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Encyclopedia of Criminological Theory

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Encyclopedia of Criminological Theory

Francis T. Cullen & Pamela Wilcox

Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: November 23, 2010 | DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412959193 | Print ISBN: 9781412959186 | Online ISBN: 9781412959193 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.

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Tyler, Tom R.: Sanctions and Procedural Justice Theory

Mengyan Dai

Focusing on personal experiences with authorities including legal authorities (i.e., police officers and judges), Tom R. Tyler's theory of procedural justice explains the effects of the fairness of procedures used by authorities. In criminology and criminal justice, the theory seeks to answer such important questions as why people obey the law, why people cooperate with legal authorities, and why people have trust and confidence in legal authorities. According to the theory, people's evaluations of and reactions to legal authorities are shaped by their judgments about the fairness of the procedures through which authorities exercise their discretion. Specifically, people are more likely to accept the constraints imposed by the law and legal authorities if they believe legal authorities use fair procedures in their decision making and treatment of members of the public. Furthermore, the effects of procedural justice judgments are often found to be stronger than those of the judgments about ...

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