Reforming the Police through Procedural Justice Training: A Multi-City Randomized Trial at Crime Hot Spots

Registrations: 10

Date/Time by Timezone

Thu, Jun 16th, 2022 3:00 PM - 4:15 PM ET
Thu, Jun 16th, 2022 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM CT
Thu, Jun 16th, 2022 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM MT
Thu, Jun 16th, 2022 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM PT

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    Can police be trained to treat people in fair and respectful ways, and if so, will this influence evaluations of the police, and crime? To answer these questions, we randomly allocated 120 crime hot spots to a procedural justice (PJ) and standard condition (SC) in three cities. 28 officers were randomly assigned to the conditions. The PJ condition officers received an intensive 5-day training course in the components of procedural justice (giving voice, showing neutrality, treating people with respect, and evidencing trustworthy motives). We used police self-report surveys to assess whether the training influenced attitudes, systematic social observations to examine impacts on police behavior in the field, and arrests to assess law enforcement actions. We conducted pre and post household surveys to assess resident attitudes toward the police. Impacts on crime were measured using crime incident and citizen- initiated crime call data. The training led to increased knowledge about procedural justice, and more procedurally just behavior in the field. At the same time, PJ officers carried out many fewer arrests than SC officers. Residents of the procedural justice hot spots were significantly less likely to perceive police as harassing or using unnecessary force, though we did not find significant differences between the PJ and SC hot spots in perceptions of procedural justice and legitimacy of police officers. We found a significant relative 14 percent decline in crime incidents in the PJ hot spots during the experiment, and a similar though non-significant relative decline in crime calls.



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    Established in 1970 through a large grant by the Ford Foundation, the National Police Foundation (NPF) is the oldest nationally known 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan, and non-membership-driven organization dedicated to improving American policing. NPF is a research organization with a long history of successful partnerships with law enforcement, cities, states, universities, federal agencies, other non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and private foundations. NPF’s growing portfolio of scientific research and experiments remains the catalyst for significant changes in policing, informing scholars and practitioners alike, and serves as a model for the systematic examination of real-world challenges. Over the course of the last 50 years, NPF has conducted seminal research in police behavior, policy, and procedure, and continues leading efforts in new evidence-based practices and innovations to law enforcement. To accomplish this mission—Advancing Policing Through Innovation and Science—NPF works closely with public safety and criminal justice agencies across the country and internationally. Today, NPF continues to advance the impact and delivery of police services through reform, advancements and enhancements. The NPF also works with communities across the United States and internationally to provide research, training, and technical assistance relating to community engagement and problem solving; promoting safety and healthy organizations and officers; the reduction and prevention of violence; and equitable and fair justice for all.  In addition to designing, conducting, and evaluating controlled experiments, NPF also provides a range of services to local public safety agencies that includes training, technical assistance, management analyses and planning.


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