A Clemson University professor has shared research findings on police use of force with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to help inform international policy.
Kyle McLean, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice, published a sweeping review of research related to domestic police use of force and presented findings to members of the National Academies Committee on Law and Justice last year.
Prompted by a request from the U.S. Department of State, which provides foreign assistance and support for criminal justice systems in approximately 90 countries, the Committee on Law and Justice enlisted the help of an ad hoc committee and experts in the field of criminology to examine use of force practices and policies from a research perspective.
Along with colleagues from the University of South Carolina and Griffith University, McLean reviewed existing research to determine if there was adequate evidence to understand, explain and regulate police use of force in domestic and international contexts. In addition to research, McLean met with colleagues at the committee’s information gathering workshop to present findings in police training, supervision, policies and accountability.
McLean said an abundance of theories and lack of rigorous evaluation has left a deficit in this critical area of research. His report to the National Academies suggested the need for greater resources to study effective use of force practices that inform policy recommendations and protect the population, including officers themselves.
While the research compilation focused on institutions, laws and procedures specific to the United States, McLean found the issues to be relevant in other national contexts – and applicable to criminal justice systems internationally.
After reviewing research from McLean and other field experts, the committee published a comprehensive report, Policies and Practices to Minimize Police Use of Force Internationally, and a five book series assessing all aspects of domestic and international policing in order to make research-driven recommendations to advance reform across all global security and justice sectors.
The Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice is part of the University’s College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences (CBSHS). Established in July 2016, CBSHS is a 21st-century, land-grant college that combines work in seven disciplines – communication; nursing; parks, recreation and tourism management; political science; psychology; public health sciences; sociology, anthropology and criminal justice – to further its mission of “building people and communities” in South Carolina and beyond.
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