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Analyzing the Application of competing Theories of Justice into American and Pakistani Policing Strategies

James F. Albrecht

Law enforcement agencies across the United States have implemented
a number of enforcement philosophies since 1960 in an effort to counter
rising crime rates, violence, and prolific victimization. The primarily
reactive deployment of police resources in the 1960s and 1970s had
proved to be ineffective. With drug related violence escalating, frustrated
American police administrators opted to implement community policing
with its proactive crime reduction and problem solving approaches. Crime
control results were limited before showing signs of improved
effectiveness in the mid-1990s. Many government and police leaders, as
early as 1994, often instituted a ‘zero tolerance’ enforcement mandate,
which directed that the police universally address both serious crime and
quality of life infractions. Combined with timely crime analysis, the
proactive arrest-oriented strategies quickly drew the attention of
government and police leadership across the United States and
internationally as crime rates in America continued to plummet. As a result,
the ‘get tough on crime’ mindset rapidly replaced the neighborhood and
public oriented approaches fostered by the traditional models of
community policing. American state, regional, and local police agencies had
thus shifted their enforcement strategy from one supporting the ‘left
realism’ community focused theory of justice to one that has firmly grasped
the ‘right realism’ crime and disorder control based ideology. However,
with occasional allegations of racial profiling and police brutality following
rare but dramatically sensationalized incidents, the reported successes of
American crime control tactics may need to be re-evaluated. The potential
impact of this transformation as it has affected the perceptions of the
citizens of the United States will be comprehensively analyzed. The
experiences of the New York City Police Department will be specifically
highlighted as an example of American policing practices at the municipal
level. In addition, the relevance of this evaluation as it relates to criminal justice and law enforcement policies and practices within the Islamic
Republic of Pakistan will be noted.

Key Words: Left realism; right realism; community policing; policing;
United States; critical criminology; Islamic Republic of Pakistan; theory of