Jammed Up

Bad Cops, Police Misconduct, and the New York City Police Department

239 pages

8 figures, 13 tables

November, 2012

ISBN: 9780814748411



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Robert J. Kane is Associate Professor in the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Baltimore.

All books by Robert J. Kane

Michael D. White is Associate Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University and Associate Director of the Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety at ASU. He is co-editor of Race, Ethnicity and Policing: New and Essential Readings and author of Current Issues and Controversies in Policing.

All books by Michael D. White

Drugs, bribes, falsifying evidence, unjustified force and kickbacks: there are many opportunities for cops to act like criminals. Jammed Up is the definitive study of the nature and causes of police misconduct. While police departments are notoriously protective of their own—especially personnel and disciplinary information—Michael White and Robert Kane gained unprecedented, complete access to the confidential files of NYPD officers who committed serious offenses, examining the cases of more than 1,500 NYPD officers over a twenty year period that includes a fairly complete cycle of scandal and reform, in the largest, most visible police department in the United States. They explore both the factors that predict officer misconduct, and the police department’s responses
to that misconduct, providing a comprehensive framework for understanding the issues. The conclusions they draw are important not just for what they can tell us about the NYPD but for how we are to understand the very nature of police misconduct.
»» An off-duty officer driving his private vehicle stops at a convenience store on Long Island, after having just worked a 10 hour shift in Brooklyn, to steal a six pack of beer at gun point. Is this police misconduct?
»» A police officer is disciplined no less than six times in three years for failing to comply with administrative standards and is finally dismissed from employment for losing his NYPD shield (badge). Is this police misconduct?
»» An officer was fired for abusing his sick time, but then further investigation showed that the officer was found not guilty in a criminal trial during which he was accused of using his position as a police officer to protect drug and prostitution enterprises. Which is the example of police misconduct?


  • "Not only is the book extremely well researched and complete with references and citations of the scientific literature pertaining to police misconduct studies, but the writing style is accessible to a general audience as it uses a character-driven model of police misconduct cases and examples."

    Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books

  • "This study should be of great value to scholars, advanced students, and police practitioners."


  • "This inside look at bad cops comes with a powerful corollary that demands further exploration: 'Good policing is not the absence of police misconduct.'"

    New York Times

  • Jammed Up is a must-read for police scholars and practitioners who want to understand police misconduct and how it impacts officers and organizations. Robert Kane and Michael White brilliantly weave their analysis of bad policing into layers of information that help us understand good policing. This comprehensive volume helps us understand how to investigate police misconduct and how to understand it. It is a complex book that uncovers the dark side of policing but keeps it in its proper context.” 

    —Geoffrey P. Alpert, co-author of Policing: Continuity and Change

  • Jammed Up provides a lively empirical study of career-ending misconduct in the NYPD from the late 1970s through the 1990s. Interpreted through the lens of criminological theories of deviance and enriched by sketches of police officer miscreants, Jammed Up will be of interest to students, scholars and members of the general public who are curious about the causes of police delinquency.”

    —Jennifer Hunt, author of Seven Shots: An NYPD Raid on a Terrorist Cell and Its Aftermath