"The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, changed the face of law enforcement in the United States. They also had a great impact on Arab-American communities. This study by the Vera Institute of Justice examines how the changes have affected policing in Arab-American neighborhoods. Many Arab-Americans were troubled by increased government scrutiny of their communities following the terrorist attacks. Indeed, some Arab-American communities said they were more afraid of law enforcement agencies -- especially federal law enforcement agencies -- than they were of acts of hate or violence, despite an increase in hate crimes. They specifically cited fears about immigration enforcement, surveillance and racial profiling. Four significant obstacles to improved relations between police and Arab-American communities emerged: Distrust between Arab- American communities and law enforcement. Lack of cultural awareness among law enforcement officers. Language barriers. Concerns about immigration status and fear of deportation. The study also revealed some promising practices for addressing these obstacles. Although this study focused on Arab-Americans, many of the best practices are consistent with general principles of community policing. The researchers believe they will be useful for improving relations between law enforcement and a wide range of communities, especially geographically concentrated immigrant communities. A more detailed report is available from the Vera Institute of Justice."
National Criminal Justice Reference Service: http://www.ncjrs.gov/