetrator, to obtain necessary evidence, and to cooperate in the prosecution of the case.

[2] Restorative justice is a theory of justice that emphasizes repairing the harm caused by criminal behavior. It is best accomplished through cooperative processes that include all stakeholders. This can lead to transformation of people, relationships and communities. Practices and programs reflecting restorative purposes will respond to crime by: identifying and taking steps to repair harm, involving all stakeholders, and transforming the traditional relationship between communities and their governments in responding to crime. From the Centre for Restorative Justice www.restorativejustice.org/restorative-justice/about-restorative-justice/tutorial-intro-to-restorative-justice/.


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