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Police Code of Silence in Times of Change

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  • Open Access
  • © 2022

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  • Grounds the police code of silence in police officers’ views of their police organization
  • Utilizes a complex set of individual and organizational factors that shape the code of silence
  • Relies on empirical findings to provide policy recommendations
  • Addresses the disconnect between the public

Part of the book series: SpringerBriefs in Criminology (BRIEFSCRIMINOL)

Part of the book sub series: SpringerBriefs in Policing (BRIEFSPOLICI)

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Table of contents (6 chapters)


About this book

This book explores the contours of the code of silence and provides policy recommendations geared toward creating an environment less conducive for police misconduct. It responds to the recent calls for police reform, in the wake of the perceived illegitimacy of police actions and the protection that the code of silence seems to provide to the police officers who violate the official rules.

Using a case study of a medium-sized U.S. police agency, this book employs the lens of police integrity theory to provide empirically grounded explanations of the code of silence. It examines the potential effects of organizational factors and the attitudes of individual police officers on their willingness to adhere to the code of silence in cases of police corruption, the use of excessive force, interpersonal deviance, and organizational deviance. The book focuses on the following factors that could influence the police code of silence in the times of change:

  • The impact of organizational rule dissemination, discipline, and disciplinary fairness on the scope of the code of silence
  • The role organizational justice plays in shaping police officer willingness to report misconduct
  • The effect that police officers’ self-legitimacy has on their decisions to adhere to the code
  • The influence of peer culture on individual police officer amenability to maintain the code
  • The relationship between officers’ views of themselves, the organization, and the community on their willingness to report misconduct


Authors and Affiliations

  • School of Criminal Justice, Michigan State University, East Lansing, USA

    Sanja Kutnjak Ivković

  • Department of Criminal Justice, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, USA

    Jon Maskály

  • Department of Social, Cultural, and Justice Studies, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, USA

    Ahmet Kule

  • John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, New York, USA

    Maria Maki Haberfeld

About the authors

Sanja Kutnjak Ivković is Professor at the School of Criminal Justice, Michigan State University and the Chair of the American Society of Criminology International Division. She holds a doctorate degree in criminology (Ph.D., University of Delaware) and a doctorate degree in law (S.J.D., Harvard University). Dr. Kutnjak Ivković received the 2017 Mueller Award for Distinguished Contributions to International Criminal Justice, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences International Section. Prof. Kutnjak Ivković has authored/co-authored five books: Police Integrity in South Africa (2020; with Sauerman, A., Faull, A., Meyer, M., and G. Newham, Routledge); Reclaiming Justice. (2011; with John Hagan, Oxford University Press); Enhancing Police Integrity (2006; with Klockars, C. B., and M. R. Haberfeld; Springer); Fallen Blue Knights: Controlling Police Corruption (2005; Oxford University Press); and Lay Participation in Criminal Trials: The Case of Croatia (1999; Austin & Winfield Publishers). She has also co-edited four books: Juries, Lay Judges, and Mixed Courts: A Global Perspective (2020; with Diamond, S.S., Hans, V. P., and N. S. Marder, Cambridge University Press); Exploring Police Integrity: Novel Approaches to Police Integrity Theory and Methodology (2019; with M. R. Haberfeld, Springer); Police Integrity across the World (2015; with M. R. Haberfeld, Springer); The Contours of Police Integrity (2004; with Carl B. Klockars and M. R. Haberfeld, Sage). Her book Reclaiming Justice. (2011; with John Hagan) won the 2014 Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences International Section Book Award and was the Finalist at the 2011 American Society of Criminology International Division Book Award. Prof. Kutnjak Ivković has also authored/co-authored over 50 journal articles and 50 book chapters. Her work has appeared in leading academic and law journals such as the Law and Society Review; Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology; Criminology and Public Policy; Law and Policy; Stanford Journal of International Law; Cornell International Law Journal; Policing and Society; Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management; Police Quarterly; European Journal of Criminology.Jon Maskály is Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of North Dakota. He holds a doctoral degree in criminology from the University of South Florida. Dr. Maskály won (with co-authors) the 2016 William L. Simon Outstanding Paper award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. He has authored or co-authored 29 journal articles and four book chapters. He currently serves on the Editorial Board for Law and Human Behavior. In 2014, Dr. Maskály received the Outstanding Reviewer Award for reviews completed for Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management. He also reviews for 25 different journals including: Justice Quarterly, The Journal of Quantitative Criminology, and the Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency.Ahmet Kule is Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice in the Department of Social, Cultural, and Justice Studies at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. He received his Master’s Degree (2005) and Doctorate (2007) in Criminal Justice from the City University of New York. Before joining the UTC, he served at several institutions including the NATO School in Germany (senior instructor), Center of Excellence (NATO-Ankara), Turkish National Police, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and Montclair State University. He primarily teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses in terrorism, homeland security, cybercrime, policing, hate crimes, justice policies, and comparative criminal justice. Dr. Kule has conducted research in the areas of national security, terrorism, radicalization, policing,criminal interrogations, corrections, and unmanned aerial systems. His recent publications include: The effect of body-worn cameras on satisfaction and general perceptions of police: Findings from a quasi-randomized controlled trial (2020), Intersectionality of race, class, and gender in predicting police satisfaction (2019), Probation system in Turkey: An analysis of public policy formation using multiple streams framework (2019), Unmanned Aerial Systems: Past, Present and Future (2015-Book).
Maria (Maki) Haberfeld is a Professor of Police Science, at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.  She holds a PhD in Criminal Justice from City University of New York.  She served in the Israeli Defense Forces in a counter-terrorist unit and left the army at the rank of a Sergeant. Later she served in the Israel National Police and left the force at the rank of Lieutenant. She is one of the developers of Police Leadership Program for the NYPD sworn officers and the Academic Director of this program since its creation in 2001. In addition, she has created the Law Enforcement Leadership Institute for Police Chiefs in NY State and created an on-line Law Enforcement Leadership Certificate. She has trained police forces around the country and the world including, the Dominican Republic, Czech Republic, Poland, India, China, Cyprus, Turkey, Mongolia, and Taiwan, and conducted research on police integrity in over 70 police departments in the US and in 35 countries.  She was a Principal Investigator of the National Institute of Justice sponsored grant, studying Community Policing in Poland and a co-PI on a number of other grants on studying police integrity and on counter terrorism police responses post 9/11. Dr. Haberfeld also developed and trained some units of the US Military forces, including the U.S. Marines. She has published 21 academic books on policing and over 50 book chapters and journal articles in peerreviewed publications. She is also Series editor of Springer Briefs in Policing, where she recently co-edited 3 briefs on Community Policing and Technology (2018, 2019) and co-authored a brief on Use of Force Training (2020).

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Police Code of Silence in Times of Change

  • Authors: Sanja Kutnjak Ivković, Jon Maskály, Ahmet Kule, Maria Maki Haberfeld

  • Series Title: SpringerBriefs in Criminology

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Law and Criminology, Law and Criminology (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Author(s) 2022

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-96843-4Published: 05 April 2022

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-96844-1Published: 04 April 2022

  • Series ISSN: 2192-8533

  • Series E-ISSN: 2192-8541

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XII, 122

  • Number of Illustrations: 5 b/w illustrations, 1 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Crime Control and Security, Critical Criminology, Crime and the Media

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