Legitimacy and procedural justice in prisons

A functioning correctional system depends on the orderly reproduction of a stable and acceptable prison environment. The argument in this paper has two parts: first, a key factor in the social order of a prison is the legitimacy of the prison regime in the eyes of inmates; and second, the legitimacy of authorities depends in large part upon the procedural fairness with which officers treat prisoners.

Following a discussion of the relevance of procedural justice to the production and sustenance of legitimacy in British prisons, this paper explores how the perspective can inform policy developments that aim to improve the experience, and integration, of black and minority ethnic prisoners.

Jonathan Jackson
Tom R. Tyler
Ben Bradford et al