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“Procedural Justice” Training Underway at MPD

“Procedural Justice” Training Underway at MPD

February 10, 2016 (MINNEAPOLIS) The Minneapolis Police Department is beginning its year-long procedural justice training project in conjunction with the Department of Justice’s National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice. Minneapolis was one of 6 cities chosen for the initiative aimed at strengthening the relationship between the criminal justice system and the communities it serves and protects.

Procedural justice focuses on the way police and other legal authorities interact with the public and how the characteristics of those interactions shape the public’s views of the police, their willingness to obey the law, and actual crime rates. Every MPD officer will receive this training in 2016.

National Initiative Press Release

Procedural Justice Training Kickoff in Six Pilot Sites

The Department of Justice’s National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice has announced that on February 1, 2016 it will launch a three-day procedural justice training in its six pilot sites, a component of its plan to strengthen the relationship between the criminal justice system and the communities it serves and protects. The sites, which include Birmingham, AL; Fort Worth, TX; Gary, IN; Minneapolis, MN; Pittsburgh, PA; and Stockton, CA, sent officers to Chicago Police Department (CPD) to receive training on an innovative procedural justice curriculum during October of 2015. These officers will now deliver the curriculum to the rank-and-file of their departments in an effort to improve the quality of interaction with the public.

“The National Initiative is enormously excited to begin this important work. This procedural justice curriculum is the result of a collaboration between leading edge thinkers and practitioners in the areas of procedural justice and implicit bias,” said National Initiative Project Director Tracie Keesee. “We believe it holds great promise to transform police interactions with citizens and help rebuild trust in communities where it has been eroded.”

Procedural justice focuses on the way police and other legal authorities interact with the public and how the characteristics of those interactions shape the public’s views of the police, their willingness to obey the law, and actual crime rates. Mounting evidence shows that community perceptions of procedural justice can have a significant impact on public safety.

The initial training will last two days. The goal of the first unit of training will be to teach officers the concepts of procedural justice and how to incorporate those ideas into their daily routines, particularly during their interactions with the public. Included in this training is a unit on policing in historical perspective, which John Jay College’s National Network for Safe Communities (NNSC) has identified as a critical step in the reconciliation process. The second unit of training will build upon the first, incorporating scenario-based exercises. The goal is to teach officers advanced techniques for applying procedural justice concepts in the field. The third unit of training, focusing on implicit bias, will take place later this summer.

The training is modeled on the procedural justice and police legitimacy curriculum developed by Yale Law School’s Tom Tyler and Tracey Meares and members of CPD – a curriculum that has been administered to more than 11,000 Chicago officers over the last four years – with an implicit bias curriculum developed by Phillip Atiba Goff of the Center for Policing Equity and the Chicago trainers. In October of 2015, training officers from the six pilot sites traveled to Chicago and learned from Meares, Tyler, Goff, and the CPD training staff about these core concepts. David Kennedy of the NNSC presented on police-community reconciliation and how the concept intersects with procedural justice and implicit bias. The launch of this city-level procedural justice training, one of the concrete interventions developed for the National Initiative, is the first opportunity for officers to deliver this curriculum to their departments.

More can be learned about this training and the principles behind it at the National Initiative’s online clearinghouse, found at trustandjustice.org. The Department of Justice is also providing additional training and technical assistance to police departments and communities that are not pilot sites through the Office of Justice Program’s Diagnostic Center.