Profiling of Suspected Criminals: Appropriate Response or Constitutional Error?

J. Lee Ingram, University of Dayton

ABSTRACT
Recent public clamor concerning profiling containing a racial component has filled both newspapers and the broadcast media while generating almost universal revulsion. Criminal profiles constitute useful and appropriate tools for law enforcement from the drug courier profile used at airports and interstate highways to the descriptive profile of an urban drug purveyor of recreational pharmaceuticals. Properly devised and implemented, criminal profiles must be constructed to avoid improper racial stereotyping while providing an appropriate response to potential criminal activity.

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Updated 05/20/2006