Date of Degree

9-30-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Criminal Justice

Advisor(s)

Brian Lawton

Committee Members

Amy Adamczyk

Valli Rajah

Subject Categories

Criminology and Criminal Justice

Keywords

procedural justice, campus police, law enforcement, bystander intervention, campus crime, legitimacy

Abstract

This dissertation focuses on the phenomenon of campus crime reporting, specifically students’ self-reported likelihood of reporting a petty theft, aggravated assault, indecent exposure, or gun possession incident to the college public safety department, municipal police, and a member of the library staff. This project tests two different social psychology models that predict indirect bystander intervention, or a third party relying on another third party to assist someone in need. The survey vignette design involves experimental manipulation of several situational variables in line with the ‘unresponsive bystander’ model (Latané & Darley, 1970) and subsequent scholarship. The procedural justice model (Tyler & Blader, 2003) focuses on how the process rather than the outcome of law enforcement-citizen encounters influences future cooperation. I extend this theory and empirical scholarship to the institution of campus policing. Undergraduate respondents (n = 554) indicated that the most powerful influences on their hypothetical reporting behaviors were situational factors, specifically the severity of the witnessed crime scenario, with anonymity and bystander group size non-significant. In addition, the procedural justice model receives strong support from this empirical evaluation. General procedural justice ratings serve as a significant predictor of evaluations of campus police legitimacy. In turn, legitimacy ratings are a significant predictor of reporting willingness, controlling for distributive justice. Extension of the procedural justice model to the campus police context indicates that in addition to procedural justice ratings, undergraduates view the crime-fighting effectiveness of the campus police as a key influence on their evaluation of campus police legitimacy. As several prior procedural justice studies controlled for instrumental variables such as police effectiveness or performance, this represents an area for future exploration and theorization.

 
 

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