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Volume 1 Issue 1

Police Judgments of Culpability and Homophobia

Lyons, P. M., Jr., Anthony, C. M., Davis, K. M., Fernandez, K., Torres, A. N., & Marcus, D. K.

This study (a) presented 152 Texas police officers with a scenario in which the sexual orientation of a criminal suspect was manipulated (b) assessed homophobia in this sample, and (c) examined the relationship between homophobia and the officers' judgments of the suspect's culpability. Although the officers were no more likely to report that they would arrest a gay suspect than a heterosexual suspect, those who read a scenario with a gay suspect were more likely to indicate that they thought he should be convicted than those presented with a heterosexual suspect. In general, the officers in our study endorsed homophobic attitudes and those officers who reported higher levels of homophobia were more likely to think that the gay suspect should be convicted.

Associated Characteristics of Staliking Following the Termination of Romantic Relationships

Roberts, K. A.

This study investigated stalking by former romantic partners. It aimed to identify characteristics of relationships differentiating stalking from other post relationship experiences (harassment or no-harassment). A self-report questionnaire completed by 305 female undergraduates assessed experiences during and following termination of the relationship. Of the participants, 34.4% were classified as victims of stalking, 32.1% as having suffered post relationship harassment and 33.4% as having experienced no-harassment. Participants experiencing either stalking or harassment were most likely to have experienced controlling behaviour and denigration from their former partner during the relationship. Stalking was differentiated from harassment in that stalking victims were more likely to experience violence and sexual coercion during the relationship. These results are consistent with conceptualisations of stalking as a variant or extension of domestic violence.

The Effects of Interviewer Characteristics on Arrestees' Responses to Drug-Related Questions

Lord, V. B., Friday, P. C., & Brennan, P. K.

The Social Attribution Theory, which suggests that respondents respond in ways to meet the norms and expectations that they perceive are held by the interviewer, and the Social Distance Theory, which suggests that respondents provide more truthful answers when they share common characteristics with the interviewer, have been used by previous studies to explain differences in interviewees' responses. Examining these two theories further, arrestees' responses from seven quarters of data from the Charlotte, North Carolina Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) site were used to study the impact of interviewers' characteristics and o­n-the-job experience o­n arrestees' willingness to respond to the ADAM questionnaire and submit to a urine sample. Although experience does appear to impact consent, shared race, gender, and similar age have greater impact o­n gaining agreement to be interviewed. These results tend to more strongly suggest the applicability of Social Distance Theory.

Police Attitudes: The Impact of Experience After Training

Garner, R. L.

Most people believe that our attitudes, o­nce formed, are relatively stable over time. However, research reveals that attitudes can be impacted in a number of ways; and individuals may not always be consciously aware of their attitude shifts or the influences that may have triggered a change. A longitudinal study of police cadets demonstrates this phenomenon in a real-world setting. A survey assessing individual's attitudes towards policing and their distinctive impact or effectiveness in law enforcement was administered to a group of academy cadets. The same individuals were again assessed o­ne year post training. Their expressed attitudes o­n key issues had undergone considerable change, although most believed that their attitudes had remained stable.