dragnet

(redirected from dragnets)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.

dragnet

1. a heavy or weighted net used to scour the bottom of a pond, river, etc., as when searching for something
2. any system of coordinated efforts by police forces to track down wanted persons

Dragnet

radio show in which justice is always served. [Radio: Buxton, 73]
References in periodicals archive ?
A separate but equally important consideration is that, because they are so easy to justify, dragnets provide tempting opportunities for pretextual police actions.
Moreover, dragnets can be disguised as actions based on individualized suspicion.
The repercussions of the resentment caused by dragnets could go well beyond momentary hostility toward the authorities.
The Supreme Court's take on dragnets is hard to pin down, but an effort at summarization is nonetheless made here.
Current law on dragnets appears to be very complicated.
(140) But such a requirement would eliminate dragnets such as health and safety inspections that virtually everyone (probably including the Framers (141)) would want.
As Burger and the drug-testing programs illustrate, dragnets can be classified as administrative and still achieve crime-control purposes.
(163) At the least, dragnets aimed at minority or poor neighborhoods should be authorized through a democratic process that includes the residents of those neighborhoods.
Some of the dragnets discussed here manage to avoid all of these process defects.
Most fit in the first process-defect category, involving dragnets that are not authorized by legislation.
In other dragnet situations, enabling legislation from the appropriate body existed, but it granted field officers too much discretion; in addition to the inspections in Burger, the dragnets in Colonnade, Biswell, and Skinner (all involving inspections authorized by federal statute) provide examples of this situation.
In some dragnets situations (such as datamining endeavors), one way of doing so is by subjecting everyone (including members of the legislative and executive branches) to the search or seizure, an approach that would also force policy-makers to think through the effects of the power they are granting law enforcement.