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  • Procedural Justice in Police Action

    Robert E. Worden, Sarah J. McLean

    Chapter from the book: Worden R. & McLean S. 2017. Mirage of Police Reform: Procedural Justice and Police Legitimacy.


    This chapter reviews previous research on the procedural justice of police action using systematic social observation, which formed the basis for armchair observations of police-citizen encounters in Schenectady. From audio and video recordings captured by in-car cameras, trained observers followed a structured protocol to code features of police behavior, from which measures of procedural justice and procedural injustice were formed for 411 encounters about which citizens had been surveyed. The construction of these two measures is detailed, along with measures of other actions by officers that might affect citizens’ subjective experiences, such as the use of verbal or physical force, searches and frisks of citizens, and searches of citizens’ vehicles. Finding from regression analyses show that procedural justice and injustice bear readily interpretable relationships to a number of situational factors and offer further evidence that the scales of procedural justice and injustice are valid measures.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Worden R. & McLean S. 2017. Procedural Justice in Police Action. In: Worden R. & McLean S, Mirage of Police Reform. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.30.f

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    Additional Information

    Published on May 12, 2017