Maguire, E. R., Atkin-Plunk, C. A., & Wells, W. (2021). The effects of procedural justice on cooperation and compliance among inmates in a work release program. Justice Quarterly, 38(6), 1128-1153.


Order is critical to the safe and efficient management of correctional institutions. Procedural justice theory suggests that the fair and rightful exercise of authority by correctional staff can promote order by stimulating within inmates a sense of obligation to obey authority. Triggering this sense of obligation is thought to encourage voluntary cooperation and compliance without relying on formal sanctions. Using data from a 2006 survey of 213 adult male inmates in a Chicago transition facility (a minimum security prison), we test the effects of procedural justice and other factors on cooperation and compliance. The results reveal that inmates’ perceptions of procedural justice have a mix of direct and indirect effects on their cooperation and compliance. Our findings clarify the role of procedural justice and other factors in maintaining order within correctional settings. Supplementary analyses clarify the effects of anger on cooperation and compliance and provide fruitful avenues for future research.

Year: 2021
Language: English
Type: Journal article
Topic: Procedural justice and legitimacy
Methodologies: Measurement model, Cross-sectional model