Fair Process, Trust, and Cooperation: Moving Toward an Integrated Framework of Police Legitimacy

J. A. Hamm, Rick Trinkner, J. D. Carr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Positive public perceptions are a critical pillar of the criminal justice system, but the literature addressing them often fails to offer clear advice regarding the important constructs or the relationships among them. The research reported here sought to take an important step toward this clarity by recruiting a national convenience sample to complete an online survey about the police in the respondent’s community, which included measures of the process-based model of legitimacy and the classic model of trust. Our results suggest that although both are predictive, the models can be integrated in a way that allows the strengths of each model to address the weaknesses of the other. We therefore present this model as a first step toward an Integrated Framework of Police Legitimacy that can meaningfully incorporate much of the existing scholarship and provide clearer guidance for those who seek to address these constructs in research and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1183-1212
Number of pages30
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • legitimacy
  • policing
  • procedural fairness
  • trust
  • trustworthiness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology(all)
  • Law


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