Procedural justice, within the context of policing, is whether the process through which decisions are made is viewed as fair, regardless of the outcome.Jason Sunshine and Tom R. Tyler, "The Role of Procedural Justice and Legitimacy in Shaping Public Support for Policing," Law & Society Review 37, no. 3 (2003), 513-548. There are four pillars that contribute to the belief that a process is procedurally just.

  1. Voice: Whether people feel that they are being heard by their superiors.
  2. Impartiality: Whether people feel that they are being treated in an unbiased manner.
  3. Respect: Whether people are being treated with dignity.
  4. Transparency: Whether the process is clearly explained.

Organizational justice theories posit that employees may be more likely perceive their organizations as legitimate if these four pillars are in place. Empirical research suggests there is a link between organizations that are more procedurally just internally with their employees and organizations that will exercise these practices externally in the communities they serve.Maarten Van Craen and Wesley G. Skogan, "Achieving Fairness in Policing: The Link Between Internal and External Procedural Justice," Police Quarterly 20, no. 1 (2017), 3-23 By improving legitimacy internally, police officers may be more likely to follow organizational rules and reforms while simultaneously experiencing increased job satisfaction and morale.

Both the Arlington Police Department and the West Midlands Police have implemented procedural justice reforms in an effort to improve the organizational culture within their respective departments. This evaluation will examine those reforms and whether the manner in which they were implemented was successful in establishing procedural fairness within the organizations. Although this evaluation primarily explores the success of procedural justice reforms to promote fairness within the organizations, this step has also been argued to be a prerequisite to shifting the culture of policing to one that ensures fairness and legitimacy are cornerstones of how the police interact with their personnel and the public.