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Assessing the Effects of Body-Worn Cameras on Procedural Justice in the Los Angeles Police Department

NCJ Number
Criminology Volume: 57 Issue: 2 Dated: May 2019 Pages: 208-236
Date Published
May 2019
29 pages
This article presents the methodology and findings of a study that examined variations in procedural justice delivered in face-to-face encounters with citizens before and after the implementation of body-worn cameras (BWCs).

The study used recent advances in the measurement of procedural justice by using systematic social observation of police in field settings in the Los Angeles Police Department. Data collected on 555 police citizen encounters were analyzed in bivariate and multivariate models that tested the primary hypothesis that BWCs affect procedural justice delivered by police directly and indirectly. Study findings indicate that significant increases in procedural justice during police citizen encounters were directly attributable to the effect of BWCs on police behavior, as well as to the indirect effects on citizen disrespect and other variables. The implications for policy include explicit measurement and monitoring of procedural justice or elements such as officer discourtesy in departments that adopt BWCs. Further research issues are recommended, such as a more detailed examination of citizens of behavioral changes under BWCs. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: May 1, 2019