ArticlePDF Available

Abstract and Figures

Objectives We undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis to synthesize the published and unpublished empirical evidence on the impact of police-led interventions that use procedurally just dialogue focused on improving citizen perceptions of police legitimacy. Methods The systematic search included any public police intervention where there was a statement that the intervention involved police dialogue with citizens that either was aimed explicitly at improving police legitimacy, or used at least one core ingredient of procedural justice dialogue: police encouraging citizen participation, remaining neutral in their decision making, conveying trustworthy motives, or demonstrating dignity and respect throughout interactions. The studies included in our meta-analyses also had to include at least one direct outcome that measured legitimacy or procedural justice, or one outcome that is common in the legitimacy extant literature: citizen compliance, cooperation, confidence or satisfaction with police. We conducted separate meta-analyses, using random effects models, for each outcome. Results For every single one of our outcome measures, the effect of legitimacy policing was in a positive direction, and, for all but the legitimacy outcome, statistically significant. Notwithstanding the variability in the mode in which legitimacy policing is delivered (i.e., the study intervention) and the complexities around measurement of legitimacy outcomes, our review shows that the dialogue component of front-line police-led interventions is an important vehicle for promoting citizen satisfaction, confidence, compliance and cooperation with the police, and for enhancing perceptions of procedural justice. Conclusions In practical terms, our research shows the benefits of police using dialogue that adopts at least one of the principles of procedural justice as a component part of any type of police intervention, whether as part of routine police activity or as part of a defined police crime control program. Our review provides evidence that legitimacy policing is an important precursor for improving the capacity of policing to prevent and control crime.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Procedural justice and police legitimacy:
a systematic review of the research evidence
Lorraine Mazerolle &Sarah Bennett &
Jacqueline Davis &Elise Sargeant &
Matthew Manning
Published online: 20 February 2013
#Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013
Abstract
Objectives We undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis to synthesize the
published and unpublished empirical evidence on the impact of police-led interven-
tions that use procedurally just dialogue focused on improving citizen perceptions of
police legitimacy.
Methods The systematic search included any public police intervention where there
was a statement that the intervention involved police dialogue with citizens that either
was aimed explicitly at improving police legitimacy, or used at least one core
ingredient of procedural justice dialogue: police encouraging citizen participation,
remaining neutral in their decision making, conveying trustworthy motives, or dem-
onstrating dignity and respect throughout interactions. The studies included in our
meta-analyses also had to include at least one direct outcome that measured legiti-
macy or procedural justice, or one outcome that is common in the legitimacy extant
literature: citizen compliance, cooperation, confidence or satisfaction with police. We
conducted separate meta-analyses, using random effects models, for each outcome.
Results For every single one of our outcome measures, the effect of legitimacy
policing was in a positive direction, and, for all but the legitimacy outcome, statis-
tically significant. Notwithstanding the variability in the mode in which legitimacy
policing is delivered (i.e., the study intervention) and the complexities around
measurement of legitimacy outcomes, our review shows that the dialogue component
of front-line police-led interventions is an important vehicle for promoting citizen
J Exp Criminol (2013) 9:245274
DOI 10.1007/s11292-013-9175-2
L. Mazerolle :S. Bennett :J. Davis :E. Sargeant
Institute for Social Science Research and ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security (CEPS),
The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
M. Manning
School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University, Queensland 4111, Australia
L. Mazerolle (*)
Institute for Social Science Research, The University of Queensland, Room 409, Level 4, GPN3
Building, Campbell Road, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
e-mail: l.mazerolle@uq.edu.au
satisfaction, confidence, compliance and cooperation with the police, and for enhanc-
ing perceptions of procedural justice.
Conclusions In practical terms, our research shows the benefits of police using
dialogue that adopts at least one of the principles of procedural justice as a component
part of any type of police intervention, whether as part of routine police activity or as
part of a defined police crime control program. Our review provides evidence that
legitimacy policing is an important precursor for improving the capacity of policing
to prevent and control crime.
Keywords Police legitimacy .Procedural justice .Randomized field trial .Systematic
review
Introduction
Police departments throughout the world are increasingly interested in implementing
operational programs that seek to increase police legitimacy. Police legitimacy is
thought to be a sure pathway for police to elicit cooperation, obtain compliance and
gain satisfaction from the public. The research literature is replete with studies
showing that the primary pathway to promoting legitimacy is through the use of
procedural justice (Hinds and Murphy 2007; Tyler 2001,2004) and that these types of
encounters enhance satisfaction with police and lead people to cooperate and comply
with police directives. The procedural justice model is prescriptive in that it describes
the way in which the police can exercise their authority in a fair and just way, through
both the quality of treatmentand the quality of the decision making process
(Reisig et al. 2007: 1006). Procedural justice is thus operationalized as the way in
which police treat citizens and the fairness of the decisions made (Reisig et al. 2007;
Sunshine and Tyler 2003).
Procedural justice, as described in the literature, typically comprises four essential
components. These components include dialogue that encourages citizen participa-
tion in the proceedings prior to an authority reaching a decision (or citizen voice),
leads people to perceive neutrality in decision making, shows that the authority
demonstrated dignity and respect throughout the interaction, and conveys that the
authority has trustworthy motives (Goodman-Delahunty 2010; Tyler 2008; Tyler and
Huo 2002; Tyler and Murphy 2011). Research finds that policecitizen encounters
involving the use of these principles of procedural justice dialogue enhance the
quality of those interactions, leading citizens to be more satisfied with the interaction
and outcome (Mastrofski et al. 1996; McCluskey 2003; Reiss 1971; Tyler and Fagan
2008; Wells 2007).
Despite the extensive literature on procedural justice and police legitimacy, no
systematic review exists that brings the results of eligible studies together using
meta-analytic review techniques. This paper thus presents the results of a Campbell
Collaboration (see www.campbellcollaboration.org) systematic review (see Mazerolle
et al. 2013) of the evaluation literature that assesses the impact of police initiatives
comprising of the core elements of procedural justice dialogue thateither implicitly or
explicitlyseek to enhance legitimacy. We begin the paper with a review of the
procedural justice literature that pertains to police efforts to enhance citizen perceptions
246 L. Mazerolle et al.
of legitimacy. We then describe our search strategy and the methods used in the
systematic review. Finally, we present the results of the review and discuss the impli-
cations for policing.
Background literature
People who feel they have been dealt with in a procedurally fair way are less likely to
believe that they have been personally singled out (e.g., racially profiled) and are more
likely to accept the decisions (e.g., fine or sentence) made by authorities (Tyler and
Waksla k 2004). Sunshine and Tyler (2003: 519) have suggested that the public are more
likely to allow intrusive police tacticswhen the police are perceived to be legitimate,
thus allowing police more operational flexibility in their efforts to control crime. On the
other hand, when authorities are not viewed as procedurally just, their legitimacy is
undermined, leading to disobedience and resistance (Fischer et al. 2008).
In this vein, research has found that procedural justice and police legitimacy can
promote cooperation and compliance with police in policecitizen encounters as well
as with the law more generally. Observational studies have indicated that, when
police use fair procedures, treat citizens with dignity and respect, and give citizens
a voice during policecitizen interactions, they can increase the likelihood of citizen
compliance. For example, Mastrofski et al. (1996) examined 346 encounters between
police and citizens in Virginia. In these encounters, police directed citizens to comply
with a request. Mastrofski et al. (1996) found that disrespectful treatment by police
(i.e., lack of procedural justice) was negatively associated with compliance. Similarly,
McCluskey et al. (1999) replicated this study in Indiana and St. Petersburg and found
that respect, disrespect, and other factors associated with police legitimacy were
linked to compliance in 989 policecitizen encounters (see also McCluskey 2003).
More recently, Dai et al. (2011) examined the impact of quality of treatment and the
quality of decision making on citizen disrespect toward the police and noncompliance
in 332 policecitizen encounters in Cincinnati. They found some elements of proce-
dural justice impacted on the dependent variables: police disrespect and use of force
influenced citizensrespect of police, and voicewas associated with compliance
with police (Dai et al. 2011: 163).
Survey research has also found support for the relationship between proce-
dural justice, legitimacy, and the self-reported willingness to comply and coop-
erate with the police. In their seminal study, Sunshine and Tyler (2003)
examined the relationship between procedural justice and both compliance and
cooperation with police in two surveys of New York residents before (n=483)
and after (n=1,422) the September 11 terrorist attacks. They found that police
legitimacy was primarily influenced by procedural justice judgements (more so
than judgements of police effectiveness or performance) and that legitimacy was
strongly associated with both compliance (i.e., compliance with the law) and
cooperation with police (e.g., calling the police to report crime) in both surveys
(Sunshine and Tyler 2003; see also Tyler and Fagan 2008 forasimilarstudy).
Tyler and his colleagues also found that procedural justice and police legitima-
cy are important to cooperation with police, regardless of ethnic background.
For example, in a survey of Muslim-Americans by Tyler et al. (2010:385),the
procedural justice model of legitimacy under conditions of anti-terror policing
Procedural justice and police legitimacy 247
was important for gaining peoples willingness to cooperate with police (see
also Tyler 2005).
These findings are also supported outside of the US context. In the United
Kingdom, Jackson and Bradford (2010: 246) found that their measure of trust in
police was the primary antecedent of overall confidence in policingamong
London residents. Similar to Tyler and colleagues, they found police fairness
(i.e., procedural justice) was most important for trust in police (Jackson and
Bradford 2010: 246). Australian research by Murphy and her colleagues also
demonstrates the significance of the procedural justice model. In a survey of
2,611 Australian residents, Hinds and Murphy (2007) found that procedural
justice was more important than police performance in predicting citizen percep-
tions of police legitimacy, and that police legitimacy promoted general satisfac-
tion with police. Using the same dataset, Murphy et al. (2008) found that police
legitimacy was positively and significantly related to the willingness to cooperate
with police, while police effectiveness was actually negatively associated with
police legitimacy. Murphy (2009) also examined satisfaction with police in
policecitizen encounters using these survey data. She found that procedural
justice was particularly important for satisfaction with police in police-initiated
encounters. In another study, Jonathan-Zamir and Weisburd (2009) examined the
relationship between police effectiveness and legitimacy and level of perceived
threat in Israel. They found that, while performance of the police in their ability
to combat crime does play a significant role in police legitimacy, and increas-
ingly so in times of threat, procedural justice remains the prime antecedent.
However, they concluded that there does not seem to be a zero-sum gameat
play between performance and procedural justice: In situations of security
threats, there appears to be a growing desire for forceful action and end results,
but not at the expense of high standards of procedural fairness(Jonathan-Zamir
and Weisburd 2009:27).
There is some evidence that this relationship between police performance and
police legitimacy may vary across cultural contexts. Tankebe (2009), in a survey of
450 households in Ghana, found that police effectiveness was the only policing
variable associated with the willingness to cooperate with police (i.e., procedural
justice and trust in police were not related to cooperation in the final statistical
models). Tankebe (2009: 1281) suggested that in countries like Ghana which expe-
rience high rates of crime and police misconduct, issues of police effectiveness and
public securitymay be crucial. Moreover, he concluded that, in contexts where
consent and cooperation are often elicited by force, procedural justice concerns may
be less important for police legitimacy and cooperation (Tankebe 2009). Tankebes
(2009) research demonstrates that procedural justice might not be the fundamental
modus operandi for all police in all cultural contextspolice performance or effec-
tiveness may also be important (see also Murphy and Cherney 2012).
All in all though, this body of research suggests that the procedural justice/legiti-
macy approach to policing is essential for encouraging cooperation, compliance and
satisfaction with police and is beneficial across national contexts (although see
Murphy and Cherney 2012; Tankebe 2009). The attraction for police is that increas-
ing the ability of police to obtain compliance and cooperation from citizens has been
found to increase police effectiveness in the long term (Tyler and Fagan 2008).
248 L. Mazerolle et al.
Range of police interventions
We focused this review on police interventions that either explicitly stated that the
intervention sought to increase legitimacy, or the dialogue in the intervention used at
least one of the principles of procedural justice. The importance of procedurally just
dialogueduring frontline policecitizen encounters is highlighted most recently by
Bottoms and Tankebe (2012): they argue that it is the dialogic character in policing
that cultivates perceptions of legitimacy. For Bottoms and Tankebe (2012), Max
Weber s original discussion of legitimacy provides foundation for arguing that
legitimacy is fundamentally dialogic. They argue that the consequences of ongoing
claims to legitimacy from the power holders (i.e., front-line police) and iterative
responses from citizens mean that legitimacy needs to be perceived as always
dialogic and relational in character(Bottoms and Tankebe 2012: 129).
We recognized that any type of police intervention that was likely to involve
dialogue with citizens would be eligible for our review. Thus, in our review, the
scientific write-up of the evaluation had to describe the intervention as using at least
one principle of procedural justice or explicitly state that the intervention sought to
increase legitimacy. Yet we assumed, from the outset, that it would be best to leave
open the actual vehicle (police intervention) for delivering the legitimacy-enhancing
encounter with citizens. The range of interventions that we expected to include in our
review ranged from community policing initiatives such as Neighborhood Watch,to
beat policing, reassurance policing, and contact patrols, all of which provide a range
of opportunities for police and citizens to engage in positive ways. We also expected
that many problem-oriented policing strategies, crime prevention through environ-
mental design programs, and risk-focused policing initiatives could contain elements
of procedural justice and provide opportunities for police contact with citizens and
thus chances for police to enhance citizen perceptions of police. The legitimacy
literature also focuses on restorative justice conferencing interventions as a key
vehicle for enhancing police legitimacy. Likewise, inter-agency initiatives, which
include collaboration between police and social service agencies to respond to
domestic violence, collaborations between police and schools to reduce truancy,
and other, broader, multi-agency strategies, are often cited as police efforts to enhance
police legitimacy. Special police training programs such as life skills training,
diversity training, crisis intervention training, victim-focused training, and commu-
nity policing training often include explicit training in procedural justice as a means
to enhance legitimacy. Likewise, organizational innovations, such as the creation of
smaller geographically-based command units within which officers report to their
command unit representative, are sometimes argued as a means to enhance citizen
perceptions of police legitimacy.
We also expected that some of the school-based interventions, including police
officers located within schools to foster ties to students, would create opportunities
for students to interact with police in an informal setting and thus be likely to increase
perceptions of legitimacy. Overall, whilst our review used strict inclusion criteria
around the legitimacy-enhancing nature of the police intervention (see below), our
search cast a broad net over a wide range of interventions that might be expected to
achieve this result. This review thus synthesizes the existing published and unpub-
lished empirical evidence on the impact of police efforts that used the principles of
Procedural justice and police legitimacy 249
procedural justice to enhance citizen perceptions of police legitimacy. Only evalua-
tions of legitimacy interventionsthat were led by public police from any level of
government (local, state, and federal law enforcement officers) were included in our
review. We provide a systematic review of the benefits of policing approaches that
foster legitimacy either through an explicit statement that the intervention sought to
increase legitimacy, or by including, as a component of the intervention, one of the
four principles of procedural justice: participation, neutrality, dignity/respect, and
trustworthy motives. In this paper, we present the results of what the extant literature
describes as the direct benefits of fostering legitimacy in policing, including increased
perceptions of compliance, cooperation, and citizen satisfaction with police.
Methods used in the systematic review
This paper draws from a systematic search of the police legitimacy literature identi-
fied during a study conducted for the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA)
(Bennett et al. 2009). Using this database of studies, the review described in this
paper synthesizes existing published and unpublished empirical evidence to assess
the effects of police-led interventions that sought to improve legitimacy in policing on
what we define as direct legitimacy outcomes.
1
These broadly include satisfaction,
cooperation, compliance, confidence, and perceptions of legitimacy. The stages of
this review and the criteria used to select eligible studies are described below.
Types of studies
To be included in this systematic review, studies must have used one of the following
research designs: an experimental (randomized) design, or a quasi-experimental ap-
proach (including a time series or a pre-post design) where the treatment group is
compared to a matched or unmatched control group. While there is a considerable
amount of research into legitimacy in policing and procedurally just approaches in
policing, the overwhelming majority of studies do not use experimental or quasi-
experimental designs. To be eligible for inclusion in the analysis, studies must have been
reported in such a manner that effect sizes could be identified and/or calculated. Studies
from which the effect size could not be calculated were excluded from the analysis.
There were no exclusions on the geographic location of the studies; however, to be
included in this review, the study must have been written in English, as we did not
have the resources for translation at the time when this review was completed. Both
published and unpublished studies were eligible for this systematic review. Literature
from 1980 to 2007 (when the NPIA systematic search was conducted) was included.
Units of analysis
The legitimacy literature is typically general in nature and is not restricted to
particular participants or discrete crimes, or with community problems in mind.
1
We note that our Campbell Collaboration systematic review report includes indirect outcome measures of
reoffending and revictimization (see Mazerolle et al. 2013).
250 L. Mazerolle et al.
Our review sought to explore the outcomes associated with interactions and dialogue
between police and the public. As such, police-led legitimacy interventions were only
included in this review if they reported individual perceptions and attitudes about
legitimacy, procedural justice, satisfaction, cooperation, confidence, and compliance.
2
Types of police-led legitimacy interventions
Studies had to involve police interventions that either (1) explicitly aimed at improv-
ing police legitimacy (through either a directive, training or organizational innova-
tion) or (2) explicitly used at least one element of procedural justice. Eligible
interventions were limited to those that specified, in the intervention description, that
there was some type of training, directive or organizational innovation provided to or
by the police to encourage, foster or facilitate legitimacy-enhancing dialogue in
policing. We also included studies where there was some type of training, directive
or organizational innovation provided to or by the police that included dialogue
involving at least one of the following procedural justice-based core ingredients of
legitimacy policing: citizen participation, perceived neutrality of the police, police
showing dignity and respect, or police demonstrating trustworthy motives. The
intervention could involve the police in activities (both pre- and post-arrest) that
depicted routine policing, traffic stops, investigations, warrant execution, problem-
oriented policing, conferences, school-based programs, crackdowns, and other types
of police approaches, including police interventions that were aimed at involving
police officers in community events (Murphy et al. 2008) and/or with third parties
(Berrien and Winship 2002).
Studies that focused on how other criminal justice or regulatory agencies (e.g.,
taxation departments, local governments, child safety departments) interact with
individuals, groups and third parties were not included. In addition, we did not
include those interventions that related to within-police agency management, as these
types of studies aimed to increase legitimacy within organizations in order to impro-
ve/encourage (for example) job satisfaction for police officers or to reduce corruption
among police officers.
The comparison conditions were those business-as-usual' encounters undertaken
by police that did not entail a directive, training and/or organizational innovation that
was aimed at encouraging legitimacy in policing and/or did not utilize at least one
ingredient of procedural-justice-based legitimacy policing dialogue (i.e., citizen par-
ticipation, perceived neutrality, demonstrating dignity and respect, establishing trust-
worthy intentions).
Types of outcome measures
Studies were eligible if they measured the effects of interventions aimed at encour-
aging legitimacy in policing (or used at least one ingredient of procedurally just
policing) and reported at least one direct outcome. Direct outcomes
3
included
2
We note that the impact of legitimacy on places is being examined under a separate Campbell Collab-
oration review title.
3
Constructs and items identified in Tyler (2006) and Tyler et al. (2007).
Procedural justice and police legitimacy 251
measures of at least one of the following (the named outcome and/or at least one of
the sub-constructs and/or at least one of the items listed under that outcome):
1. Perceived legitimacy:
Obligation to obey police (moral obligation to obey police, obey the police
with good will);
Police legitimacy (respect for the police, confidence in police);
Obligation to obey the law (moral obligation to obey the law, obeying the
law is the right thing to do).
2. Procedural fairness (or perceived procedural fairness)
4
:
Fairness (police try to be fair when making decisions, police give citizens the
opportunity to express views before decisions are made, police listen to
people before making decisions);
Neutrality (police make decisions based on fact, not personal biases or
opinions, police treat people as if they can be trusted, police treat people
as if they will do the right thing even when not forced to);
Respect (police treat people with dignity and respect, politeness of police).
3. Willingness to cooperate with police (or perceived willingness to cooperate):
Cooperation with police (would call police to report a crime, provide
information to police, report dangerous/suspicious activities, willingly assist
police if asked).
4. Trust/confidence in police (or perceived trust/confidence in police):
Trust police, confidence in police, satisfied with the way police do their job.
5. Compliance:
Intention to comply with police in future, behavioral compliance.
6. Satisfaction:
Police effectiveness (how good a job are they doing, how satisfied are you
with the way they solve problems);
Fairness of outcomes (how satisfied are you with the fairness of the out-
comes people receive);
Fairness of procedures (how satisfied are you with the fairness of the way
that people are treated).
Search strategy for identification of relevant studies
We used a database of documents identified during a National Policing Improvement
Agency (NPIA) systematic search of the police legitimacy literature (Bennett et al.
2009). The formulation of keywords and the choice of databases used for this
4
The fourth element of procedural justice identified by Tyler (2004) and Mastrofski (2009): trustworthy
motives, was captured by the outcome of trust/confidence in police.
252 L. Mazerolle et al.
systematic search began with development of an initial list of terms, organized into
four broad concepts or tiers. The first tier was Criminal Justice Agencies in order to
retrieve literature relating to criminal justice organizations (e.g., the police) as
opposed to other organizations (e.g., tax office, armed forces). The second tier was
Justice Approaches in Policing and Associated Terms. Terms included concepts
related to broader legitimacy policing such as distributive justice, procedural fairness
and procedural justice. Synonyms were identified for the phrase procedural
justicefrom literature by authors considered foundational to the development
of procedural justice and legitimacy policing as concepts in the criminal justice
setting. The third tier was Outcomes Relevant to Legitimacy Policing. Research
suggests that there are measurable outcomes to procedural justice approaches
and/or legitimacy policing (e.g., compliance). As with Tier 2 terms, the research
team reviewed literature by foundational authors to draw out additional key-
words that would assist with retrieving relevant literature. The fourth tier was
Evidence Focused Filters. A central objective was to develop a search strategy
that would identify quality publications relevant to the research questions.
Consequently, research-related terms were included. We conducted a series of
pilot searches on single and combined terms before deciding on a final list of
keywords, which are presented in Table 1.
The research team used electronic databases/resources that could be generally
accessed (e.g., not restricted material through an organizations intranet). Addition-
ally, it was considered important to locate grayliterature or material that is not
formally published, such as working papers, unpublished dissertations and reports
(e.g., government, nongovernment, and technical reports). After a review of sub-
scription content to examine areas of content overlap between databases, and data-
base functionality (e.g., capacity to search on multiple terms, restrict searches to
abstract or similar, and download citations to a reference manager such as EndNote),
the research team decided on eight data sources, comprising six electronic data-
bases/resources (CSA, Informit, Ingenta Connect, Ovid, Proquest, and Web of
Knowledge) and two library catalogues (National Police Library and the Cambridge
University Library and dependent libraries). The databases are listed in Appendix 1.
Table 1 Keywords for systematic search
Tier 1 Criminal
justice agencies
Tier 2 Justice approaches to
policing and associated terms
Tier 3 Outcomes relevant
to legitimacy policing
Tier 4 Evidence-focused
filters
Police Procedural justice Compliance Study
Policing Procedural fairness Comply Studies
Criminal Justice Fair procedure Confidence Research
Law Enforcement Fair process Cooperat* (Cooperate,
cooperation)
Empirical
Court Effective policing Evaluation
Prison Police effectiveness Fair* (fair, fairness, fairly) Theor* (used in conjunction
with legitimacyin Tier 3
keywords only)
Correction* Distributive justice Legitima* (legitimacy,
legitimate)
Authorities
* = search wildcard
Procedural justice and police legitimacy 253
In addition to the databases listed above, the research team also reviewed biogra-
phies and/or references from authors who have written influentially on the topic of
procedural justice and police legitimacy. An author was considered influentialwhen
repeatedly cited within the compass of searched materials. Specifically, publication
lists and biographies of the following authors were reviewed: Tom Tyler, Kristina
Murphy, Lyn Hinds, Stephen Mastrofski, James Hawdon, Justice Tankebe, and
Michael Reisig.
The research team also checked the references of each eligible study included in
the review to determine if there were other studies of interest that were not retrieved
in the original search. Any new literature of interest was obtained and assessed for
eligibility. There were 963 records identified from the systematic literature search that
provided the starting point for this systematic review.
We assessed the quality of studies in terms of their respective research design,
sample bias, equivalency between groups, attrition bias, integrity of intervention
delivery, integrity of maintaining differences between the treatment and control
conditions, level of monitoring of the treatment delivery, research standards adhered
to in terms of gathering outcome data, whether or not the analysis was conducted on
intention to treator actual evidence of treatment, whether or not mistakes in
randomization occurred and how the mistakes were corrected (if at all), consistency
of intervention periods, and follow-up/post-intervention time frames both within and
between experimental and comparison groups.
Statistical procedures and conventions
Data synthesis was conducted using Comprehensive Meta-Analysis 2.0 (CMA), a
statistical meta-analysis software package. We conducted separate meta-analyses for
each outcome measure: legitimacy, procedural justice, cooperation, compliance,
confidence, and satisfaction. We computed effect sizes (log odds ratios and standard-
ized mean differences) from a range of data available in the primary studies, using the
methods implemented in CMA. We obtained or calculated a single effect size per
study per outcome. For outcomes reported as continuous in the primary papers, we
calculated a standardized mean difference measure (Cohensd) and adjusted it for
small-study effects (converted to Hedgesg). For outcomes reported as dichotomous
in the primary papers, we calculated a log odds ratio effect size and standard error. In
reporting the meta-analysis, we used gfor continuous outcomes and converted log
odds ratios to odds ratios for dichotomous outcomes. Odds ratios were considered to
be easier to interpret than log odds ratios for reporting purposes. We decided to
preserve the authorsconventions by presenting outcomes that were dichotomous in
the original studies as odds ratios, which present the odds of a positive outcome in
one group compared to the odds of the outcome in another group, and presenting
outcomes that were continuous in the original studies as standardized mean differ-
ences, which represent differences in mean scores. We used the inverse-variance
weight method to combine study effects and fit random effects models.
We assessed heterogeneity in the outcome measures using the Q-statistic (Hedges
and Olkin 1985) for each analysis. We used an I
2
statistic (Higgins and Thompson
2002) to estimate the proportion of the total variance in our dataset that could be
attributed to between-study variance: I
2
is measured from 0 to 100%, where a large I
2
254 L. Mazerolle et al.
indicates that the difference in results may be affected by factors other than the
intervention.
We explored possible moderators of policing legitimacy, including intervention
type, population under study, study design, year of publication, and author, using
analog to the ANOVA implemented via subgroup analyses in CMA. Where it was
clear that effect sizes could be drawn but missing content made this impossible, the
study was included if missing data were provided by corresponding with the original
authors by May 15, 2010.
5
We conducted a series of sensitivity analyses to test the
robustness of the results to the following: inclusion of studies where data was
imputed, and inclusion of poor quality studies (e.g., lack of treatment integrity).
Additionally, as proposed by Sutton et al. (2000), we assessed the vulnerability of
studies to publication and small-sample bias.
Findings of the review
Selection of studies
The systematic search identified 963 unique sources (e.g., published or unpublished
documents) on police legitimacy and/or procedural justice and policing. We were not
able to obtain 30 sources to review for eligibility despite a number of different
attempts (through our own efforts as well as through the employment of an informa-
tion specialist). These sources tended to be university dissertations where the univer-
sity and/or supervisors could not locate the author, and/or organizational reports. Of
the 933 sources we obtained, 163 studies reported on 176 police-led interventions
aimed at improving legitimacy (either explicitly or implicitly), while 770 of the
sources did not report on a police-led legitimacy intervention; many of these articles
were literature reviews, theoretical articles, or correlational studies. Of the 163 studies
reporting on interventions, 69 were further excluded from the review because they
were process evaluations only, or contained no comparison group, or compared two
levels of treatment with no control group. The remaining 94 studies that contained
comparative information were further screened for suitability for meta-analysis. Of
these, 64 studies had no comparative data, did not report on an outcome of interest, or
did not collect data at the individual level. These were excluded. The final set of 28
studies eligible for the meta-analysis of direct outcomes (two studies only reported on
indirect outcomes, which are not covered in this paper) contained 40 independent
evaluations. Table 2displays the attrition of publications.
Characteristics of included studies
The 28 studies described in this paper (direct outcomes only) differed according to
their intervention strategies, components of procedural justice, and a number of other
factors. The following section describes these differences.
5
For details of how effect sizes were calculated for each study, please refer to Appendix 2of the Campbell
Collaboration systematic review (Mazerolle et al. 2013).
Procedural justice and police legitimacy 255
Intervention strategies The specific strategy used to influence citizen perceptions of
police legitimacy differed between studies. The most common type of intervention
strategy was community policing type interventions, where a closer partnership
between the police and the community was established through community-
oriented police training, the creation of special community-oriented task forces or
foot patrol officers, or the provision of grants for community policing activities (e.g.,
Weed and Seed,or a combination of these). Nineteen studies evaluated some type of
community policing strategy. Within these 19, 2 defined the intervention as reassur-
ance policing, which differs from community policing in its specific targeting of fear
of crime (Singer 2004; Tuffin et al. 2006), 9 studies evaluated a specific set of
community policing grants known as Weed and Seed (Dunworth and Mills 1999a,
b,c,d,e,f,g,h; Zevitz et al. 1997), and one study identified its intervention explicitly
as beat policing (Bond and Gow 1997). The other seven community policing studies
evaluated a range of activities defined as community policingwithin the studies
(Dai 2007; Eckert 2009; Murphy et al. 2008; Panetta 2000; Ren et al. 2005; Robinson
and Chandek 2000; Skogan and Steiner 2004). Three studies evaluated alternatives to
traditional police complaints procedures, with one using an informal resolution
process (Holland 1996), one that used an explicitly restorative-justice-based proce-
dure (Young et al. 2005) and one using an explicitly procedural-justice-based proce-
dure (Kerstetter and Rasinski 1994). Two studies used police-led restorative justice
conferencing, an alternative to court proceedings in which victims and offenders
attended a police facilitated meeting to discuss the offence and possible reparations
(Shapland et al. 2007; Sherman et al. 1998). Two studies used problem-oriented
policing strategies (McGarrell and Chermak 2004; Weisburd et al. 2008). Although
many of the interventions we screened used neighborhood watch strategies, only one
Table 2 Attrition of publications
Stage of review K
Unique sources 963
Not obtained sources 30
Obtained sources 933
Inventory of interventions
Not reporting a police-led intervention 770
Reporting a police-led intervention 163
Narrative review
Not an evaluation 69
Evaluation 94
Meta-analysis
Not eligible for meta-analysis 64
Eligible for meta-analysis (including both direct and indirect outcomes) 30
Studies eligible for meta-analysis (direct outcomes only) 28
Evaluations eligible for direct outcome meta-analysis 40
Three studies were excluded as non-legitimacyinterventions according to our predefined inclusion
criteria
256 L. Mazerolle et al.
study of this type (Hall 1987) was eligible for the meta-analysis. Finally, one study
evaluated an informal contact intervention between police officers and school-age
children (Hinds 2009).
Direct outcomes of legitimacy-enhancing interventions In the process of coding the
direct outcome measures, we encountered substantial heterogeneity among conceptual
and operational definitions of key outcomes. Difficulty in defining and measuring latent
variables, such as satisfaction, was reflected in a wide variety of measures for each
construct. Since some authors reported statistics for individual items (e.g., Sherman et al.
1998) while other authors only reported statistics for an aggregate scale (e.g., Ren et al.
2005), we could not perform meta-analysis on selected items that were the same across
studies. Therefore, we decided to simply accept the authorsdefinitions of the outcomes
reported in their studies, even if these differed from other authorsdefinitions. This
meant that some authorsoperational definitions conflicted with others. Some studies
varied in their terminology even within the study, such as the article by Weisburd et al.
(2008) that referred to one of their constructs as procedural justiceand legitimacy
interchangeably. It was also not common for authors to report validity or reliability
statistics for their measurements, making it difficult for us to assess how differences in
measurement may have affected studiesestimates of intervention effectiveness. We
acknowledge that this heterogeneity in measurement may have affected the results of the
review. We also recognize that the ability of meta-analysis to address this issue is
constrained by the quality of the body of primary research.
Elements of procedural justice Only one study was included in our review that stated
that the intervention explicitly aimed to increase legitimacy, yet described no ele-
ments of procedural justice in the intervention (Weisburd et al. 2008). The other
studies all clearly described that the intervention included at least one element of
procedural justice. The restorative justice conferencing interventions tended to ex-
plicitly include more than one element of procedural justice (Shapland et al. 2007;
Sherman et al. 1998). Other studies that explicitly included more than one element of
procedural justice in the intervention were the reassurance policing interventions
(Singer 2004;Tuffinetal.2006), some community policing interventions (Dai
2007; Murphy et al. 2008; Ren et al. 2005; Skogan and Steiner 2004; Zevitz et al.
1997), the alternative complaints procedures (Holland 1996; Kerstetter and Rasinski
1994; Young et al. 2005), and the informal contact intervention (Hinds 2009). Citizen
participation alone was a component of the neighborhood watch program (Hall
1987). It was also a component in one of the problem-oriented policing interventions
(McGarrell and Chermak 2004) and several of the community policing interventions
(Dunworth and Mills 1999a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h; Eckert 2009; Robinson and Chandek
2000). Trustworthy motives were the key procedural justice element of the beat
policing intervention (Bond and Gow 1997). None of the interventions explicitly
included either neutralityor dignity and respectas key elements of the interven-
tion; these were generally included with other elements in the interventions that used
multiple elements of procedural justice.
Research design and data collection methods The evaluations had differing compar-
ison conditions. Three studies were randomized controlled field experiments
Procedural justice and police legitimacy 257
(Shapland et al. 2007; Sherman et al. 1998; Weisburd et al. 2008), including one
problem-oriented policing study and the two restorative justice conferencing studies.
Fourteen studies used prepost-only designs (Bond and Gow 1997; Dunworth and
Mills 1999a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h; Eckert 2009; Hinds 2009; Kerstetter and Rasinski 1994;
Murphy et al. 2008; Singer 2004), and 11 studies used other nonrandomized designs
(Dai 2007; Hall 1987; Holland 1996; McGarrell and Chermak 2004; Panetta 2000;
Ren et al. 2005; Robinson and Chandek 2000; Skogan and Steiner 2004; Tuffin et al.
2006; Young et al. 2005; Zevitz et al. 1997). Studies were required to use business as
usual,or a police intervention that did not include legitimacy-enhancing dialogue, as
the comparison. The absence of randomized allocation to intervention and control
conditions may have introduced bias into the results of some primary studies. Where
possible, we have tried to identify any effects of primary study methodology through
moderator analysis.
Targeted population The studies differed with respect to their target populations,
often according to the intervention strategy. Thus, the conferencing interven-
tions targeted offenders and victims (Shapland et al. 2007; Sherman et al.
1998), the community policing, reassurance policing, and neighborhood watch
interventions targeted community members generally (Bond and Gow 1997;Dai
2007; Dunworth and Mills 1999a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h;Eckert2009;Hall1987;Murphyet
al. 2008; Panetta 2000; Singer 2004; Skogan and Steiner 2004; Tuffin et al. 2006;Zevitz
et al. 1997), the alternative complaints procedures targeted citizens with a complaint
(Holland 1996; Kerstetter and Rasinski 1994; Young et al. 2005) and the informal
interactions intervention targeted school-age children (Hinds 2009). The
problem-oriented policing strategies varied in their orientation; one targeted
offenders (McGarrell and Chermak 2004), and one targeted community mem-
bers (Weisburd et al. 2008). One community policing intervention specifically
targeted victims of domestic violence (Robinson and Chandek 2000), and
another targeted community volunteers (Ren et al. 2005). The studies targeting
volunteers and complainants were included with studies targeting community
members for the purpose of moderator analysis, in order to investigate whether
interventions targeted at people directly involved in a crimeoffenders and
victimsproduced different results to interventions targeted at people not in-
volved in a crimevolunteers, complainants, and community members. School
children were kept as a separate group for the moderator analysis because this
population has key characteristics differentiating them from other community
members, in particular, average age. A summary of study characteristics is
included in Appendix 2.
Meta-analysis
We conducted four separate meta-analyses for defined direct outcome measures. All
of the outcomes were measured at the micro-level with data collected on individuals.
These were all outcomes that had been measured by at least two evaluations; other
outcomes we searched for were either not measured in any eligible studies or were
only measured in one study, rendering meta-analysis impossible. Specifically, the
following outcomes were analyzed: legitimacy, procedural justice, compliance,
258 L. Mazerolle et al.
cooperation, satisfaction, and confidence. The Forest Plots of these meta-analyses are
in Appendix 3.
The articles included in the meta-analysis that reported on the outcomes of
perceived legitimacy, procedural justice, cooperation, compliance, satisfaction, and
confidence primarily reported these outcomes as dichotomous, usually a percentage
or number of the group experiencing a positive outcome. For example, Sherman et al.
(1998) reported on the percentage of respondents in the treatment and control groups
who agreed with the question the police are legitimate.We converted these binary
outcome measures for each study into an odds ratio (OR). The OR is the odds of an
event for the people who experienced the intervention divided by the odds of an event
for the people who experienced the comparison. In this case, the OR represented the
ratio of the odds of a positive response to the question or questions used by the
authors to measure perceptions of legitimacy, procedural justice, cooperation, com-
pliance, satisfaction, and confidence for the two conditions.
Where studies reported on a continuous measure of these constructs, rather than a
dichotomous one, we computed a standardized mean difference (d) effect size and
converted it into an odds ratio using the methods discussed in Lipsey and Wilson
(2001). The true variance between studies is represented by the parameter τ
2
.We
used a maximum likelihood method to estimate τ
2
(as outlined in Borenstein et al.
2009) and added the resulting estimate of between-study variance to each study
weight. We then combined the weighted effect size estimates for an overall estimate
of effect size for each outcome. These steps were implemented in CMA.
Combined outcomes We decided to consider several of the originally proposed out-
comes as a single outcome. We combined studies that measured citizen satisfaction
with police and citizen confidence in police together in a single meta-analysis. This
was done because of the low number of eligible studies that could have been included
in each of these outcomes if they were kept separate. The operational definitions of
satisfaction and confidence in police often overlap in literature on policing. For
example, the British Crime Survey uses the items Police in the local area are doing
a good or excellent joband Police are dealing with the things that matter to people
in the communityto measure public confidence in police (Home Office 2011), while
long-term community policing evaluations in Chicago use items such as How good
a job are the police in your neighborhood doing in keeping order in the streets and
sidewalksand How good a job are the police doing in dealing with the problems
that really concern people in your neighborhoodto measure public satisfaction with
police (Skogan and Steiner 2004). We also included measures such as The police are
effectivein this category of outcome measure as these items were also referred to in
the primary texts variously as confidence in police, satisfaction with police, and
perceptions of police.
We also combined outcomes labeled citizen complianceand cooperation with
policeby study authors. Cooperation and compliance may be measured in two ways:
through self-report as participantsintent to cooperate or comply in future, or by
direct observation of behavioral compliance and cooperation. Only one study in our
sample (Dai 2007) measured compliance using behavioral observation; all others
used self-reported intent to comply or cooperate in the future. Only two studies
measured cooperation. Combining compliance and cooperation allowed us to retain
Procedural justice and police legitimacy 259
all of these studies in the meta-analysis to ensure broad coverage and meaningful
results.
Perceived legitimacy Only four studies (comprising seven evaluations) actually mea-
sured legitimacy as an outcome of the intervention and provided an effect size for
legitimacy (see Appendix 3). Figure 1in Appendix 3 summarizes the seven evalua-
tions included in the meta-analysis on perceived legitimacy. Six evaluations had an
OR greater than 1, indicating that for these studies the policing intervention was
associated with an increase in perceptions of police legitimacy. However, only one of
the evaluations with an OR greater than 1 was statistically significant: the drink-
driving experiment from the Canberra Re-Integrative Shaming Experiments (RISE)
evaluations (Sherman et al. 1998).
The weighted mean OR for the seven evaluations combined was 1.58 using a
random effects model. However, the 95% confidence interval for the OR was very
wide and included 1 (lower limit = 0.85, upper limit= 2.95). This result indicates that
when between-study heterogeneity was considered in the model, there was no
discernible effect of policing interventions on perceptions of police legitimacy.
Although the point estimate is highly positive, the variation between studies was
too large to allow us to attribute the effect to the intervention, rather than to the study-
level differences. A possible explanation for this result can be found in an examina-
tion of the primary studies. The definition and measurement of legitimacy varied
widely between primary studies, making the studies so heterogeneous that it is
impossible to separate the within-study effects of the intervention from the effects
of the between-study variation. Supporting this observation, the I
2
statistic
indicated that 93% of the variance in the OR could be attributed to study-level
factors (I
2
=93.08, τ
2
=.589, SE = .48), and the seven evaluations were
significantly heterogeneous according to the Qstatistic (Q(6) = 86.73, p< .001).
Moderator analyses conducted in CMA showed a significant variation in OR
effect sizes between studies according to a number of factors. The effects of
study-level moderators are difficult to interpret in this case because four of the
included interventions came from the Canberra RISE study (Sherman et al.
1998), which differed from the other included interventions on almost all of our
coded moderator variables (see Mazerolle et al. 2013). The RISE study ran-
domly assigned cases to either a diversionary conference procedure or a court
hearing in order to compare and assess the effectiveness of the two processes
for certain offences: drink driving at any age, juvenile property offending with
personal victims, juvenile shoplifting, and youth violent offences (offenders
aged under 30 years). The results of the subgroup analyses collectively indicate
that the RISE studies found a greater increase in legitimacy as a result of the
intervention than all of the other studies, but given their distinct characteristics
we cannot interpret this difference. We need more evaluation studies to measure
legitimacy as an outcome, and we need that measurement to be standard across
studies in order to make any further judgments about the effect of legitimacy
interventions on legitimacy.
The overall effect direction and significance for perceived legitimacy was not
affected by the inclusion of studies using imputed data (Q(1) = 0.85, p=0.356), or the
inclusion of unpublished studies (Q(1) = 0.95, p= 0.332). The effect size decreased
260 L. Mazerolle et al.
slightly when low-quality studies were excluded, but the significance and direction of
the effect were robust to the inclusion or exclusion of these studies.
Procedural justice Six studies provided outcome data on procedural justice, giving
14 independent effect sizes overall. Figure 2in Appendix 3 summarizes the 14
evaluation studies included in the meta-analysis on procedural justice. Of these 14
evaluations, 13 had an OR greater than 1, indicating that for most included studies the
policing intervention was associated with an increase in perceived procedural justice.
Of the 13 evaluations with an OR greater than 1, 5 were statistically significant: the
drink-driving experiment from the Canberra conferencing study (Sherman et al.
1998) and the Leicestershire, Manchester, Metropolitan, and Thames Valley arms
of the English reassurance policing evaluation (Tuffin et al. 2006).
Overall, the interventions were associated with a large, significant increase in
perceptions of procedural justice. The weighted mean OR for the 14 evaluations
combined was 1.47 using the random effects model, and the 95% confidence interval
did not include 1 (lower limit = 1.16, upper limit =1.86). The 14 evaluations were
significantly heterogeneous according to the Qstatistic (Q(13) = 45.37, p< .001). The
I
2
statistic indicated that 71 % of the variation in the OR could be attributed to study-
level factors (I
2
=71.35, τ
2
=.13, SE = .08). Of all the intervention strategies included
in this outcome, reassurance policing interventions tended to show higher effect sizes
than other intervention strategies.
The results were sensitive to the publication status of the studies. The evaluations
included in this outcome were primarily unpublished reports and dissertations. Only
two were peer-reviewed journal articles. These peer-reviewed studies recorded an
overall OR of 1.11, with a large confidence interval that included 1 (95 % CI lower=
0.64, 95 % CI upper=1.91, p= 0.715). By contrast, the studies that were not published
or peer reviewed recorded a large positive overall OR of 1.56, with a confidence
interval that did not include 1 (95 % CI lower = 1.21, 95 % CI upper =2.01, p=0.001).
The results were not sensitive to methods chosen by the reviewers; the effect sizes for
procedural justice were not significantly affected by quality indicators, or any
assumptions or imputed data used when we calculated the studieseffect sizes
(Q(1)=0.50, p=0.481).
Compliance and cooperation Five studies comprising eight evaluations reported
compliance or cooperation as an outcome of the intervention. Figure 3in Appendix
3 summarizes the eight evaluations included in the meta-analysis on citizen compli-
ance and cooperation. Seven of the eight evaluations had an OR greater than 1,
indicating that for these studies the policing intervention was associated with an
increase in compliance or cooperation. Of the seven evaluations with an OR greater
than 1, three were statistically significant: Sherman et al.'s (1998) drink-driving
experiment; Dai's (2007) community policing evaluation; and Bond and Gows
(1997) beat policing evaluation.
Overall, the interventions had a large, significant, positive effect on the combined
compliance and cooperation measure. The weighted mean OR for the eight evalua-
tions combined was 1.62 using the random effects model. The 95% confidence
interval for the OR did not include 1 (lower limit = 1.13, upper limit = 2.32). Studies
measuring cooperation tended to show higher effect sizes than did studies measuring
Procedural justice and police legitimacy 261
compliance; however, this difference was not significant, indicating that including
both sets of studies in the one meta-analysis did not substantially affect the result.
The eight evaluations were significantly heterogeneous according to the Qstatistic
(Q(7)=22.05, p=.002). The large I
2
statistic indicated that 68% of the variance in the
OR may be a result of study-level factors (I
2
=68.26, τ
2
=.17, SE = .15), in particular,
the specific intervention strategy used and the population targeted. Police-led restor-
ative justice conferences tended to have larger effects on compliance and cooperation
than did any other type of intervention. Similarly, interventions targeting offenders
recorded significantly larger effect sizes for compliance and cooperation than did
interventions targeting victims of crime or the general public. Studiesattention to
treatment integrity significantly affected their results, such that studies with lower
treatment integrity tended to report higher effect sizes for the combined measure.
The sensitivity analysis indicated that the results were different when published
and unpublished studies were not included together in the same meta-analysis. The
two published, peer-reviewed articles reported a combined OR of 0.94, indicating a
negative effect of legitimacy policing on compliance and cooperation, although the
confidence interval was very wide and included 1 (lower limit =0.71, upper limit=
1.24, p=0.663). In contrast, the six unpublished sources had a combined OR that was
very large and highly significant (OR = 2.17, lower limit =1.67, upper limit= 2.80,
p<0.001). This analysis did not use imputed data.
Satisfaction/confidence The most commonly used outcome measure in our popula-
tion of studies was some measure of satisfaction, confidence, or perception of police
effectiveness. Since measurement of this outcome was not standardized between
studies, and it would not be defensible to assume these measures were independent
of one another, we included all three attitudinal measures in the one meta-analysis.
Figure 4in Appendix 3 summarizes the 15 studies and 29 evaluations included in the
meta-analysis on satisfaction with and confidence in the police. Of the 29 included
evaluations, 27 had an OR greater than 1, indicating that for these studies the policing
intervention was associated with an increase in positive attitudes toward the police.
Of the 27 evaluations with an OR greater than 1, 16 were statistically significant
(Bond and Gow 1997; Dunworth and Mills 1999a (Akron), d(Manatee and
Sarasota), e(Pittsburgh); Hall 1987; Holland 1996; Kerstetter and Rasinski
1994; McGarrell and Chermak 2004;Murphyetal.2008; Ren et al. 2005;
Shapland et al. 2007; Skogan and Steiner 2004;Tuffinetal.2006, Metropolitan
and Thames Valley areas; Zevitz et al. 1997, both locations).
Overall, legitimacy interventions resulted in a large, significant increase in positive
perceptions of police. The weighted mean OR for the 29 evaluations combined was
1.75 using the random effects model. The 95% confidence interval did not include 1
(lower limit=1.54, upper limit = 1.99). Each of the outcome measurements (satisfac-
tion, confidence, and effectiveness) also independently recorded an overall significant
positive effect size, indicating that the choice to combine them did not affect the
overall result.
The differences between studies contributed significantly to the variation in effect
sizes. The 29 evaluations were significantly heterogeneous according to the Q
statistic (Q(28) = 66.68, p<.001). The large I
2
statistic indicated that 58% of the
variance in the OR may be a result of study factors (I
2
=58.01, τ
2
=.07, SE = .03).
262 L. Mazerolle et al.
Interventions targeting victims alone tended to record smaller effect sizes than did
those interventions targeting either community members in general or offenders
alone. The integrity of intervention delivery affected the results, such that studies
with lower delivery integrity tended to record higher effect sizes for the combined
outcome.
The findings for the combined satisfaction outcome were not sensitive to
the inclusion of unpublished and published studies in the same meta-analysis
(Q(1)=3.22, p=0.073), although the five published, peer-reviewed studies
recorded higher effect sizes overall (OR= 2.27, lower limit = 1.67, upper limit=
3.08) than did the unpublished studies (OR= 1.67, lower limit = 1.45, upper
limit=1.92). None of the effect sizes included in this outcome required imputed
data for their calculation.
Results summary
Overall, the results show promising outcomes for the effects of police-led
legitimacy interventions. As seen in Table 3, the combined outcome of satis-
faction and confidence showed the highest overall effect for the intervention
studies included in our review. The confidence interval for this effect was
reasonably small, indicating that the effect of legitimacy interventions on
satisfaction and confidence was not only large but also reliable in the popula-
tion of studies. The second highest effect size was found for compliance/coop-
eration outcomes. When this outcome was broken down by study population,
we found that interventions targeting offenders tended to report higher effect
sizes for compliance and cooperation than did interventions targeting victims or
the general population.
The outcome of procedural justicereported a smaller, but positive and very stable
increase as a result of police legitimacy interventions. Neither procedural justice nor
satisfaction/confidence was significantly affected by the moderators in our analysis,
which suggests that legitimacy interventions have robust effects on these outcomes
regardless of the context in which they are implemented.
The estimated effect size for the outcome legitimacyis quite large; however, the
confidence interval is very large and indicates a high degree of uncertainty in the
estimate. An investigation of the studies contributing effect sizes to the legitimacy
outcome reveals that this is partly due to the four RISE groups (Sherman et al. 1998)
reporting higher legitimacy scores than did the other studies included in this outcome.
Table 3 Summary of results for direct outcomes: random effects model
Direct outcome Odds ratio 95 % CI lower 95 % CI upper PQI
2
K
Legitimacy 1.58 0.85 2.95 0.148 86.73 93 % 7
Procedural justice 1.47 1.16 1.86 0.001 45.37 71 % 14
Compliance and
cooperation
1.62 1.13 2.32 0.009 22.05 68 % 8
Satisfaction and
confidence
1.75 1.54 1.99 < 0.001 66.68 58 % 29
Procedural justice and police legitimacy 263
The results of the meta-analysis indicate that legitimacy interventions have a
reliable impact on some outcomes and a widely variable impact on others. The
sensitivity analyses indicated that these results were generally not due to methodo-
logical decisions made by the reviewers. The moderator analyses did demonstrate that
study-level variables, such as evaluation design, may have influenced the results for
some outcomes. However, the fact that only a small number of studies were found
that could be included in the meta-analysis limits the robustness of the moderator
analysis somewhat. This means that the inclusion of additional effect sizes from new
studies could substantively change the results of the moderator analysis for some
outcomes.
Discussion and conclusion
Our systematic review explored the outcomes of a range of police-led interventions
that sought to enhance citizen perceptions of police legitimacy. We included studies
that evaluated police approaches to crime prevention or crime control where the
intervention explicitly sought to enhance legitimacy or used dialogue that comprised
at least one of the four principles of procedural justice: citizen participation, neutrality
of police during the policecitizen encounters, efforts by police to communicate
dignity and/or respect for citizens, or police demonstrating trustworthy motives.
Our review sought to cast a wide net across the extant evaluation literature and gather
as many different types of interventions that captured the essence of legitimacy
policing.
Overall, our search of the literature found a relatively small and diverse
group of studies that met our review criteria. Moreover, very few studies used
quasi-experimental or experimental methods to explore the impacts of legitima-
cy policing. Our review finds that police can use a variety of police-led
interventions (including conferencing, community policing, problem-oriented
policing, reassurance policing, informal police contact, and neighborhood
watch) as vehicles for promoting and enhancing citizen satisfaction with and
confidence in police, compliance and cooperation, and perceptions of procedural
justice. We conclude, therefore, that it is the procedurally just features of the
training, directive or organizational innovation that foster legitimacy-enhancing
dialogue rather than any specific type of strategy that leads to citizen percep-
tions of legitimacy. It is conceivable, therefore, that with some training or a
clear directive, any type of police intervention could be tailored to use dialogue
that facilitates legitimacy. From traffic stops to field contacts, we suggest that if
police apply the dialogue that adapts the principles of procedural justice during
any of their encounters with citizens, they create opportunities to enhance
perceptions of legitimacy.
We also find that police can enhance citizen perceptions and attitudes toward
compliance, cooperation, satisfaction, and confidence with police when there is a
directive, training, or organizational innovation involving at least one of the follow-
ing ingredientsof procedural justice: explicit efforts by the police to actively
involve citizen participation during the encounter, clear efforts by the police to be
neutral in their decision making during the encounter, police demonstrating dignity
264 L. Mazerolle et al.
and respect toward the citizen during exchanges, or police working hard to commu-
nicate their trustworthy intentions. Even if just one of these components of procedural
justice was a part of the intervention dialogue, our results suggest that the intervention
is likely to increase citizen levels of compliance, cooperation, and satisfaction. That
is, a little bit of being nice during policecitizen interactions goes a long way.
Our analysis, therefore, suggests that the actual vehicle (or intervention
mode) for police to engage with citizens is less important for fostering positive
outcomes than is the substantive content of the dialogue during the interaction
itself. That is, the police have many and varied opportunities to positively
influence citizen perceptions and there appears to be no downside for the police
actively using the principles of procedural justice during any type of police
intervention. Thus, building an understanding and capacity to engage with
citizens in a procedurally just manner is clearly important for police across
all types of engagement: from responding to calls for service, to taking calls
over the phone, to engaging with all sectors of society during problem solving
and community policing activities. Scripts, akin to the experimental script used
in the Queensland Community Engagement Trial (QCET), explicitly operation-
alize the key components of procedural justice (see Mazerolle et al. 2012). This
type of script might be useful in shifting police from possessing a tacit,
theoretical understanding of procedural justice to a more active and applied capacity
to use the principles of procedural justice in their day-to-day encounters.
Our review reveals that the outcome measures of satisfaction and confidence
are particularly affected positively by police legitimacy-enhancing activities.
Satisfactionand confidenceare well-established constructs in the research
literature and arguably the most tangible of all of the direct outcomes in the
legitimacy policing literature. We do note, however, that there are still varia-
tions in how scholars conceptualize and measure satisfaction and confidence. It
is possible that the relative ease of measuring citizen satisfaction and/or confi-
dence compared to measuring the more complex constructs around citizen
perceptions of compliance, legitimacy, and procedural justice influenced our
compelling finding that legitimacy policing interventions positively influence
citizen satisfaction and confidence.
We also point out that, of all the outcome measures tested in our meta-analysis, the
only measure that did not reveal a statistically significant effect was the amorphous
and often confounding measure of police legitimacy.This outcome was in the
positive direction, but with the small number of studies in our review that used police
legitimacy as an outcome measure, we had insufficient statistical power to detect a
statistically significant outcome. Given that four of the seven evaluations that includ-
ed a specific measure of police legitimacy emerged from the RISE conferencing
experiment, we suggest that, if it is to be included as a stand-alone outcome, further
research is needed that includes a more robust and consistent measurement of
legitimacy.
Overall, the main finding of our review is that for every single one of our outcome
measures, the effect of legitimacy policing is in a positive direction and, for all but the
legitimacy outcome, statistically significant. Notwithstanding the variability in the
study interventions, the complexities around measurement and the differences in
evaluation design, the story is overwhelmingly one that supports the police
Procedural justice and police legitimacy 265
undertaking training, directives or organizational innovations across a wide range of
police interventions to facilitate the adoption of dialogue that actively operationalizes
the key principles of procedural justice to advance citizen perceptions of legitimacy.
In practical terms, this may mean police adopting scripts to help police bring to life
the principles of procedural justice as a routine part of their engagement with citizens
during any type of police intervention.
We note that there is a clear lack of randomized experiments in the interna-
tional research literature that specifically seek to isolate and test the component
parts of a legitimacy policing intervention, and then assess the impact of the
intervention on the outcomes we identified in this review. We suggest that
future studies of legitimacy policing employ randomized controlled trials that
isolate specific interventions and test different modes of delivery (such as hot
spots policing, reassurance policing, directed patrols, or conferencing) under
different field conditions (such as during roadside encounters, in response to
calls for service, or during investigative interviews), and capture a range of
different outcome measures. We further suggest that future evaluations of
legitimacy policing explore the manner in which qualitative components of
legitimacy-enhancing interventions influence outcomes as described in our re-
view. We particularly believe it will be important to isolate the presence (or
absence) of police using the mechanics of legitimacy-enhancing police
approaches (i.e., complying with at least one procedural justice ingredient) from
those interventions where the police adopt the normative values of legitimacy
policing. That is, it is unclear from our review whether it is the quality of the
dialogue delivery of the policecitizen encounter or the mere presence of
procedurally just dialogue during the policecitizen encounter that leads citizens
to perceive the police as legitimate. Despite these limitations, our review
provides evidence that legitimacy policing is an important precursor for im-
proving the capacity of policing to prevent and control crime.
Appendix 1. Databases used in the systematic review
1. CSA: Criminal Justice Abstracts; Sociological Abstracts (Education Resources
Information Centre (ERIC); CSA Social Services Abstracts); SAGE Criminolo-
gy; SAGE Sociology; SAGE Political Science
2. Informit: Australian Federal Police Digest; Australian Criminological Database
(CINCH) Criminology
3. Ingenta Connect: Informaworld (Taylor and Francis journals); Academic Press;
Elsevier; Wiley Interscience (Blackwell Publishing)
4. Proquest: ProQuest Dissertations and Theses; ProQuest Psychological Jour-
nals; ProQuest Social Science Journals; ProQuest Legal Module
5. Ovid: PsycEXTRA (National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS);
National Institute of Justice (NIJ); Home Office Publications); PsycINFO
6. Web of Knowledge: Web of Science Arts and Humanities Citation List
(Science Citation Index); Web of Science Social Sciences Citation List
7. National Police Library via the National Policing Improvement Agency
8. Cambridge University Library and Dependent Libraries Catalogue
266 L. Mazerolle et al.
Appendix 2
Table 4 Summary of characteristics of individual studies included in the meta-analysis
Study Outcomes Intervention Research
design
Respondents n
Bond and
Gow 1997
Cooperation Beat policing Prepost only Community
members
905
Satisfaction
Dai 2007 Compliance Community policing Quasi-
experimental
Community
members
818
Dunworth and
Mills 1999a,b,
c,d,e,f,g,h
Satisfaction Community policing
(Weed and Seed)
Prepost only Community
members
Akron 457
Hartford 136
Las Vegas 546
Manatee 473
Pittsburgh 483
Salt Lake City 391
Seattle 633
Shreveport 407
Eckert 2009 Legitimacy Community
policing
Prepost only Community
members
636
Hall 1987 Effectiveness Neighborhood
Wat c h
Quasi-
experimental
Community
members
118
Hinds 2009 Legitimacy Informal contact Prepost only School
children
414
Holland 1996 Satisfaction Alternative
complaints
process
Quasi-
experimental
Complainants 384
Kerstetter and
Rasinski 1994
Confidence Alternative
complaints
process
Prepost only Complainants 199
McGarrell and
Chermak 2004
Effectiveness Problem oriented
policing
Quasi-
experimental
Offenders 365
Murphy et
al. 2008
Legitimacy Community
policing
Prepost only Community
members
102
Procedural
justice
Satisfaction
Compliance
Panetta 2000 Procedural
justice
Community policing Quasi-
experimental
Community
members
190
Ren et al. 2005 Confidence Community policing Quasi-
experimental
Volunteers 838
Robinson and
Chandek 2000
Cooperation Community
policing
Quasi-
experimental
Victims 336
Procedural justice and police legitimacy 267
Study Outcomes Intervention Research
design
Respondents n
Shapland et
al. 2007
Satisfaction Conferencing Experimental Offenders and
victims
London Robbery
(LOR)
Procedural justice 158
London Burglary
(LOB)
186
Northumbria
Property (NCP)
105
Northumbria
Assault (NCA)
165
Sherman et
al. 1998
Legitimacy Conferencing Experimental Offenders and
victims
Drink Driving (DD) Procedural justice 900
Juvenile Property -
Shoplifting (JPS)
Satisfaction 80
Juvenile Personal
Property (JPP)
Compliance 93
Youth Violence
(YV)
80
Singer 2004 Satisfaction Reassurance
policing
Prepost only Community
members
1,205
Skogan and
Steiner 2004
Satisfaction Community
policing
Quasi-
experimental
Community
members
540
Tuffin et al. 2006 Confidence Reassurance
policing
Quasi-
experimental
Community
members
365
Manchester Procedural justice
Lancashire 386
Leicestershire 354
Metropolitan Police
(MPS)
390
Surrey 404
Thames Valley 389
Weisburd et al.
2008
Procedural justice Problem oriented
policing
Experimental Community
members
800
Young et al. 2005 Satisfaction Alternative
complaints
process
Quasi-
experimental
Complainants 36
Zevitz et al. 1997 Satisfaction Community
policing
(Weed and Seed)
Quasi-
experimental
Community
members
772
Metcalfe Park (MP)
Avenues West
(AW)
530
Total 16,769
28 studies
40 evaluations
Table 4 (continued)
268 L. Mazerolle et al.
Appendix 3: Forest Plots
Fig. 1 Forest plot of effect sizes: legitimacy
Fig. 2 Forest plot of effect sizes: procedural justice
Procedural justice and police legitimacy 269
Fig. 3 Forest plot of effect sizes: compliance and cooperation
Fig. 4 Forest plot of effect sizes: satisfaction and confidence
270 L. Mazerolle et al.
References
*Denotes that the study was included in the meta-analysis
Bennett, S., Denning, R., Mazerolle, L., & Stocks, B. (2009). Procedural justice: A systematic literature
search and technical report to the National Policing Improvement Agency. Brisbane: ARC Centre of
Excellence in Policing and Security.
Berrien, J., & Winship, C. (2002). An umbrella of legitimacy: Boston's Police Department Ten Point
Coalition Collaboration. In G. S. Katzmann (Ed.), Securing our children's future (pp. 200228).
Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.
*Bond, C. E. W., & Gow, D. J. (1997). Policing the beat: The experience in Toowoomba, Queensland. In R.
Homel (Ed.), Crime prevention studies, Vol. 7. Policing for prevention: Reducing crime, public
intoxication and injury (pp. 154173). Monsey: Criminal Justice Press.
Borenstein, M., Hedges, L. V., Higgins, J., & Rothstein, H. R. (2009). Introduction to meta-analysis. West
Sussex: Wiley.
Bottoms, A., & Tankebe, J. (2012). Beyond procedural justice: a dialogic approach to legitimacy in
criminal justice. Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, 102(1), 119170.
*Dai, M. (2007). Procedural justice during police-citizen encounters. (Doctoral dissertation, University of
Cincinatti). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (UMI Number: 3280116).
Dai, M. Y., Frank, J., & Sun, I. (2011). Procedural justice during police-citizen encounters: the effects of
process-based policing on citizen compliance and demeanor. Journal of Criminal Justice, 39(2), 159
168.
*Dunworth, T., & Mills, G. (1999a). National evaluation of weed and seed: Akron, Ohio research report.
Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice. Retrieved from http://www.weedandseed.info/docs/
studies_national/akron-oh.pdf
*Dunworth, T., & Mills, G. (1999b). National evaluation of Weed and Seed: Hartford, Connecticut
research report. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice. Retrieved from http://www.weedand-
seed.info/docs/studies_national/hartford-ct.pdf
*Dunworth, T., & Mills, G. (1999c). National evaluation of Weed and Seed: Las Vegas, Nevada research
report. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice. Retrieved from http://www.weedandseed.info/
docs/studies_national/lasvegas-nv.pdf
*Dunworth, T., & Mills, G. (1999d). National evaluation of Weed and Seed: Manatee and Sarasota
Counties, Florida research report. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice. Retrieved from
http://www.weedandseed.info/docs/studies_national/manatee-sarasota-fl.pdf
*Dunworth, T., & Mills, G. (1999e). National evaluation of Weed and Seed: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
research report. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice. Retrieved from http://www.weedand-
seed.info/docs/studies_national/pittsburgh-pa.pdf
*Dunworth, T., & Mills, G. (1999f). National evaluation of Weed and Seed: Salt Lake City, Utah research
report. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice. Retrieved from http://www.weedandseed.info/
docs/studies_national/saltlakecity-ut.pdf
*Dunworth, T., & Mills, G. (1999g). National evaluation of Weed and Seed: Seattle, Washington research
report. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice. Retrieved from http://www.weedandseed.info/
docs/studies_national/seattle-wa.pdf
*Dunworth, T., & Mills, G. (1999h). National evaluation of Weed and Seed: Shreveport, Louisiana
research report. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice. Retrieved from http://www.weedand-
seed.info/docs/studies_national/shreveport-la.pdf
*Eckert, R. (2009). Community policing as procedural justice: An examination of Baltimore residents after
the implementation of a community policing strategy. (Masters thesis, Villanova University). Re-
trieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (UMI Number: 1462400)
Fischer, R., Harb, C., Al-Sarraf, S., & Nashabe, O. (2008). Support for resistance among Iraqi students: an
exploratory study. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 30(2), 167175.
Goodman-Delahunty, J. (2010). Four ingredients: new recipes for procedural justice in Australian policing.
Policing, 4(4), 403410.
*Hall, P.A. (1987). Neighborhood Watch and participant perceptions. (Doctoral dissertation, University of
Southern California). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (UMI Number: 0560502).
Hedges, L., & Olkin, I. (1985). Statistical methods for meta-analysis. Toronto: Academic Press.
Higgins, J. P. T., & Thompson, S. G. (2002). Quantifying heterogeneity in a meta-analysis. Statistics in
Medicine, 21(11), 15391558.
Procedural justice and police legitimacy 271
Hinds, L., & Murphy, K. (2007). Public satisfaction with police: using procedural justice to improve police
legitimacy. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 40(1), 2742.
*Hinds, L. (2009). Youth, police legitimacy and informal contact. Journal of Police and Criminal
Psychology, 24,1021.
*Holland, R. C. (1996). Informal resolution: dealing with complaints against police in a manner satisfactory
to the officer and the complainant. International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice,
20(1), 8393.
Home Office (2011). Crime in England and Wales: Quarterly update to September 2010. London: Author.
Jackson, J., & Bradford, B. (2010). What is trust and confidence in the police? Policing, 4(3), 241248.
Jonathan-Zamir, T., & Weisburd, D. (2009). Does police performance increase in importance for the public
during times of security threats, and do evaluations of procedural justice decline in importance?
Findings from a quasi-experimental study of antecedents of police legitimacy in Israel. Jerusalem:
Hebrew University.
*Kerstetter, W. A., & Rasinski, K. A. (1994). Opening a window into police internal affairs: impact of
procedural justice reform on third-party attitudes. Social Justice Research, 7(2), 107127.
Lipsey, M. W., & Wilson, D. B. (2001). Practical meta-analysis (Vol. 49). Thousand Oaks: SAGE
Publications.
*McGarrell, E. F., & Chermak, S. (2004). Strategic approaches to reducing firearms violence: Final report
on the Indianapolis violence reduction partnership. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice.
Mastrofski, S.D. (2009). Systematic social observation and legitimacy policing. Presentation.
Mastrofski, S. D., Snipes, J. B., & Supina, A. E. (1996). Compliance on demand: the public's response to
specific police requests. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 33(3), 269305.
Mazerolle, L., Bennett, S., Antrobus, E., & Eggins, E. (2012). Procedural justice, routine encounters and
citizen perceptions of police: main findings from the Queensland Community Engagement Trial
(QCET). Journal of Experimental Criminology. Advance online publication. doi:10.1007/s11292-
012-9160-1.
Mazerolle, L., Bennett, S., Davis, J., Sargeant, E., & Manning, M. (2013). Legitimacy in policing. Camp-
bell Collaboration Library of Systematic Reviews.http://campbellcollaboration.org/lib/project/141/.
McCluskey, J. D. (2003). Police requests for compliance: Coercive and procedurally just tactics. New
York: LFB Scholarly Publishing LLC.
McCluskey, J. D., Mastrofski, S. D., & Parks, R. B. (1999). To acquiesce or rebel: predicting citizen
compliance with police requests. Police Quarterly, 2(4), 389416.
Murphy, K. (2009). Public satisfaction with police: the importance of procedural justice and police
performance in police-citizen encounters. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 42(2),
159178.
Murphy, K., & Cherney, A. (2012). Understanding cooperation with police in a diverse society. British
Journal of Criminology, 52, 181201.
*Murphy, K., Hinds, L., & Fleming, J. (2008). Encouraging public cooperation and support for police.
Policing and Society, 18(2), 136155.
*Panetta, M. J. (2000). Identifying and assessing citizen perceptions of police and community policing
practices. (Doctoral dissertation, Michigan State University). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations &
Theses (UMI Number: 9971979)
Reisig, M. D., Bratton, J., & Gertz, M. G. (2007). The construct validity and refinement of process-based
policing measures. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 34(8), 10051028.
Reiss, A. J. (1971). The police and the public. New Haven: Yale University Press.
*Ren, L., Cao, L., Lovrich, N., & Gaffney, M. (2005). Linking confidence in police with the performance
of the police: community policing can make a difference. Journal of Criminal Justice, 33,5566.
*Robinson, A. L., & Chandek, M. S. (2000). Philosophy into practice? Community policing units and
domestic violence victim participation. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies &
Management, 23(3), 280302.
*Shapland, J., Atkinson, A., Atkinson, H., Chapman, B., Dignan, J., Howes, M., et al. (2007). Restorative
justice: The views of victims and offenders. Ministry of Justice Research Series (3). United Kingdom:
Ministry of Justice.
*Sherman, L. W., Strang, H., Barnes, G. C., Braithwaite, J., Inkpen, N., & Teh, M. M. (1998). Experiments
in restorative policing: A progress report on the Canberra Reintegrative Shaming Experiments (RISE).
Canberra: Australian Federal Police and Australian National University.
*Singer, L. (2004). Reassurance policing: An evaluation of the local management of community safety.
Home Office Research Studies (Vol. 228). London: Home Office.
272 L. Mazerolle et al.
*Skogan, W.G., & Steiner, L. (2004). CAPS at Ten: Community policing in Chicago - An evaluation of
Chicago's alternative policing strategy. Chicago, IL: The Chicago Community Policing Evaluation
Consortium. Retrieved from http://www.ipr.northwestern.edu/publications/policing_papers/Yr10-
CAPSeval.pdf
Sunshine, J., & Tyler, T. R. (2003). The role of procedural justice for legitimacy in shaping public support
for policing. Law and Society Review, 37(3), 513548.
Sutton, A. J., Duval, S. J., Tweedie, R. L., Abrams, K. R., & Jones, D. R. (2000). Empirical assessment of
effect of publication bias on meta-analyses. British Medical Journal, 320, 15741577.
Tankebe, J. (2009). Public cooperation with the police in Ghana: does procedural fairness matter?
Criminology, 47, 12651293.
*Tuffin, R., Morris, J., & Poole, A. (2006). An evaluation of the impact of the National Reassurance
Policing programme. Home Office Research Study 296. London: Development and Statistics Direc-
torate, Home Office Research.
Tyler, T. R. (2001). Public trust and confidence in legal authorities: what do majority and minority group
members want from legal authorities? Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 19, 215235.
Tyler, T. R. (2004). Enhancing police legitimacy. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and
Social Science, 593(1), 8499.
Tyler, T. R. (2005). Policing in black and white: ethnic group differences in trust and confidence in the
police. Police Quarterly, 8(3), 322342.
Tyler, T. R. (2006). Psychological perspectives on legitimacy and legitimation. Annual Review of Psychol-
ogy, 57, 375400.
Tyler, T. R. (2008). Psychology and institutional design. Review of Law & Economics, 4(3), 801887.
Tyler, T. R., & Fagan, J. (2008). Legitimacy and cooperation: why do people help the police fight crime in
their communities? Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, 6, 231275.
Tyler, T. R., & Huo, Y. J. (2002). Trust in the law. New York: Russell Sage.
Tyler, T.R. & Murphy, K. (2011). Procedural justice, police legitimacy and cooperation with police: A new
paradigm for policing. Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security
Briefing Paper. May 2011.
Tyler, T. R., Sherman, L. W., Strang, H., Barnes, G. C., & Woods, D. J. (2007). Reintegrative shaming,
procedural justice, and recidivism: the engagement of offenders' psychological mechanisms in the
Canberra RISE drinking-and-driving experiment. Law and Society Review, 41(3), 553585.
Tyler, T. R., Schulhofer, S., & Huq, A. Z. (2010). Legitimacy and deterrence rffects in conterterrorism
policing: a study of Muslim Americans. Law & Society Review, 44(2), 365402.
Tyler, T. R., & Wakslak, C. J. (2004). Profiling and police legitimacy: procedural justice, attributions of
motive, and acceptance of police authority. Criminology, 42(2), 253281.
*Weisburd, D., Morris, N. A., & Ready, J. (2008). Risk-focused policing at places: an experimental
evaluation. Justice Quarterly, 25(1), 163200.
Wells, L. E. (2007). Type of contact and evaluations of police officers: the effects of procedural justice
across three types of policecitizen contacts. Journal of Criminal Justice, 35(6), 612621.
*Young, R., Hoyle, C., Cooper, K., & Hill, R. (2005). Informal resolution of complaints against the police:
a quasi-experimental test of restorative justice. Criminal Justice, 5(3), 279317.
*Zevitz, R.G., Palazzari, T., Frinzi, J.N., & Mallinger, A. (1997). Milwaukee Weed and Seed program
evaluation final report. Milwaukee, WI: Marquette University. Retrieved from http://www.weedand-
seed.info/docs/studies_local/milwaukee.pdf
Lorraine Mazerolle is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Laureate Fellow and Research Professor in
the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) at the University of Queensland. She is also the Foundation
Director and a Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security (CEPS), a Chief
Investigator in the Drug Policy Modelling Program, and the ISSR Policing and SecurityProgram
Director. Professor Mazerolle is the recipient of numerous US and Australian national competitive research
grants on topics such as community regulation, problem-oriented policing, police technologies, civil
remedies, street-level drug enforcement and policing public housing sites. She is a Fellow of the Academy
of Experimental Criminology, immediate past President of the Academy, foundation Vice President of the
American Society of Criminology Division of Experimental Criminology and author of scholarly books
and articles on policing, drug law enforcement, third party policing, regulatory crime control, displacement
of crime, and crime prevention.
Procedural justice and police legitimacy 273
Sarah Bennett is a Research Fellow within Professor Mazerolles Laureate Fellowship and an Associate
Investigator within the ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security (CEPS) at the Institute for Social
Science Research (ISSR). Sarah is an experimental criminologist with experience in running multi-site
randomized controlled trials with police in Australia and UK. Sarahs research interests include legitimacy
and policing, restorative justice, pathways to preventing offending and the impact of crime on victims.
Sarah is a Fellow of the Academy of Experimental Criminology (AEC) and recipient of the distinguished
AEC Young Scholar Award and Nigel Walker Prize (Cambridge University).
Jacqueline Davis is a research assistant with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in
Policing and Security (CEPS) at the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR). She has a first class
honors degree in evolutionary psychology. Jacquelines educational background is in psychology and
quantitative business research techniques. She has experience in systematic reviews and meta-analysis,
and is especially interested in the application of these methods to the evaluation of social policy
interventions.
Elise Sargeant is a research fellow in the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence in
Policing and Security (CEPS) at the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR). Elise has a background in
neighborhood research, specifically considering the ecology of policing and neighborhood processes.
Currently, her research interests include police legitimacy and procedural justice, perceptions of police in
multicultural contexts, the ecology of policing and collective efficacy theory.
Matthew Manning is an economist in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University.
Matthew has interests and experience in applied microeconomics, decision analysis, operations research,
systematic and meta-analytic reviews and economic analysis techniques (e.g. cost-benefit analysis).
Matthews economic background has provided cross-disciplinary links with researchers and practitioners
in the areas of criminology, psychology, special education, and operations research.
274 L. Mazerolle et al.
... The idea that American law enforcement is racially prejudicial toward this population is not new, however, as decades of research have pointed to discriminatory enforcement and use of force against African Americans (Bleich et al., 2019;Fryer, 2019;Mesic et al., 2018;Smith et al., 1984;Stewart et al., 2009;Weitzer & Tuch, 2004). Such injustices are linked to negative views of procedural justice within this community (Henderson et al., 1997;Hurwitz & Peffley, 2005;Johnson et al., 2017;Wheelock et al., 2019); or the idea that the legitimacy of law enforcement is based upon the perceived fairness of police actions (Mazerolle et al., 2013;Thibaut et al., 1974;Tyler & Lind, 2002). Examining procedural justice is important given that it has been consistently found to increase individuals' willingness to comply and cooperate with law enforcement, as well as reduce perceptions of police misconduct (Mazerolle et al., 2013;Murphy, 2009;Nagin & Telep, 2017;Tyler & Wakslak, 2004;Wheelock et al., 2019). ...
... Such injustices are linked to negative views of procedural justice within this community (Henderson et al., 1997;Hurwitz & Peffley, 2005;Johnson et al., 2017;Wheelock et al., 2019); or the idea that the legitimacy of law enforcement is based upon the perceived fairness of police actions (Mazerolle et al., 2013;Thibaut et al., 1974;Tyler & Lind, 2002). Examining procedural justice is important given that it has been consistently found to increase individuals' willingness to comply and cooperate with law enforcement, as well as reduce perceptions of police misconduct (Mazerolle et al., 2013;Murphy, 2009;Nagin & Telep, 2017;Tyler & Wakslak, 2004;Wheelock et al., 2019). Unnever and Gabbidon (2011) Theory of African American Offending (TAAO) suggests that African Americans have a unique worldview that is largely informed by historical and contemporary prejudices, discrimination, and marginalization, and that these things play a critical role in their perceptions of the police and procedural justice. ...
... According to Mazerolle et al. (2013), citizens are more likely to obey law enforcement if they believe that police officers treat them fairly and with respect. This concept is often termed as procedural justice, or the belief that content of police-citizen interactions directly shapes public behavior and perceptions of police legitimacy (Nagin & Telep, 2017;Tyler & Lind, 2002;Unnever & Gabbidon, 2011;Wolfe et al., 2016). ...
Article
There is limited understanding of how perceptions of racially discriminatory policing are complicated by ethnicity, particularly among Black Muslims. Given the dual-pronged discrimination they likely experience, this study examines how racial and Muslim identity, systemic racism, and knowledge of Black history influence perceptions of police respectfulness and stop legitimacy among a nationwide sample of Black Muslims. Results determined a negative relationship between perceptions of racism as a major problem in America and police respectfulness and a positive relationship between knowledge of Black history and illegitimate stops. These findings support the continued implementation of policies to eliminate racism and develop a broader understanding of American Black history, as well as speak to the benefits of ongoing police reforms in this regard.
... The key elements of procedural justice are treating people with respect and dignity, adopting a neutral stance so that decisions are made transparently and without bias, interacting with trust and honesty, and allowing community members opportunities to express their views (Goodman-Delahunty, 2010). Procedural justice is also important as an antecedent of police legitimacy, which influences satisfaction (Hinds & Murphy, 2007) and public cooperation with the police (Sunshine & Tyler, 2003; see also Mazerolle et al., 2013;Murphy & Cherney, 2011). Police legitimacy is influenced by normative aspects such as procedural justice but also by instrumental aspects such as police performance (e.g., in addressing crime) and distributive justice, which refers to providing police services fairly across the community (Hinds & Murphy, 2007;Sunshine & Tyler, 2003). ...
... As found in other studies (e.g., Hinds & Murphy, 2007), police legitimacy, procedural justice and police performance were all important predictors of community satisfaction with policing on Guam. Mazerolle et al. (2013) observed that the relative influence of police performance and procedural justice in perceptions of police legitimacy may differ across cultural contexts. In the case of Guam, police legitimacy and police performance were stronger predictors of satisfaction with police service provision than was procedural justice. ...
Article
Guam is a Pacific Island in Micronesia with a complex colonial history. Strategically located, Guam is an unincorporated territory of the United States and critical military asset. Policing on Guam is influenced by external stakeholders and budgetary limitations. Recently, a community policing model was introduced to better meet community needs and expectations. This study explored the relevance of predictors of satisfaction with police service provision in the Guamanian context. Residents of Guam ( n = 701) participated in a survey that included demographic characteristics, community context, and police–citizen interactions. Satisfaction with police service provision was predicted by age and perceptions of procedural justice, police performance, and police legitimacy. Higher income predicted lower satisfaction. The findings highlight the importance of police legitimacy and related constructs for satisfaction with police service provision on Guam. Initiatives that focus on police performance and procedural justice may help improve satisfaction with police service provision on Guam.
... Scholars are certainly paying attention to attitudes toward the police considering individuals who perceive police negatively tend to commit more crime, cooperate less with their directives, and feel less obligated to obey the law (Trinkner, Kerrison et al., 2019;Trinkner, Mays et al., 2019;Tyler, 2006). Indeed, recent studies of adults find that poor perceptions of the police are linked to less felt obligation to obey the law (Baker & Gau, 2018;Fine & van Rooij, 2021;Mazerolle et al., 2013;Walters & Bolger, 2019). ...
... Tyler's model (2003Tyler's model ( , 2006 argues that people feel more obligated to obey the law when they believe that authorities treat people fairly, justly, with concern for their rights, and without bias. To the extent that community members believe that police act in procedurally just ways, they are more likely to view them as legitimate and are more likely to feel obligated to obey the law that the police represent (Mazerolle et al., 2013;Reisig et al., 2012;Tankebe et al., 2016;Walters & Bolger, 2019). ...
Article
Full-text available
The procedural justice framework suggests that negative perceptions of the police are linked to crime-related behavior. General strain theory could illuminate a key mechanism; negative perceptions of the police might undermine the obligation to obey laws and rules through promoting strain and psychological distress. This study integrated these two theoretical perspectives to examine whether youths’ fear of the police might undermine their felt obligation to obey authority institutions, including the law and school, through promoting psychological distress. Children (N=342) ages 10-12 were sampled in November of 2020. Consistent with theoretical expectations, children’s fear of the police was indirectly associated with their felt obligation to obey both the law and school rules through undermining their mental health. These findings have implications for policy, practice, and research; youths’ fear of the police may undermine their mental health and may have downstream consequences on their felt obligation to obey not only the law, but also school rules.
... The underlying question was whether and to what extent these incidents resulted in lasting effects on public attitudes towards the police. Prior research suggests that attitudes towards the police depend on the quality of treatment during interactions, whereby unfair, disrespectful, and unequal treatment can lead to more negative perceptions of police legitimacy (Mazerolle et al. 2013, Walters and Bolger 2019. Perceptions of police legitimacy concern 'whether a power-holder is justified in claiming the right to hold power over other citizens' (Bottoms and Tankebe 2012). ...
... (2014, p. 225). Generally, these mechanisms coincide with notions of fairness, voice, and neutrality or impartiality, which comprise key elements of procedural justice policing (Tyler and Blader 2003, Mazerolle et al. 2013, Trinkner and Tyler 2016. The use of excessive force or repressive tactics against protestors violates these principles and can damage the trustworthiness of police (Perry et al. 2017, Curtice and Behlendorf 2021, Nägel and Lutter 2021. ...
... In the case of Ferguson, we see evidence for both concerns, but arguably the mistreatment of residents at the hands of the FPD and municipal court played a greater role in straining the relationship with the community. This problem suggests that the theory of institutional corruption speaks to the research in procedural justice in the criminal justice system (Mazerolle et al., 2013;Murphy et al., 2014;Sunshine & Tyler, 2003;Tyler, 2004). Negative perceptions of the treatment, fairness, or objectivity of the police or other representatives of the criminal justice system during an interaction have demonstrably negative effects on people's trust in the police, the criminal justice system, and even the very notions of law and order themselves (Gau & Brunson, 2010;Hough et al., 2010). ...
Article
Full-text available
This article argues that criminal justice scholars should import the theory of institutional corruption from political science to make sense of a distinct set of problems in the criminal justice system. To make this argument, this article examines the case of Ferguson, Missouri. In Ferguson, the city’s mandate to maximize revenue generation had a corrosive effect on the day-to-day policies and practices of both the Ferguson Police Department and the municipal court, leading to aggressive policing, excessive fines, and a number of unfair and unconstitutional practices. Framed as a problem of institutional corruption, the case of Ferguson is emblematic of a broader set of issues in criminal justice institutions involving policies and practices that are legal but rife with corrupting incentives. Such problems demand further scrutiny from criminal justice scholars and practitioners alike.
... We found that quality of treatment, a component of procedural justice, was associated with trust in the police; however, procedural justice was not associated with obligation to obey the police. This is a fascinating finding as prior work has revealed a significant association between procedural justice (both components) and police legitimacy-both trust and obligation to obey the police in Western contexts (Mazerolle et al., 2013;Sunshine & Tyler, 2003). Researchers have also argued that procedural justice and trust are highly correlated. ...
Article
Full-text available
We explored how highly educated and middle-class Kenyan female immigrants perceive their encounters with the police in the United States, including the decision to access the criminal justice system in response to their victimization. We found a positive correlation between perceptions of procedural justice and cooperation among Kenyan women immigrants. Conversely, prior victimization was inversely associated with help-seeking among these women. When Kenyan female immigrants perceived high police effectiveness in dealing with IPV, they were more likely to feel obligated to obey the U.S. police. Implications and recommendations for future research are discussed.
... The role trust plays in a variety of policing contexts has been explored in a number of frameworks, including, but not limited to, constructing police legitimacy, creating communitypolice partnerships, developing democratic policing practice, and recognizing the impact of inequities in police practice policy (see Cao 2015;Hamm et al. 2017;Mazerolle et al. 2013;Peck 2015;Smith et al. 2017;Tyler 2004 for literature reviews). In these frameworks, the focus of investigation often includes trust as a basis of feelings of legitimacy the public has towards police officers and their work. ...
Article
Current scholarship suggests attention should be focused on differences in specific job-related conditions to understand help-seeking behavior among police officers. This project examines how officers’ feelings of department satisfaction and on-the-job emotions may be associated with trust in members of the community they police. Specifically, officers were asked to report trust levels both in a general sense and in the context of a potential officer-involved shooting (OIS) incident. Print and electronic surveys were completed by 169 police officers across 9 agencies located in 5 New Jersey counties between September 2019 and March 2020. Survey questions covered frequency of on-the-job emotions, satisfaction with department administration, and knowledge of local culture. Bivariate comparisons show officers’ levels of both general and post-OIS community trust significantly differ based on reported frequency of emotion, assessment of job satisfaction and department administration, and wider cultural context. Furthermore, multivariate analyses indicate significant factors associated with trust levels include frequency of both positive (fulfillment) and negative (frustration) emotions, satisfaction with training, and attitudes towards the importance of understanding local culture. Findings suggest the complexity of police–community relationships should be more fully explored in relation to supporting aspects of job-related mental wellness in police officers.
... This theory proposes that legitimacy beliefs are enhanced when criminal justice authorities, like the police or judges, exercise their power in a fair and respectful manner. Empirical research, using a variety of samples, has consistently demonstrated support for the linkage between procedural justice and legitimacy beliefs (Mazerolle et al., 2013;Ryan & Bergin, 2022;. ...
Article
Procedural justice theory suggests that when authorities in the criminal justice system treat people fairly and respectfully, people will be more likely to view the law and its representing authorities as legitimate. Previous research has largely focused on the association between the procedurally just treatment by a single authority and citizens’ legitimacy beliefs. Up until now, it is unknown whether and how multiple criminal justice authorities can encourage individuals’ legitimacy beliefs by treating them in a procedurally just manner. Using longitudinal data from the Prison Project, this study examines how procedural justice perceptions experienced during interactions with the police, prison staff, and the judge influence Dutch detainees’ legitimacy beliefs about the law. The findings reveal that distinct authorities can strengthen the legitimacy of the law by treating detainees fairly and respectfully. Additionally, our findings shed some light on the process associated with procedural justice and legitimacy throughout the entire criminal justice system.
... Similar recommendations have been made for other departments (Bail & Release Work Group, 2016). While we are not advocating officers should not book arrestees for minor offenses, a clearer set of expectations reduces uncertainty and eases tension between police and the community (Mazerolle et al., 2013;Tyler, 2004). Second, CPD and similarly situated departments should strengthen partnerships with local Native American communities. ...
Article
Booked arrests carry greater harms than non-booked arrests. When booked following an arrest, individuals are confined without guilt and an official criminal record forms that carries several negative consequences. Even with these greater harms, police decision to book arrests is understudied with little research on what factors influence this decision. This study utilizes official booking data to determine if suspect extralegal and community factors affect officers' decisions to book arrests across minor offenses. The study uses data from the Chandler Police Department in Arizona and the American Community Survey from 2013 to 2019. These data include suspect legal/extralegal, officer, time, and block-group level factors. Using a cross-classified modeling approach, we examine factors associated with booking arrests across five offenses (cannabis possession, drug paraphernalia, shoplifting, criminal damage, and non-DUI-traffic). Results suggest that legal factors, particularly felony charges, are associated with higher odds of booking after arrest. However, we also demonstrate how extralegal factors significantly impact police decision to book arrests. Native Americans, Blacks, older individuals, and those with prior records had higher odds of booked arrests. While the odds of booked arrest varied across officers and communities, few officer or community factors were related to the decision to book arrests. Results suggest extralegal factors remain significant across minor offenses. These findings highlight the need to examine disparities on police post-arrest outcomes, expand racial categories studied, and incorporate less utilized variables like prior record. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s12103-022-09669-6.
Article
Full-text available
The title of this paper is taken from the final sentence of the book How People Judge Policing (Waddington et al. [2017]. How People Judge Policing. Oxford: Oxford University Press.) which, though it had four authors, was really the brainchild of the late Tank Waddington. The paper picks up the book’s final observation and seeks to develop it, examining the problematic core of policing, and using this as a basis for thinking more generally about issues of trust, legitimacy and reform. There now exists an increasing body of research which shows how the delivery of policing can influence perceived procedural justice, the popular legitimacy of the police, and a variety of public behaviours such as compliance with the law and co-operation with the police (Tyler, [2017] Procedural justice and policing: A rush to judgement? Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 13, 29–53.). Such work is having increased impact on debates around police conduct and legitimacy and is increasingly seen as central to police reform efforts in Anglo-American policing, and in some other jurisdictions. Though accepting the broad thrust of such research, as well as its importance, this paper suggests that there are dangers in over-reading the potential of procedural justice, not least in forgetting some crucial lessons from the history of police research. The argument here focuses on the inherent complexity of policing and the inevitability of error within it. The simple but often overlooked lesson is that controversy and dissent are the norm rather than the exception in policing, and that much dispute and disagreement rather than reflecting a failure of approach or procedure, derive from the nature of policing itself.
Article
Full-text available
The question of legitimacy has become an increasingly important topic in criminological analysis in recent years, especially in relation to policing and to prisons. There is substantial empirical evidence to show the importance of legitimacy in achieving law-abiding behavior and cooperation from citizens and prisoners, especially through what has been described as procedural justice (that is, quality of decisionmaking procedures and fairness in the way citizens are personally treated by law enforcement officials). Yet the dual and interactive character of legitimacy, which necessarily involves both power-holders and audiences, has been largely neglected. This situation has arisen because criminologists have not fully explored the political science literature on legitimacy; hence adequate theorization has lagged behind empirical evidence. The principal aim of this Article is therefore theoretical: we aim to advance the conceptual understanding of legitimacy in the contexts of policing and prisons, drawing on insights from wider social science literatures, but applying them to criminal justice contexts. A central contention is that legitimacy is dialogic, involving claims to legitimacy by power-holders and responses by audiences. We conclude by exploring some broad implications of our analysis for future empirical studies of legitimacy in criminal justice contexts.
Article
Full-text available
Past research has shown that procedural justice enhances an authority's legitimacy and encourages people to cooperate with them. However, this past research has examined legitimacy by focusing solely on the perceived legitimacy of authorities and has ignored how people may perceive the legitimacy of the laws and rules authorities enforce. This distinction has relevance to the policing of ethnic minority groups who may come from different cultures or countries where distrust in the law and legal institutions is prevalent. Using survey data collected from a random sample of 1,203 Australians, this paper explores how procedural justice and both institutional and legal legitimacy impact on people's willingness to cooperate with police. The findings will be explained using Braithwaite's (2003; 2010) social distancing framework.
Article
Full-text available
BACKGROUND Police require voluntary cooperation from the general public to be effective in controlling crime and maintaining order. Research shows that citizens are more likely to comply and cooperate with police and obey the law when they view the police as legitimate. The most common pathway that the police use to increase citizen perceptions of legitimacy is through the use of procedural justice. Procedural justice, as described in the literature, comprises four essential components. These components are citizen participation in the proceedings prior to an authority reaching a decision (or voice), perceived neutrality of the authority in making the decision, whether or not the authority showed dignity and respect toward citizens throughout the interaction, and whether or not the authority conveyed trustworthy motives. Police departments throughout the world are implicitly and explicitly weaving the dialogue of these four principles of procedural justice (treating people with dignity and respect, giving citizens “voice” during encounters, being neutral in decision making, and conveying trustworthy motives) into their operational policing programs and interventions. OBJECTIVES This review synthesizes published and unpublished empirical evidence on the impact of interventions led by the public police to enhance citizen perceptions of police legitimacy. Our objective is to provide a systematic review of the direct and indirect benefits of policing approaches that foster legitimacy in policing that either report an explicit statement that the intervention sought to increase legitimacy or report that there was an application of at least one of the principles of procedural justice: participation, neutrality, dignity/respect, and trustworthy motives. SEARCH STRATEGY Studies were identified using six electronic databases (CSA, Informit, Ingenta Connect, Ovid, Proquest and Web of Knowledge) and two library catalogues (National Police Library and the Cambridge University Library and dependent libraries). We also searched the reference list of each eligible study, and reviewed the biographies and publication lists of influential authors in the field of procedural justice and police legitimacy, to determine if there were any relevant studies not retrieved in the original search. SELECTION CRITERIA Studies were included if they described any type of public police intervention (e.g. routine patrols, traffic stops, community policing, reassurance policing, problem-oriented policing, conferencing) that either explicitly stated that the intervention was aimed at improving police legitimacy (through either a directive, training or organizational innovation) or explicitly used at least one of the principles of procedural justice. Studies had to include at least one direct outcome, such as citizen compliance, cooperation, or satisfaction with police, aimed at improving legitimacy, and could also include indirect outcomes, such as reduction in reoffending, or crime and social disorder. We included only studies that evaluated interventions if they were led by public police from any level of government (i.e., local, state and federal law enforcement officers). To be included in the systematic review, studies must have used one of the following research designs: an experimental (randomized) design involving at least two conditions, with one condition being the intervention and the other a control condition; a quasi-experimental (non-randomized) design involving at least two conditions, with one condition being the intervention and the other a comparison condition; a quasi-experimental interrupted time-series design that involved measurement of an aggregate outcome, such as crime rate, in equally spaced time intervals prior to and following the initiation of the police-led intervention. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS The systematic search identified 963 unique studies on police legitimacy and/or procedural justice and policing, of which 933 were obtained. Of those, 163 studies reported on police-led interventions. A final set of 30 studies, containing 41 independent evaluations, was eligible for meta-analysis. Data analysis was conducted using Comprehensive Meta-Analysis 2.0 (CMA), a statistical meta-analysis software package. We conducted separate meta-analyses using random effects models for each outcome of policing interventions that had been measured by at least two evaluations. The outcomes analyzed were: Direct – legitimacy, procedural justice, cooperation/compliance, and satisfaction/confidence; Indirect – revictimization or reoffending. We obtained or calculated a single effect size per study per outcome, either a standardized mean difference (g) for a continuous outcome, or an odds ratios for outcomes reported as dichotomous. We also explored possible moderators of policing legitimacy including intervention type, research design, respondent type, crime type, year of publication, and country of publication, using analogs to the ANOVA implemented via subgroup analyses in CMA. In addition, we conducted a series of sensitivity analyses to test the robustness of the results to the following: inclusion of studies where data was imputed, inclusion of poor quality studies (e.g. lack of treatment integrity), and we inspected possible sources of bias in the data, including publication bias and small-study effects. RESULTS There were 41 independent evaluations available for meta-analysis: 7 assessed legitimacy as an outcome, 14 assessed procedural justice, 8 assessed compliance/cooperation, 29 assessed satisfaction/confidence, and 26 assessed reoffending. The direct outcome satisfaction/confidence showed the highest overall effect that was statistically significant (OR 1.75, 95% confidence limits 1.54, 1.99), followed by compliance/cooperation (OR 1.62, 95% confidence limits 1.13, 2.32), and procedural justice (OR 1.47, 95% confidence limits 1.16, 1.86). The estimated effect size for the direct outcome legitimacy (OR 1.58, 95% confidence limits 0.85, 2.95), while quite large, has a wide confidence interval, indicating a high degree of uncertainty around the estimate. Interventions showed a marginal effect on reoffending as an indirect outcome measure (g = −0.07, 95% confidence limits −0.14, 0.00). When reoffending was broken down by measurement method, studies that measured reoffending using official police data and self-reported reoffending showed no effect (g = 0.03, 95% confidence limits −0.05, 0.11); however, studies that measured self-reported victimization showed a large decrease in revictimization as a result of the interventions (g = −0.13, 95% confidence limits −0.23, −0.05). AUTHORS’ CONCLUSIONS The main finding of this review is that the effects of legitimacy policing interventions on each direct outcome measure are in a positive direction. For all but the legitimacy outcome, the results were statistically significant. We note that there is a clear lack of randomized experiments in the international research literature that specifically seek to isolate and test the component parts of a legitimacy policing intervention. Notwithstanding the variability in the mode in which legitimacy policing is delivered (i.e., the study intervention) and the complexities around measurement of legitimacy outcomes, our review shows that the dialogue component of front-line police-led interventions is important for promoting citizen satisfaction, confidence, compliance and cooperation with the police, and for enhancing perceptions of procedural justice. In practical terms, this means that police can achieve positive changes in citizen attitudes to police through adopting procedurally justice dialogue as a component part of any type of police intervention. We conclude that the type of police intervention (the vehicle for delivering a procedurally just encounter) is secondary to the procedurally just dialogue that underpins the intervention.
Article
IntroductionIndividual studiesThe summary effectHeterogeneity of effect sizesSummary points
Article
Procedural justice has dominated recent discussions of police interactions with the public. It has mostly been measured from the perspective of citizens (using surveys or interviews), but several important questions about predictors and outcomes of fair police treatment are best answered using direct observations of police-citizen interactions. Building on prior observational studies, we develop and validate an instrument for measuring procedural justice as it is exercised by the police in the natural setting of their encounters with the public. In doing so, we adopt a “formative” rather than the common “reflective” approach, based on the assumption that specific behaviors that make up procedural justice do not reflect a single underlying construct but rather form one. We justify this approach and validate our instrument accordingly. We also discuss the implications of our measurement for future research on procedural justice in police behavior.
Article
Prior tests of Tyler's process-based model of policing have left basic measurement questions unanswered. With a sample of 432 adults from a nationwide telephone survey conducted in spring 2005, factor-analytic procedures were used to develop more valid scales and to test process-based model hypotheses. Regression analyses confirmed that procedural justice judgments affect police legitimacy, which in turn influence both cooperation with police and compliance with the law. When legitimacy was disaggregated, trust in the police predicted both of the outcomes of interest. Obligation to obey, however, was not significantly associated with either compliance or cooperation. Finally, distributive fairness appeared to be as salient as legitimacy in facilitating participant cooperation.
Article
Objectives To test, under randomized field trial conditions, the impact of police using the principles of procedural justice during routine encounters with citizens on attitudes towards drink-driving, perceptions of compliance, and their satisfaction with the police. Methods We conducted the first randomized field trial—the ‘Queensland Community Engagement Trial’ (QCET)—to test the impact of police engaging with citizens by operationalizing the key ingredients of procedural justice (neutrality, citizen participation, respect, and trustworthy motives) in a short, high-volume police–citizen encounter. We randomly allocated 60 roadside Random Breath Testing (RBT) operations to control (business-as-usual) and experimental (procedural justice) conditions. Driver surveys were used to measure the key outcomes: attitudes towards drinking and driving, satisfaction with police and perceptions of compliance. Results Citizen perceptions of the encounter revealed that the experimental treatment was delivered as planned. We also found significant differences between the experimental and control groups on all key outcome measures: drivers who received the experimental RBT encounter were 1.24 times more likely to report that their views on drinking and driving had changed than the control group; experimental respondents reported small but higher levels of compliance (d = .07) and satisfaction (d = .18) with police during the encounter than did their control group counterparts. Conclusions Our results show that the way citizens perceive the police can be influenced by the way in which police interact with citizens during routine encounters, and demonstrate the positive benefits of police using the principles of procedural justice. Our study was limited by the use of paper-only surveys and low response rate. We also recognize that the experiment setting (RBT road blocks) is limiting and non-reflective of the wider set of routine police–citizen encounters. Future research should be undertaken, using experimental methods, to replicate our field operationalization of procedural justice in different types of police–citizen encounters.
Article
The Queensland Police Service, Australia introduced an Informal Resolution process in July 1993 designed to promote the efficient and expeditious handling of complaints against police. The process was not designed to determine fault, but rather to find out what happened, and where necessary, give advice and guidance to subject officers for minor breaches of discipline without risk of penalty, and to resolve the complaint in a manner satisfactory to the complainant. How the process works is described, and comment is made regarding the level of acceptance the process has received.