Policy Assessment: Government Oversight and Reform Measures

Police departments and other law enforcement agencies are insular institutions, and while internal investigations of misconduct and uses of force are necessary, they are not fully sufficient to hold departments and their officers accountable for transgressions. More often than not, external means of accountability also come up short, with too many cases of excessive force and other misconduct leaving the victim uncompensated and the wrongdoer unpunished. Independent governmental review of agencies’ policies and practices, as well as patterns of misconduct, are intended to fill these gaps, enhancing the accountability of officers who use excessive force or engage in other forms of misconduct and deterring others from doing so.


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