Police Legitimacy and Procedural Justice: Theory and Practice

The Institute provided for measures of police performance based principally on surveys of citizens who had contacts with the Schenectady and Syracuse Police, and which were incorporated into the departments’ management accountability systems (i.e., Compstat).  In Schenectady, where in-car video is used, the survey-based measures were complemented with data coded from sampled video and audio recordings. The Institute’s study illuminates the promise and pitfalls of a procedural justice model of policing, by scrutinizing the ways in which police managers use the information on police performance and how patrol officers and supervisors react, and also through the unprecedented examination of citizens’ judgments about procedural justice in their encounters with police in terms of independent assessments of officers’ behavior in the same encounters.

Reports and Publications

Robert E. Worden and Sarah J. McLean, 2014. Assessing Police Performance in Citizen Encounters: Police Legitimacy and Management Accountability.  Report to the National Institute of Justice.  Albany, NY: John F. Finn Institute for Public Safety, Inc.  DOI 10.13140/2.1.2257.3125.

Robert E. Worden and Sarah J. McLean, 2015. “Procedural Justice in Police-Citizen Encounters: Measurement and Management,” presented at the Annual Conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Chicago.

Robert E. Worden and Sarah J. McLean, 2015. “Police Legitimacy, Procedural Justice, and the Exercise of Police Authority,” Research in Brief, The Police Chief 82 (November): 14-16.