Wesley G. Skogan, “Use of Force and Police Reform in Brazil: A National
Survey of Police Officers,” Police Practice and Research, 14 (No. 4, August),
This study examined self-reported use of force on the street by police officers in Brazil.
The survey was conducted as part of an evaluation of a nationwide reform effort aimed
at upgrading police professionalism, tightening standards for police operations,
improving managerial practices, enhancing quality of life among the lower ranks, and
inculcating greater respect for citizens’ rights through training. Respondents were
serving in 26 of the country’s 27 federal states and 1938 different municipalities. The
opportunity to participate was presented on the web page that they log on to routinely
in order to perform administrative tasks. The frequency of self-reported use of force
was driven most strongly by perceptions of a risky work environment, including both
their self-assess personal risk and a general rating of the area in which they worked.
Use of force was reported being used less frequently by officers who were satisfied
with their careers, scored high on a personal professionalism index, supported the
reform program and community policing, which was also being promoted. Women,
older officers, and those with more education reported less frequent use of force.
Keywords: Brazil; police reform; use of force; risk; work environment; satisfaction;