Data and Code for: Does Discipline Decrease Police Misconduct? Evidence from Chicago Civilian Allegations



Reformers are calling for greater oversight of police behavior, in part through enhanced use of civilian complaints. However, others counter that greater oversight could chill effective policing. We assess police officer response to administrative determinations of misconduct. Using Chicago data, we find strong evidence that a sustained allegation reduces that officer’s future misconduct. We find no evidence that this effect is driven by incapacitation, such as assignment to desk duty, or by officer disengagement. We conclude that our findings are most consistent with improved officer conduct, in part from oversight and officer concerns over promotion, salary, and desirable assignments.

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