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Procedural justice, legitimacy, and prisoner misconduct

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Using structured interview data and official records from an incarcerated sample of adult males housed in a Slovene prison, this study tests hypotheses derived from the process-based model of regulation (Tyler, in M. Tonry (Ed.), Crime and justice, pp. 283-357, 2003). The findings show that inmates who evaluate prison officers' use of authority as procedurally just are less likely to report engaging in misconduct and are charged with violating fewer institutional rules. The observed association between procedural justice and legitimacy is indistinguishable from zero. Although legitimacy is inversely related to both prisoner misconduct measures, the associations are relatively weak. Overall, these findings partially support Tyler's social-psychological framework, and also provide empirical justification for fair and respectful offender management.
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Keywords: Slovenia; legitimacy; prisoner misconduct; prisons; procedural justice

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Arizona State University, Glendale, USA 2: Faculty of Criminal Justice, University of Maribor, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Publication date: 01 January 2009

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