The Wickersham Commission’s 1931 report on the criminal justice system was a landmark event in American policing. President Herbert Hoover appointed the commission to, among other things, address the many problems with Prohibition enforcement. But the commission’s work led its members to explore other issues in the American criminal justice system, and some of their findings and recommendations shocked the nation and law enforcement professionals. Of particular importance were the commission’s reports on policing and the lawlessness of law enforcement, the latter exposing primarily police brutality and corruption. While the commission’s reports did not immediately result in reforms, some of the findings and recommendations provided philosophical and operational precursors for community policing as we know it today. This entry provides a history of the commission, ...

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