Criminal Justice and Behavior

Sage Publications, Inc.
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Latest documents

  • Linking Organizational Justice to Organizational Commitment Among Nigerian Police Officers

    Organizational commitment is an imperative aspect of occupational attitudes as it signals employees’ willingness to stay with their organization and effectively achieve collective goals. Although recent studies have assessed factors influencing police officers’ organizational commitment, very little is known about the antecedents of police commitment in African countries. Based on a survey of Nigerian police officers, the study assesses the linkage between organizational justice and organizational commitment directly and indirectly through organizational trust and job satisfaction. Structural equation modeling (SEM) indicates that the relationship between organizational justice and organizational commitment is principally indirect through the mediating mechanisms of supervisory trustworthiness and job satisfaction. Officers who express greater organizational justice report higher trust in their management and supervisors and, subsequently, stronger job satisfaction, leading to higher organizational commitment. Implications for future research and policy are discussed.

  • Book Review: Criminality in context: The psychological foundations of criminal justice reform
  • Procedural Justice and Legitimacy in Prisons: A Review of Extant Empirical Literature

    Significant in the management of a safe and secure custodial environment is the compliance of incarcerated persons with the prison rules and the directives of prison officers. In recent years, there has been increased research focus on the role of normative compliance in the prison environment, which is postulated to derive from the perceptions of legitimacy and procedural justice of those who are incarcerated. This article presents the findings of a scoping review of the empirical literature as it relates to procedural justice and legitimacy in prison settings. This literature is charted and then analyzed across two primary themes, namely “Shaping Perceptions of Procedural Justice and Legitimacy” and “Procedural Justice, Legitimacy, and Compliance.” The presence of normative compliance in prisons and the contribution of procedurally just treatment to perceptions of legitimacy held by persons who are incarcerated are discussed.

  • Prisons and Mental Health: Violence, Organizational Support, and the Effects of Correctional Work

    Correctional workers have a high likelihood of exposure to violence in the workplace. However, empirical literature has largely neglected the mental health consequences of prison work, as well as the institutional factors that might mitigate or exacerbate these effects. To fill this gap, we employ original survey data on thousands of correctional officers to explore the effects of exposure to violence on the job. We find strong associations between violence and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide risk, as well as symptoms of depression, alcohol abuse, anxiety, and sleep disorder. Importantly, we also find a potentially protective role of institutional factors, such as the quality of perceived management and supervision. In line with the perceived organizational support (POS) model, our findings make clear that organizational support can moderate the deleterious effects of prison work.

  • “Heart and Soul of a Prosecutor”: The Impact of Prosecutor Role Orientation on Charging Decisions

    In most research, prosecutors are depicted monolithically as “interchangeable parts” rather than as individuals with varied perspectives. Yet, the prosecution is becoming increasingly diverse, a shift that is likely accompanied by different approaches to prosecution. Drawing upon the concepts of role orientation and job crafting, we identify three primary orientations to the job of a prosecutor, that of the Enforcer, the Reformer, and the Advocate. Whereas Enforcers view their job as merely to apply the law, Reformers focus on rehabilitation of the defendant, and Advocates are instead concerned with retribution for victims. These three interpretations of prosecutors’ responsibilities translate into different approaches to charging. Furthermore, when there is a disconnect between a prosecutor’s personal philosophy and that of their office more generally, prosecutors develop covert ways of exercising their priorities.

  • The Effect of Sanction Severity and Its Interaction With Procedural Justice

    Recent scholarship suggests that detention may have differential effects depending on situational factors. This longitudinal study tests an integrative theoretical framework with the aim to identify conditions under which detention deters from subsequent rule-violating behavior. We examined whether effects of experienced sanction severity on subsequent misconduct and reoffending behavior are dependent on procedural justice perceptions among Dutch adults in detention (n = 763 and n = 765, respectively). The deterrent effect of sanction severity on misconduct was dependent on procedural justice. Increased sanction severity only deterred from subsequent misconduct when treatment was perceived as procedurally neutral to just. For individuals who were detained for the first time, a similar interaction effect was observed for reoffending behavior. The results support the added value of integrating deterrence theory with situational characteristics (i.e., procedural justice) to explain sanctioning effects and suggest that correctional staffs’ relationships with individuals in detention can contribute to order in prison and beyond.

  • Perceived Procedural Justice Enhances Correctional Officers’ Organizational Citizenship Behavior: Correlational and Causal Evidence From Israel

    Procedural justice refers to unbiased, caring, respectful, and participative treatment by decision makers. It positively associates with employees’ citizenship behavior, an expression of motivation and commitment that consists of voluntary helpful acts toward the organization or fellow employees. In view of scarce research on these variables in correctional facilities, we conducted two studies among Israeli correctional officers. In a survey (N = 336), procedural justice by the commander moderately associated with organization- and individual-targeted citizenship behavior. In addition, commander procedural justice predicted perceiving organization procedural justice, which in turn strongly associated with organization-targeted citizenship. In an experiment (N = 311), commander procedural justice enhanced organization- but not individual-targeted citizenship behavior. These studies provide new statistical and causal evidence for procedural justice effects on correctional officers, which can inform prison administrations’ practices. They also generalize justice effects to the Israeli prison culture and provide knowledge on Israeli officers, hitherto notably understudied.

  • Trial by Tabloid: Can Implicit Bias Education Reduce Pretrial Publicity Bias?

    The Western District of Washington recently developed an educational video to reduce jurors’ implicit biases. Little is known regarding the effectiveness of this proposed remedy to address a range of implicit biases. This study tested whether this educational video reduces pretrial publicity (PTP) bias. A total of 330 undergraduate participants were randomly assigned to read PTP or unrelated articles. An average of 9 days later, they were randomly assigned to watch the educational video prior to viewing a murder trial. Those exposed to PTP were more likely to convict and found the defendant more culpable and less credible. The educational video did not reduce PTP bias. A more tailored debiasing strategy may be needed to overcome the biasing effects of PTP. Differences in legal decisions also emerged depending on whether participants completed the second phase in-person or online, which has implications for future data collection modes.

  • Sentencing Females Convicted of Sex Offenses: Examining Measures of Perceived Dangerousness and the Decision to Incarcerate

    From media attention to legislative actions, individuals convicted of sex offenses are often perceived as dangerous and a threat to society. Previous research, however, has demonstrated that perceived dangerousness is gender-specific, often minimizing culpability for women convicted of sex offenses. Consequently, previous research on sentencing outcomes of these individuals have largely been male-only samples, leaving a gap in the literature as it pertains to females convicted of sex offenses. The current study sought to fill this gap by examining the impact that those convicted, victims, and offense characteristics had on sentencing outcomes for women convicted of sex offenses. We analyzed a sample of 262 females convicted of a sex offense in a Southern state. The results demonstrated that official case characteristics, along with victim characteristics, play an influential role in the judicial decision to impose an incarceration sentence.

  • Criminal Expertise and Sexual Violence: Comparing the Crime-Commission Process Involved in Sexual Burglary and Sexual Robbery

    Criminal expertise relates to the notion that some individuals may develop domain-specific offending skills that differentiate them from those with less skills or experience (i.e., novices). In the expertise literature, burglary has emerged as a distinct type of “expert” offense, therefore the current study sought to determine whether criminal expertise is more evident in the crime-commission process of sexual burglary compared to sexual robbery. We used binary logistic regression to compare the pre-crime, crime, and post-crime behaviors of 870 cases of hybrid sexual assault that occurred during the commission of either a burglary (N = 319) (or) robbery (N = 479), both of which involved personal theft from a stranger victim. Findings suggest that the crime commission process of sexual burglary involves a more sophisticated modus operandi and greater expertise in detection avoidance (e.g., strategies to protect their identity and destroying and removing evidence) compared to sexual robbery.

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