Federal consent decrees: a review of policies, processes, and outcomes

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Federal consent decrees have been used to reform police organizations in the United States for more than two decades. Agencies having completed consent decrees and the data accumulated in the process, however, have rarely been examined. Meanwhile, the approach has become controversial as some see consent decrees as restrictive and costly to police and others view them as promising for improving police accountability and performance. Considering the confusion and controversies surrounding consent decrees, this paper provides a review of related policies, processes, and outcomes to develop a more accurate understanding of the nature of consent decrees and the specific areas that need to be addressed in order to bring about meaningful changes in policing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)793-804
Number of pages12
JournalPolice Practice and Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Law


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