The following entry contains the black letter to § 1.12, Interacting with Vulnerable Populations, from Chapter 1, General Principles of Sound Policing, from Principles of the Law, Policing, Tentative Draft No. 4. 

§ 1.12. Interacting with Vulnerable Populations

           (a) The term “vulnerable populations” refers to individuals or groups who, by virtue of their age, identity, status, disability, or circumstance, may be particularly susceptible to criminal victimization and may face special challenges in their interactions with the police.

           (b) Officers should treat all members of the public, including those who are in vulnerable populations, with sensitivity and respect.

           (c) Agencies should ensure, through policies, training, and supervision, that officers are prepared to recognize potential vulnerabilities on the part of individuals with whom they come in contact, to interact safely and respectfully with different vulnerable populations, and to respond to individuals in crisis in ways that minimize the risk of harm.

           (d) Agencies should engage proactively with vulnerable populations—as well as with the organizations and advocates who work with them—in order to build trusting relationships, identify issues of concern, and take care that policing occurs in a manner that addresses the unique needs of different vulnerable populations.

           (e) Agencies should work with partners outside law enforcement—including criminal-justice system professionals, social-services providers, health practitioners, and courts—to identify and address the challenges facing different vulnerable populations, create alternatives to police interaction with these populations, and reduce their involvement in the criminal-justice system

This Tentative Draft has not yet been considered or approved by ALI membership. Therefore, it does not represent the position of The American Law Institute and should not be represented as such.

The projected overall Table of Contents can be found here. To request copies of Tentative Drafts approved by ALI membership at past Annual Meetings, please email


Barry Friedman

Reporter, Policing Principles

Barry Friedman is the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Professor of Law and Affiliated Professor of Politics at NYU Law.  He is one of the country’s leading authorities on constitutional law, policing, criminal procedure, and the federal courts. He is the author of the critically-acclaimed The Will of the People: How Public Opinion Has Influenced the Supreme Court and Shaped the Meaning of the Constitution (2009), and the forthcoming book on policing and the Constitution, Unwarranted: Policing without Permission(February 2017). He is the founding director of NYU Law’s Policing Project.

Brandon L. Garrett

Associate Reporter, Policing Principles

Brandon L. Garrett is the L. Neil Williams, Jr. Professor of Law  at Duke Law School. His research and teaching interests include criminal procedure, wrongful convictions, habeas corpus, corporate crime, scientific evidence, civil rights, civil procedure and constitutional law. Garrett’s recent research includes studies of DNA exonerations and organizational prosecutions. In addition to numerous articles published in leading law journals, he is the author of five books, including: The Death Penalty: Concepts and Insights (West Academic, 2018) (with Lee Kovarsky); and End of its Rope: How Killing the Death Penalty Can Revive Criminal Justice (Harvard University Press, 2017).

Rachel A. Harmon

Associate Reporter, Policing Principles

Rachel Harmon is the F.D.G Ribble Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law.  She teaches in the areas of criminal law, criminal procedure and civil rights, and her scholarship focuses on policing and its regulation. From 1998 to 2006, Harmon served as a prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice. After a brief stint at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Virginia, Harmon worked in the Civil Rights Division, Criminal Section, prosecuting hate crimes and official misconduct cases, many of which involved excessive force or sexual abuse by police officers.

Tracey L. Meares

Associate Reporter, Policing Principles

Tracey L. Meares is the Walton Hale Hamilton Professor of Law at Yale Law School. She has worked extensively with the federal government, having served on the Committee on Law and Justice, a National Research Council Standing Committee of the National Academy of Sciences from 2004–2011. Additionally, she has served on two National Research Council Review Committees: one to review research on police policy and practices, which produced the book, Fairness and Effectiveness in Policing: The Evidence and another to review the National Institute of Justice, Strengthening the National Institute of Justice. In November of 2010, she was named by Attorney General Eric Holder to sit on the Department of Justice’s newly-created Science Advisory Board; and in December 2014, President Obama named her as a member of his Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

Maria Ponomarenko

Associate Reporter, Policing Principles

Maria Ponomarenko is an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law. She teaches and writes in the areas of administrative law, local government law, constitutional law, and criminal procedure. Her work focuses in particular on government agencies—such as policing agencies or other local administrative agencies—that operate in domains that fall beyond the reach of traditional administrative law and scholarship. In addition to her work at the law school, Ponomarenko is co-founder and counsel at the Policing Project, a non-profit based at the NYU School of Law that works in tandem with policing agencies and community groups to promote more effective police governance.

Christopher Slobogin

Associate Reporter, Policing Principles

Christopher Slobogin is the Milton R. Underwood Chair in Law; Director, Criminal Justice Program; and Affiliate Professor of Psychiatry at Vanderbilt Law School. He has authored more than 100 articles, books and chapters on topics relating to criminal law and procedure, mental health law and evidence, and is one of the five most cited criminal law and procedure professors in the country.  Particularly influential has been his work on the Fourth Amendment and technology and his writing on mental disability and criminal law.

Jennifer Morinigo

The American Law Institute


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