Sociology Index

NEGOTIATION OF CRIMINAL STATUS

Negotiation of criminal status refers to the fact that authorities and offenders against the law are involved in an interactive process of defining criminality.

In the negotiation of criminal status, police or judges may ask:

  • Was the offence intentional?
  • Is the person who committed it someone who requires control from the criminal justice system?
  • Is it important to deter them from further potential crime or is repetition unlikely?

The behavior of the offender in interaction or 'negotiation of criminal status' with police and judges will shape what label, if any, will be applied to the situation. Thus defining criminal status is an interactive process involving participants in interpretation and negotiation. The conditions, functions and consequences of police interrogation constitute the focus of the analysis above.

Within this frame of reference, police work is seen as a general function of statepower as well as a special kind of societal reaction to deviant behavior.

Then, the interaction process of police interrogation is analysed under a theoretical concept concerning the specific underlying compulsive structure of communicative behavior in relation to the negotiation of criminal status.

The findings of this analysis reinforce the hypothesis that the social control exercised by the police is highly selective to the disadvantage of the underprivileged and powerless.

Strategy and tactics of police interrogation - on the sociological analysis of selective criminalization - Journal: Kriminologisches Journal Volume:7 Issue:1 dated:(1975) pages:4-16
P Malinowski ; M Brusten
Annotation: sociological analysis of conditions, functions, and consequences of police interrogation using the police system in west germany as the basis of analysis.
Abstract: police work is seen as a function of state power as well as a variety of social reaction to deviance. Interrogation is seen as a special variety of communicative behavior concerning the negotiation and determination of criminal status. The study found this process highly selective to the disadvantage of the underprivileged and powerless. - in German, Summary in English.