Forming Better Police-Community Connections: Procedural Justice

Research Team

Project Overview

We’re working on several projects that examine the ways in which new policy initiatives could be used to change interactions between police and community members. We are currently collaborating with the Cambridge Police Department on a randomized evaluation of a program emphasizing “procedural justice” in police-citizen encounters in crime hot spots. Procedural justice is concerned with the way that police and community members interact, and has four main principles to guide the actions of police officers:

  • Treating people with dignity and respect
  • Giving citizens ‘voice’ during encounters
  • Being neutral in decision making
  • Conveying trustworthy motives

The goal of the project is to learn how training in procedural justice changes the behavior of police officers as well as the way the public chooses to interact with the police. This project is part of a larger multi-site randomized controlled trial implemented in collaboration with the Police Foundation and Arizona State University.  Other study sites include Houston, Indianapolis, and Tucson.