Training Police For Procedural Justice


Skogan, Van Crean, And Hennessy (2014)


This paper reports the findings of an evaluation of a police training program on the principles of procedural justice. It analyzes both short and long term effects. Previous research shows that the public is concerned that police decisions are made fairly and evenhandedly, that citizens are treated respectfully and given a chance to voice their views, and that officers are thought to abide by the rules that govern their behavior. But there has been almost no research at all regarding how the police can be encouraged to incorporate the principles of procedural justice in their routine interactions with the public.


1) Short term effects (to test knowledge): Some officers took a test after the course (compared with those who took it before). 2) Long term effects (to measure retention of knowledge): Officers were surveyed in stations and asked to take an assessment on procedural justice. Only about 28% participated.


1) In the short term, training increased officer support for all of the procedural justice dimensions included in the experiment. Post-training, officers were more likely to endorse the importance of giving citizens a voice, granting them dignity and respect, demonstrating neutrality, and (with the least enthusiasm) trusting them to do the right thing. 2) In the long term, officers who had attended the procedural justice work- shop continued to be more supportive of three of the four procedural justice principles introduced in training; the effect of training on trust was not statistically significant.

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