Recent Research on Victims and the Police," in Festschrift in Honor of Jan Van
Dijk. Nijmegen: Wolf Legal Publishers, 2012, 343-350.
Decades of research on victims and the police has identified a host of specific concerns, so
many that some describe the police-victim encounter as inflicting a “second wound.” More
recently, parallel social and political forces were at work shaping criminological research,
and they brought to the forefront interest in other types of encounters between police and
the public. Gradually, researchers began to develop more systematic theoretical
explanations for the behavior of police and the reactions of the public (and vice-versa)
during these encounters, including victims. By the mid-2000s, these two strands of
empirical, policy-relevant, and academically well-received research had merged within a
“procedural justice” framework. The merger of police-victim research into the procedural
justice framework has been a good thing. The procedural justice model of how the
authorities treat people is not as important as it is just because it explains why victims and
others like the police. Instead, it is important because it underlies a grand theoretical vision
of the roots of social order. A committee of the National Academy of Science that I chaired
described legitimacy as the most socially and politically important outcome of policing, and
we extolled procedural justice as the way to build it.
Victim Research Abstracts