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Procedural justice and legal compliance
Criminology & Public Policy  (IF4.333),  Pub Date : 2020-06-15, DOI: 10.1111/1745-9133.12499
Daniel S. Nagin, Cody W. Telep

In 2017, we published an essay (Nagin & Telep, 2017) that challenged the widely held view that research had plausibly demonstrated that procedurally just treatment of citizens by police increased the citizen's willingness to comply with the law and thereby reduced crime rates. This article updates Nagin and Telep (2017) with new evidence that has appeared since its publication, while exploring in more depth our critiques of the existing procedural justice evidence base. Overall, we reach a similar conclusion concerning the impact of procedurally just treatment on crime but with the qualification that the rapid growth in the literature offers some encouraging evidence on the effectiveness of procedural justice training in affecting officer's attitudes and the effectiveness of community policing infused with elements of procedural justice in improving citizen perceptions of police. Research on body‐worn cameras also provides indirect support that respectful police–citizen interactions have salutary impacts. We also set out a revisionist perspective on procedural justice that emphasizes the social value of procedural justice in its own right but also makes more modest predictions about impacts on legal compliance.