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The Importance of Being Satisfied: A Longitudinal Exploration of Police Contact, Procedural Injustice, and Subsequent Delinquency

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice and Behavior Volume: 43 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2016 Pages: 7-26
Date Published
January 2016
20 pages
Using four waves of data, this study explored the multiple ways in which being stopped or arrested and procedural injustice act in concert to affect later delinquency among youth who have had police contacts, and it also assessed how these effects differed based on youth's evaluations of their police encounters.
Study findings indicate that the total effect on delinquency of being stopped or arrested by police depended on the youth's level of satisfaction with the encounter. In addition, procedural injustice mediated some of the effect of police contact on delinquency, but its relationship with delinquency was not direct. The study concludes that the negative consequences of being stopped or arrested were mitigated, but not eliminated, when the police contact was perceived favorably by the involved youth. (Publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2016