Achieving Fairness in Policing: The Link Between Internal and External Procedural Justice

Maarten Van Craen*, Wesley G. Skogan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Decades of research on public support for the police has documented the prominent role of procedural justice in shaping popular views of police legitimacy and the predisposition of citizens to comply and cooperate with them. However, much less attention has been given to the issue of how to get police officers to actually act in accord with its principles when they interact with the public. Reminders of the importance and the difficulty of fostering police legitimacy are not hard to come by, as witnessed in events in the United States during 2014 to 2015. This article addresses the hard, multifaceted issue of fostering procedural justice in the ranks. It theorizes and assesses the relationship between fair supervision and fair policing. The results of our study indicate that perceived internal procedural justice is directly related to support for external procedural justice (modeling thesis), and also indirectly, via trust in citizens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-23
Number of pages21
JournalPolice Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2017


  • fairness
  • modeling
  • procedural justice
  • supervision
  • trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Law


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