Procedural Justice Assessment
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Procedural Justice Assessment

In a time of diminished public confidence and trust in law enforcement generally, and unprecedented scrutiny of campus police and public safety agencies specifically, both sworn and non-sworn agencies are facing calls to restructure (or disband) operations, reduce staffing and budgets, overhaul use-of-force policies, disarm officers, and/or terminate Chiefs/Directors for the actions of their officers. Increasing calls for accountability are also prompting calls for the appointment of civilian advisory committees to oversee the campus public safety function. 


College or university campus public safety leaders –


    • Are you being asked to justify the continued funding level of your department? 
    • Are you being asked to justify the existence of your department?
    • Are you prepared for the scrutiny of your campus community based on an officer’s response to an incident, including the use-of-force against a member of a marginalized community?
    • Are your personnel prepared to respond effectively to protests and other forms of activism on or near your campus and/or directed at your agency? 
    • How are you ensuring the right officers are hired, trained, and retained to serve in a diverse campus community?
    • Would you benefit from a proactive assessment of how your agency is poised to meet the challenges and opportunities presented by a new era of campus public safety?

The Procedural Justice Assessment service addresses five pillars that D. Stafford & Associates believes effective campus police/public safety agencies are built upon: People, Education, Policies, Oversight, and Accountability. 


Procedural Justice relates to the idea of fairness between citizens and public safety agencies. It is a belief that the administration of justice, the allocation and use of departmental resources, and the resolution of conflicts in an impartial manner all produce trust and promote positive relationships between police/public safety and the communities they serve. 


The Procedural Justice Assessment examines six areas (to assess the 5 Pillars) that are indispensable to campus police and public safety agencies as they aspire to earn and/or maintain the community’s trust, confidence, and support. The assessment evaluates the extent to which an agency is operating with integrity and transparency as well as how the agency is remaining accountable to the diverse community it serves through review of the following areas:


    • Agency & Institutional Culture 
    • Recruitment and Retention Practices 
    • Policies and Procedures
    • Training and Professional Development
    • Available Campus Community/Citizen Complaint Processes and/or Early Intervention System(s)
    • Assessment of Oversight and Accountability 


The Procedural Justice Assessment is a targeted assessment that will result in tangible recommendations for proactively ensuring your campus community that your campus police/public safety department is:


    • Taking action to ensure procedural justice in the actions of its officers and leaders;
    • Taking action to ensure accountability for and transparency in the decisions and response of departmental staff; and
    • Taking action to ensure that all staff are focused on protecting and serving the entire campus community in a fair and impartial manner.


This assessment will provide institutional leaders with the framework necessary to empower proactive, inclusive, transparent, and community-centric campus police and public safety agencies on their respective campuses. This framework includes recommendations for equipping campus law enforcement and public safety agencies with a strategy to align agency policies and processes with the core values of the institution and industry best practices. By implementing recommendations arising from this review, institutions will be able to better understand how concepts of legitimacy and procedural justice can be embedded into the fabric of a campus police or public safety agency. 


Potential Outcomes following the Procedural Justice Assessment 


Building confidence in campus safety through our Procedural Justice Assessment


Culture matters. We make sure you know the current police or public safety department culture and give the department’s leaders the tools they need to make sure the culture reflects the institution’s values.


We evaluate the five pillars by reviewing six areas of police/public safety operations through our procedural justice assessments to prepare those departments for today’s realities.


Secondly, we help ensure the campus police/public safety agency is operating under a guardian mindset and they are practicing procedural justice, placing the sanctity-of-life and wellbeing as their guiding principle. 


Our assessment addresses questions such as:


    • Do your officers demonstrate cross-cultural competency?
    • Does your community believe that your officers engage in fair and impartial policing/public safety practices? 
    • Is your agency hiring and retaining the right people?
    • Does your agency have policies/procedures based on national best practices?
    • Do the officers and other employees receive adequate and verifiable on-going training that is culturally inclusive?  
    • Do the agency supervisors and command staff members provide an appropriate level of supervision, oversight, and accountability?


Reducing College/University liability and building trust through independent oversight


Do you really know your campus public safety/police department? Are your perceptions accurate? Who’s checking? 


We take you inside campus police/public safety operations to open a transparent view of the department’s culture.


Loss of confidence in police/public safety, damage to college/university property, significant litigation costs, and the loss of life are a few of the consequences of not taking proactive measures. We help you protect your organization’s reputation by identifying systemic problems and putting measures in place to preserve campus trust.


Accountability begins and ends with proper oversight. We ensure police early warning systems are in place to help prevent critical incidents and lessen their impacts when they occur.


DSA can also provide independent coordination on use-of-force and serious incident review boards to ensure transparent oversight of threshold incidents (see Additional Service Options).


Defining campus safety through the eyes of the campus community


How does your campus community define campus safety? You may find it is much different than you think. 


We work with campus stakeholders to provide you with recommendations on how the college/university can fundamentally transform how police/public safety interact with the community.


Our broad-based community approach can lead to a credible new vision for campus public safety.