Arrest-Related Deaths: A Case Study

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Describe the purpose of the data source and one way it can specifically be used by researchers and or practitioners. (10 points). The Arrest-Related Deaths (ARD) program is an annual national census which collects and reports the number of persons who died either during the process of an arrest or while in custody of state or local law enforcement. The collection of data includes the civilian deaths which were caused by any use of force of state or local law enforcement directly or those which may not be directly related to acts of law enforcement. Some examples of indirect force would be deaths attributed to suicide, intoxication, accidental injury, and illness or natural causes. The Bureau of Justice Statistics implemented this program…show more content…
“The FBI estimated state and local law enforcement officers made 97.9 million arrests from 2003 through 2009. During the same period, 4,813 arrest-related deaths were reported to BJS”(Arrest-Related Deaths, 2003-2009- Statistical Tables) This was interesting to me since out of such a large number of arrests, the ARDs seems to be so low. This made me question if this is due to the underestimating/ underreporting or could the number of deaths actually be this low. It was also interesting to me how homicide accounted for the majority of arrest-related deaths, which was discussed in the article, so once again, although there is underestimations, can we still assume that homicide accounts for most of the arrest-related…show more content…
This is due to the fact that not all deaths that occur during interactions with law enforcement are reported to the program, which would account for any undercounting. There are certain circumstances that are excluded from the scope of the ARD program. Deaths of bystanders, hostages, and law enforcement personnel; deaths by federal law enforcement agents; deaths of wanted criminal suspects prior to police contact; and deaths by vehicular pursuits without andy direct police action, are the four general situations which are excluded from reporting. The lack of standardized modes for data collection, definitions, scope, participation, and availability of resources are all aspects which account for some of the significant challenges that still exist when it comes to this program. According to the “Arrest-Related Deaths Program: Data Quality Profile” March 2015, the ARD program captured about 50% of the estimated law enforcement homicides during 2003-09 and 2009. It also states that this assessment did not examine the coverage of other deaths which the ARD was designed to capture including deaths due to accidents, drug overdoses, and natural

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