Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, University of New Haven
- The more crime experienced in a community, the less likely police are to practice lenient policing.
- As crime in a community increases, police officers will encounter more work.
- The more Black residents there are in a community, the more likely police officers will focus on all types of crime.
In the article, “Minority‐threat hypothesis and the workload hypothesis: A community‐level examination of lenient policing in high crime communities,” Boyd and his co-author use the frameworks of workload and minority-threat hypothesis to examine lenient policing in communities. The workload hypothesis is the amount of daily work officers’ are responsible for and how it impacts their behavior at the community level. The minority-threat hypothesis suggests that race, specifically African Americans, threaten other races, specifically Whites. To conduct their study, the researchers created a questionnaire that was self-administered to mid-sized police departments in the midwest from 1999-2000, totaling 353 respondents. The results showed that crime had a significant negative correlation on lenient policing; the more crime experienced in a community, the less likely police are less likely to practice lenient policing. The results also showed a positive significant relationship between crime and workload meaning the more crime there is, the more workload police officers will have. The relationship between black residents and lenient policing was also strong and positive; the more black residents there are the more focus police officers will put on crime.