Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Obi N. I. Ebbe
Police corruption is a worldwide problem shared by both developing nations and capitalist democracies. The police occupy a very important position in every social system, and traditionally they have been highly valued, both as an institution and as individuals who serve the community. Despite some skeptics, most people trust the police. Yet corruption is common worldwide, and it is increasing. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the number of American police sentenced to prison increased from 107 in 1994 to 548 in 1998 (Ronald and Ostow 1998). This means that criminal justice researchers as well as the general public are faced with answering some very basic questions: Why are there are good and bad police officers and departments? Why are some police officers corrupt and others are not? In Black's Law Dictionary , corruption is defined as “an act with intent to gain some advantage inconsistent with official duty ...