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NCJ Number: 211318 Find in a Library
Title: Informal Resolution of Complaints Against the Police: A Quasi-Experimental Test of Restorative Justice
Journal: Criminal Justice  Volume:5  Issue:3  Dated:August 2005  Pages:279-317
Author(s): Richard Young; Carolyn Hoyle; Karen Cooper; Roderick Hill
Date Published: August 2005
Page Count: 39
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article reports on an evaluation of the use of restorative-justice conferences to handle citizen complaints against police in a British police force district.
Abstract: Under the experimental intervention, once a complaint had been lodged and the case assigned to a headquarters officer, a meeting was arranged between the appointed officer and the complainant, usually at the complainant's home or workplace. If the complainant agreed to the proposed informal resolution procedure, the appointed officer would take a written statement of the complainant's concerns. The appointed officer would then meet with the officer against whom the complaint was lodged in order to convey the complainant's concerns. The complainant would then receive a letter from the appointed officer confirming that the officer had been notified of the complainant's concerns about his/her objectionable actions. In effect, the procedure was an informal means of ensuring that a complainant's concerns were made known in a face-to-face meeting with a departmental representative and then communicated to the involved officer. Traditional means of handling complaints involved a weak form of conciliation in which complainants were often confused about their options. The evaluation compared such traditional handling of complaints against police with the new informal method. Researchers examined how complaint processes operated under the two approaches and linked those processes with certain outcomes. Interviews were conducted with complainants and officers both before and after the complaint process. Findings show that under the new complaint procedures, complainants were more satisfied that their concerns had been heard by the department and the officer than under the traditional system; and officers stated that it was helpful to them to hear the specific concerns of the complainant. 11 tables, 2 figures, 35 notes, and 47 references
Main Term(s): Complaints against police
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Complaint processing; England; Foreign police; Restorative Justice
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