Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 289–303 | Cite as

Policing the homeless: An ethical dilemma

  • John Kleinig


The homeless challenge police to reconsider their social role, the constituency they serve, the alliances they should form, and the activities they should engage in. This paper considers three conceptions of the police role — law enforcement, order maintenance, and social peacekeeping — and indicates how they impinge on treatment of the homeless. The moral challenge posed by the homeless favors the peacekeeping conception, but the inadequate resources available to police make it essential that they consider alliances with social service organizations, and even some form of collective lobbying or public conscientization.


Social Service Social Role Ethical Dilemma Service Organization Inadequate Resource 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Kleinig
    • 1
  1. 1.John Jay College of Criminal JusticeNew York

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