Legitimacy and Procedural Justice in Prisons

Published: October 2010

A functioning correctional system depends on the orderly reproduction of a stable and acceptable prison environment. Our 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. 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, we explore how the perspective can inform policy developments that aim to improve the experience, and integration, of black and minority ethnic prisoners.

Authors / Editors

Research Themes

Criminal Justice Process and Institutions