The Effects of Justice Judgments on Police Legitimacy Across Urban Neighborhoods: A Test of the Invariance Thesis

Michael D. Reisig, Michaela Flippin, Gorazd Meško, Rick Trinkner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The invariance thesis posits that the effects of procedural justice judgments on police legitimacy beliefs are consistent across a variety of contexts, including urban neighborhoods. An alternative argument, one steeped in the relational model of authority, holds that procedural justice effects are weaker in high-crime communities where residents do not identify with the police and where they place more weight on instrumental concerns. This study used survey data from 1,000 adults in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The regression models showed that the association between procedural justice and police legitimacy was stronger in low-risk neighborhoods. In high-risk areas, distributive justice was a stronger correlate of legitimacy. Overall, the findings highlight how neighborhood context can moderate the influence of fairness judgments on supportive beliefs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCrime and Delinquency
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • compliance
  • fairness
  • legal socialization
  • process-based model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

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