4 thoughts to “Why a Few Good Cops Can’t Fix Policing”

  1. Two questions: (1) When they (or you) say “process-driven factors do lead to higher normative alignment …”, that “lead to” implies causation. If this was a correlational study, how did they establish that? (2) The statement “Since people obey the law when they view law enforcement as legitimate” is pretty broad. Are they (or you) saying that thieves won’t steal and spouses won’t assault each other and addicts won’t shoot up when they view LE as legitimate? Or maybe “obey the law” has a much narrower meaning in this context?

    1. Hi Gary,

      1) You are correct. The study was a correlational study. As such, we (I’m second author on the piece) could not establish causation within this study. Any reference in the original article using language such as “leads to” and such is in reference to the theoretical models we were drawing from. For example, based on the classic model of procedural justice you would expect that process concerns would lead to higher normative alignment.

      2) I agree that “since people obey the law when they view law enforcement as legitimate” is pretty broad. I don’t think we make a statement like that in the article, but I would have to double check. Generally, in discussing legitimacy, the argument is that people are more likely to obey the law when they view the police as legitimate than when they don’t AND that judgments of legitimacy are better predictors of criminal behavior (in the aggregate) than fear of sanctions or risk of punishment. The summary statement would be better if it read “Since people are more likely to obey the law and cooperate with law enforcement when they believe the criminal justice system is legitimate….”

  2. The complete article is not available unless you have an additional membership with Sage Journals etc. Is there a way to post the full PDF without having to go through this step? If we are going to sell EBP to fellow colleagues, this would be helpful.

    1. Hi,

      A quick little trick that can (sometimes) get you academic papers without having to join a publishing company (or pay the exorbitant fee they charge for a single article). (1) search on scholar.google.com. Google Scholar is essentially google but only looks for academic research. If there is a publicly available version, google scholar will show it to you. (2) join researchgate.net, which is essentially “facebook for academics” (but not annoying like I’m told facebook is). Many scholars either have their articles listed on researchgate or will agree to share them privately via researchgate. If you want a copy of this article discussed above, feel free to send me a request on researchgate and I will forward you a copy (note: it will just be the manuscript…not a .pdf of the exact article as it appears in print).

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