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Public Policy and Administration


Richard Worch


African American men between the ages of 18-35 years are increasingly likely to die during arrests by police under the purview of procedural practices. Using procedural justice and critical race theory as the foundation, the purpose of this correlational study was to evaluate the statistical relationship between procedural justice, consent to police authority, and certain demographic characteristics including socioeconomic status and age in a large Metropolitan area in the southern United States. Survey data utilizing the Procedural Justice Inventory and Willingness to Submit to Police Authority Survey were collected from African American adult males (n = 69) and analyzed using least-squares regression. Regression analyses revealed a significant relationship between procedural justice and consent to police authority (p < .05). In addition, socioeconomic status and age did not affect the relationship between procedural justice and consent to police authority (p < .05). Implementation of recommendations for training may provide police practitioners with the basis to develop training programs to affect behavioral outcomes of police. Following these recommendations may change the systemic relationship between the community and police. The findings of this study may also serve African American males by allowing them to take an introspective look at how they may react in certain statutory situations and taking positive actions as opposed to being reactive; thereby, possibly mitigating deaths during police interaction. The implications for positive social change afford community practitioners an opportunity to develop community programs that support individuals and communities to change systemic practices that foster procedural injustice.

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