Corruption in law Inforcement

Madelyn Tanner

Essential Question

Why would corruption in law inforcement be considered a "tragedy of the commons?"

Background Information

  • Usually the officers who live in a bad area are the ones who are, or become corrupt
  • Officers sometimes overlook an important law violation in exchange for money
  • Alot of corruption cases are usually because of bribery
  • Some corrupt officers injure citizens in unnecessary cases

Causes of Corruption

Effects of Corruption

  • Jail is the effect for some cops, more than likely because of bribes.
  • Corruption can lead to local citizens not trusting their police force as much as they should.
  • Because bribes have become the motivation of some court cases, crime can happen more than usual which negatively effects the people.
  • Many people are loosing loved ones because their area might have alot of corrupt police officers working there.

Real World Examples

  • In Nigeria citizens were told that they would not get help from the police unless they paid them.
  • In California police were "preying on the poor" by fining them when it was unnecessary.
  • In Latin America one out of five people reported paying officers bribes over the past twelve months.


In conclusion, police corruption is considered a "tradgedy of the commons" because when an officer is corrupt it makes the rest of the police personnel untrustable. When nobody trusts the police, crime is not delt with because nobody called them. Some of the crime might kill innocent people, so in the end the police force is very weak and it is costing them citizen's lives.


  1. Reforms- The improvement of what is wrong, corrupt,etc.
  2. Corrupt- Guilty of dishonest practices, as bribery or lacking integrity.


  • Almasy, Steve, and Janet DiGiacomo. "Prosecutor: Cops in Rural California Town Preyed on Poor Drivers." CNN. Cable News Network, 26 Feb. 2014. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.
  • Coombes, Thomas. "Crossing the Line: The Consequences of Police Corruption." Transparency International. N.p., 4 Aug. 2011. Web. 11 Dec. 2014.
  • "Download PDFs." Police Corruption. Ed. Brent E. Turvey. Stan Crowder, 23 May 2014. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.
  • "POLICE CORRUPTION: A LOOK AT HISTORY." The New York Times. The New York Times, 23 Sept. 1986. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.
  • Polinsky, A. Mitchell. "Corruption and Optimal Law Enforcement." Ed. Steven Shavell. / Locate / Econbase Corruption and Optimal Law Enforcement 81 (2001): 1-24. Web. 4 Dec. 2014.
  • Overview of Corruption within the Justice Sector and Law Enforcement Agencies in Bangladesh (n.d.): 1+. Anti-Corruption Resource Centre., 12 Feb. 2012. Web. 10 Dec. 2014.