Procedural Justice And Pretextual Stops
One focus of procedural justice is how police act when they engage with the community, but why they engage could matter even more. Jonathan Blanks, writing in the Case Western Reserve Law Review, argues that certain types of legal police engagement, no matter how friendly or polite, may still undermine procedural justice. Blanks explains this concept through the example of the pretextual stop, which he says fundamentally violates trust and good faith between police and community. Read More
Six Pillars Of United States Policing
In light of current events that have revealed rifts between local police and community relationship, an executive order was signed to establish a task force on 21st century policing. President Obama charged the task by determining best practices and giving recommendations on how police work can reduce crime . The report emphasized building trust asserting that an atmosphere of mutual respect would be attained by treating one another with respect. Youth-focused policing is required to employ the six pillars of US policing as a framework for a task force.
Strengthening The Relationship Between Law Enforcement And Communities Of Color
On April 4, 2014, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services hosted a conference with law enforcement officials, civil rights activists, academic experts, community leaders, and policymakers at the Ford Foundation offices in New York City. This forum was the first in a series of forums focusing on building trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. This publication, recently published by COPS at DOJ, is a great outline of the first of many forums to focus on building trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. Read More
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Nnsc National Conference 201: Truth
This plenary session of the National Network for Safe Communities‘ conference provides an overview of the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice and situates it within the context of the post-Ferguson climate around trust, legitimacy, reform, and reconciliation. Participants discuss the genesis of the National Initiative, its aims and early steps, and its relevance to the national interest in re-examining traditional criminal justice and promoting truth-telling and reconciliation between law enforcement and the communities it serves. Moderated by David Kennedy, Director of the NNSC, this panel features Katherine Darke Schmitt, Policy Advisor in the Office of Justice Programs at the US Department of Justice, Tom Tyler, Macklin Fleming Professor of Law at Yale University, Tracie Keesee, Project Director of the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice, and Priscilla Hayner, independent writer and consultant on truth and reconciliation processes.
Procedural Justice And Police Legitimacy
Procedural justice describes the idea that how individuals regard the justice system is tied to the perceived fairness of the process and how they were treated the Oakland Police Department, as part of the criminal justice system, must constantly demonstrate its legitimacy to the public.
Procedural Justice is an evidence-based practice grounded in the research of Yale professors Tom Tyler and Tracey Meares. Their work has been incorporated into the Ceasefire strategy as one of many initiatives to strengthen community-police relationships.
Procedural Justice Training – now required of every Oakland Police officer – helps to ensure that OPD supports public safety in Oakland with procedures that demonstrate respect for each Oakland resident and visitor. OPD’s goal for PJ training is to enhance positive interactions with the community. Unlike classes that focus on tactics, this course focuses solely on understanding the impacts of poor treatment of community members and giving officers practical principles to inform how they treat the community.
Captain Roland Holmgren administers an exam following Procedural Justice Training
The practical principles taught in the class are intended to help officers both personally and professionally.
The 4 principles are:
- Giving people a voice
- Being fair/unbiased
- Being respectful
- Providing a trustworthy process
Phase 1: Classroom
Phase 2: Application in the Field
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Utility Of The Pillars Of Justice Serve In Promoting Trust
Police officers are required to allow individuals to provide their side of the story and let them vent. If someone encounters law enforcers, the latter should explain what to do or what will happen as the outcome of specific actions. Equity is enhanced by telling why some actions need to be taken. The reasons provided must be fair and unbiased, showing that peoples inputs are considered. Nevertheless, acting with dignity implies respect, humanity, being kind and compassionate . By addressing these core elements of human needs, officers will elevate the quality of interaction, and community members will likely see them as helping. The pillars of justice promote trust by allowing constant communication between public and police force, that this can be achieved through survey approaches. More so, setting expectations for recruited officers enable performance within ethical boundaries and satisfying community needs. By employing the principle of transparency, monitoring programs can be implemented within an agency to build trust with at-risk people.
Promote Trust And Ensure Legitimacy
Usually, individuals are likely to obey rules when they are certain that implementors have legitimate authority. For instance, community members are quickly trusting to officers who serve them rightfully. Since 1990, policing has become effective and well equipped to deal with crimes . Measures such as diversity inclusion have helped to improve trust by showing no biases in police force recruitment. Once an equity in the workplace is achieved, the public trust the system by confiding to officers whom they share same backgrounds. However, level of confidence remains low hence, the urgent need in modern law enforcement to promote trust and legitimacy, which would be facilitated by the key pillars of justice. Furthermore, involving youths in police work such as investigations and crime detection would help to build relationship with officers and increase reporting, while letting citizens participate in solutions through suggestion.
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Perceptions Of Blackwhite Disparities During Contact With Police
The police are the criminal justice systems gatekeepers. This means that a citizens first contact with the criminal justice system may be with an officer this is likely to happen during a traffic stop , making such contact very important for maintaining good relations between both parties. Studies designed to improve the relationship between the police and the African American community are vital because the literature has shown that, compared to Whites, Blacks are less trusting of the police , believe that the law is disproportionately enforced against them , believe that they are stopped unlawfully while driving , are convinced that they are stereotyped as violent and dangerous , and are arrested at higher rates than are Whites for similar offenses . Thus, identifying policing practices that may lead to improved relations between the police and African Americans is important.
Procedural Injustice Risky Lifestyles And Violent Victimization
Participation in risky lifestyles is a well-established predictor of victimization. Several variables have been identified as key predictors of risky activities but there may be additional sources not considered in the literature to date. Procedural Injustice, Risky Lifestyles, and Violent Victimization argues that perceptions of procedural unfairness represent a break in social control, thereby opening the door for participation in risky lifestyles that are conducive to victimization. The study demonstrates that police procedural injustice was positively associated with risky lifestyles, which partially mediated the relationship between procedural injustice and violent victimization.
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Legitimacy Policing In Depth
Legitimacy is a feature of legal systems that makes them worthy of respect, so that people living in legitimate legal systems have reasons to accept the use of state coercion to enforce laws that they do not necessarily agree with and may even think quite unjust. Thus, legitimacy means respect-worthiness
The police officers job is to respect the citizens that they are in control of.
Law enforcement officers are more effectively able to carry out their duties and responsibilities if they are perceived as having legitimate authority by the citizenry that they serve. Members of the community are more likely to follow the law and to cooperate with police when they believe that the laws, and the officers enforcing them, are legitimate. Improving relations with the community not only improves legitimacy it is also a core objective of policing in its own right, as identified by panels of subject-matter experts on policing .
An assessment sponsored by the Campbell Collaboration compared outcomes in dozens of instances where agencies instituted legitimacy policing approaches and then evaluated the results. In addition to finding that efforts to improve community relations with the public were generally successful, this assessment found two elements that were especially important in making such efforts work: conducting efforts to improve procedural justice in interactions with the public and carrying out ongoing dialogues with the community.
Changes Recommended Within Us Policing
Reforms in the US police system usually focus on strategies that result in injustice practices such as killings. The latter is a debated topic since it is common in the community and appears in all aspects of daily interactions, questioning the relationship between police and minority groups. Poor police practice and lack of effective dialogues with public members result in high criminalization rates and arrests. In that way, suggestions such as establishing a law enforcement culture of guardian mindset are provided on how the US policing system can be improved to ease the problem in society. Mediation teams should be introduced through voluntary right-based prevention policies to deter individuals such as youths from engaging in criminal related activities.. Changes such as removal of stop and frisk police approach are recommended to condemn aggressive behaviors by policie.
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Webinar: The Importance Of Enhancing Procedural Justice In Interactions With Juveniles
This webinar describes recent research demonstrating the particular salience of procedural justice to juveniles, a group that has frequent contact with the criminal justice system and whose orientation toward the law is still being established. Presenters discussed how criminal justice actors can use the insights of this research to improve their legitimacy in the eyes of young people in their communities.
Community Policing And Procedural Justice
What is the Evidence on Community Policing and Procedural Justice?
Seattle Police image courtesy of Flickr user Hollywata and used under a Creative Commons license.
What is Community Policing?
Community policing is perhaps the best known and certainly the most widely adopted police innovation of the past three decades. Indeed, recent research suggests that close to 100 percent of larger agencies claim to have adopted community policing . What exactly adopting community policing entails is less clear. Community policing spans a broad range of programs from neighborhood newsletters and neighborhood substations to foot patrol and neighborhood watch. Neighborhood watch programs vary in their level of police involvement, but police are often important in the initial organization and coordination of watch groups.
Community policing definitions typically focus on three components that characterize many programs: some level of community involvement and consultation decentralization, often increasing discretion to line-level officers and problem solving . Because community policing is focused on close collaboration with the community and addressing community problems, it has often been seen as an effective way to increase citizen satisfaction and enhance the legitimacy of the police .
What is Procedural Justice and Police Legitimacy?
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Procedural Justice In Policing
Procedural justice and proceduralfairness are terms that refer to the way legal authorities interact with the public and how those interactions shape the publics view of those authorities. I first learned of this framework for evaluating those interactions in connection with my work with court officials. Researchers have determined that peoples assessments of their experiences in the court system are influenced more by how they are treated and how their cases are handled than by whether they win or lose. It turns out that the same principles apply to the publics perception of law enforcement officers. And a perception of procedural justice may increase the publics compliance with the law and their willingness to cooperate with officers.
Legitimacy refers to the belief among people in a society that those in power deserve to make decisions that influence the lives of others. Id. at 81. Empirical studies have indicated that peoples perceptions regarding the legitimacy of the police, the courts and the law positively influence their deference to police authority during personal encounters, their compliance with the law, their cooperation with the police, and their acceptance of police authority. Id.
Alignment To Other Research Findings
There are obvious areas of overlap between procedural justice and the research relating to desistance and supervision skills. For example, the need to develop positive practitioner/service user relationships which are supportive but challenging when necessary, with appropriate disclosure. The importance of user voice is another constant theme. Service users report that they value being listened to, and for their probation officer to take the time to recognise them as an individual, demonstrate empathy and show a genuine concern for their wellbeing. Service users then feel more able to open up and talk.
In our full round of probation inspections completed during 2018/2019, we examined over 3,000 cases with our inspectors considering whether the service user was meaningfully involved at key stages. The figure below illustrates that meaningful involvement fell from just over two-thirds of cases at the assessment stage to just over a half of the cases at the reviewing stage.
Blasko, B.L. and Taxman, F.S. . Are Supervision Practices Procedurally Fair? Development and Predictive Utility of a Procedural Justice Measure for Use in Community Corrections Settings, Criminal Justice & Behavior, 45, pp. 402-420.
Manchak, S.M., Kennealy, P.J. and Skeem, J.L. . Officer-Offender Relationship Quality Matters: Supervision Process as Evidence-Based Practice, The Journal of American Probation and Parole Association Perspectives, 38, pp. 57-70.
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Respect For African Americans
When the participants were asked if the police treated African Americans with respect, fifty-seven of them , or approximately three out of four, noted that the police had no respect or very little respect for African Americans. Broken down further, thirty-one respondents noted that the police had no respect for African Americans, whereas twenty-six stated that the police had very little respect for African Americans. On the contrary, only twenty respondents noted that police respected African Americans.
This internalization of police behavior by African Americans has contributed to police legitimacy deficits in the Black community. Asked if police treated African Americans with respect, a public housing resident noted:
No. I see them cursing and talking and not using professionalism in the workplace. They use bad language when theyre talking to African Americans they pull over .
Another public housing resident, in response to the same question, noted angrily that the police sometimes arrested innocent people who simply wanted to know why someone was being arrested:
There was an episode over here not too long ago, and I was at the mailbox and this boythey were arresting one person and the other person came up and they startthe police was threatening the other boy and he didnt have no warrants or nothing but they took him downtown anyway and they were threatening him. I dont know if he had to go to court .
Issue Brief: Procedural Justice
The COPS Office and the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice have provided overview briefs on topics important to building community safety by improving police legitimacy. Procedural Justice focuses on the way police and other authorities interact with the public and how those interactions can shape the public view of police. Read More
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The Importance Of Fairness
The importance of the concept of fairness in the processes of procedural justice cannot be understated. Extensive research has shown that when people make overall judgments about the legitimacy of those in positions of authority, they are more concerned about procedural fairnesshow fairly they were treatedthan they are about the outcome of the encounter. In practical terms, even people who receive a traffic ticket or lose their case in court are more likely to rate the system favorably when they feel that the outcome was arrived at fairly.
In 1976, American professor of psychology Gerald S. Leventhal sought to explain how individuals develop their perceptions of the fairness of procedures used in allocating rewards, punishments, or resources in a given dispute venue, whether a courtroom, classroom, workplace, or another context. Leventhal suggested seven structural components and six rules of justice by which the fairness of dispute settlement procedures could be evaluated. The seven types of structural components are the selection of authorities, setting of ground rules, gathering of information, the structure of decision, appeals, safeguards, and mechanisms for change. The six rules of justice are consistency, suppression of bias, accuracy, the ability to correct errors, equal representation, and ethicality. These became widely used and referenced, and known as “Leventhal’s Rules.”
Why Is Procedural Justice Important
In liberal, democratic societies, procedural justice is generally viewed as an important end in and of itself. In the criminal justice system, victims, offenders, and members of the public more broadly, want to be treated fairly by criminal justice authorities, and authorities ought to treat the public in such a way. The utility of procedural justice extends to the outcomes it can yield, which include satisfaction with criminal justice proceedings and decisions, and willingness to cooperate and comply with the law, police, courts, and corrective services. This section overviews some examples of how procedural justice can influence outcomes. It is important to note that procedural justice research is an expansive field and, as such, this article does not offer a comprehensive literature review instead some of the key theoretical contributions and findings in this field are highlighted.
Satisfaction With Criminal Justice Authorities and Processes
Taken together, these results highlight the complex factors associated with outcome satisfaction, and the significance of procedural justice for criminal justice system outcomes. They also fit with 21st-century research which emphasizes the importance of interpersonal treatment and fairness over outcome satisfaction in the court setting .
Cooperation and Compliance
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