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Bad apples and incredible certitude
Criminology & Public Policy  (IF4.333),  Pub Date : 2021-06-14, DOI: 10.1111/1745-9133.12545
Michael Sierra-Arévalo, Andrew Papachristos

Chalfin and Kaplan attend to the problem of police misconduct with a series of simulation analyses that leverage data on complaints and uses of force in the Chicago Police Department. They conclude that incapacitating officers has minimal effects on misconduct and that, given political constraints, policy makers may prefer broader reforms around accountability and management to removing “bad apples”. In this comment, we argue that this conclusion and its policy implications are characterized by “incredible certitude” driven by a selective focus on a subset of their full simulation results and inadequate incorporation of network spillovers into their analysis.