Articles on Policing

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A woman protesting the shooting death of Alton Sterling is detained by Baton Rouge police. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman

Who dies in police custody? Texas, California offer new tools to find out

No federal database provides reliable info on deaths that occur in police custody. It’s the same situation in 48 states. But now California and Texas are offering new models of accountability.
A vigil in memory of Alton Sterling, who was shot dead by police. Baton Rouge, Louisiana. REUTERS/Jeffrey Dubinsky

Why is it so hard to improve American policing?

For 50 years, we have worked to make U.S. police more diverse and less intrusive. Why haven't we made more progress?
How effective are drug-detection dogs in minimising harm? AAP/Paul Miller

Why drug-detection dogs are sniffing up the wrong tree

Drug-detection dogs don't stop most drug use. And they have been shown to encourage more dangerous practices, criminalise and traumatise marginalised groups, and render all as potential suspects.
In response to the surge of crime in the mid-1990s, suburban dwellers in South Africa began to fortress their houses. Shutterstock

Beyond the unthinkable? City dwellings without security walls

In response to high levels of crime, South Africans have turned their homes into fortresses, seeking security behind high walls. But doing so might be counter-productive.
A harsh criminal justice system – in particular, more prisons and people behind bars – has apparently become a hallmark of good government. AAP/Dave Hunt

How ‘tough on crime’ politics flouts death-in-custody recommendations

Australia has become less compassionate, more punitive and more ready to blame individuals for their alleged failings since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

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