“Fatigue, distraction, and bias: What they mean for law enforcement” lecture by Stephen and Lois James hosted by WSU Common Reading Program Feb. 29

Pullman, Wash. The Washington State University Common Reading Program hosts Stephen James and Lois James on “Fatigue, Distraction, and Bias: What They Mean for Law Enforcement and the Communities They Serve” on Mon., Feb. 29 at 5 p.m. in CUE 203. The public is welcome at this free lecture.

The James’s are both researchers in WSU’s Sleep and Performance Research Center. Lois is also a research assistant professor in the Dept. of Criminal Justice and Criminology at WSU Spokane. Her research, currently funded by the Spokane Police Department, focuses on the dynamics of encounters between police officers and people in crisis. The James’s say that police officers are the gatekeepers to the criminal justice system however, as they are human beings, they have the same physical and mental limitations as the rest of us.

The James’s will discuss several key problems facing the police profession today, such as chronic shift-work-related fatigue, dangerous distracted-driving conditions, and implicit racial biases. The effect of these problems will be examined across a range of policing tasks ranging from deadly force judgement and decision making to patrol driving and tactical social interaction. They will invite the audience to consider how police fatigue, distraction, and bias impact progress toward a “just and merciful” criminal justice system. They also will provide insight into what police departments do to safeguard against these effects.

The WSU Common Reading Program hosts lectures, film showings, and other events that explore the topics raised in this year’s chosen book, “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson. Since 2006, the common reading has stimulated academic discussions in first-year courses, classrooms, and beyond.

Read more about the program, the book, and events at http://CommonReading.wsu.edu.