Gender and mental health: an examination of procedural justice in a specialized and comparison court context

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Procedural justice has become a widely researched topic in the criminological field with applicability to multiple arenas, including policing, corrections, and courts. Its main tenents suggest that through fair treatment,

Procedural justice has become a widely researched topic in the criminological field with applicability to multiple arenas, including policing, corrections, and courts. Its main tenents suggest that through fair treatment, respectful dialogue and being given a proper voice, citizens will view their experiences with authority more justly. However, though the literature regarding procedural justice has grown immensely, it is still unclear whether certain characteristics of individuals, such as gender and mental health, play a role in their perceptions of procedural justice. Using secondary data originally collected for Rossman, Roman, Zweig, Rempel and Lindquist’s Multi-Adult Drug Court Evaluation (MADCE), an attempt is made to address the previously neglected association between procedural justice, gender, mental health and the added aspect of specialized drug court participation. Results suggest that both gender and mental health, namely depression, play a significant role in predicting procedural justice. Additionally, being a drug court participant was significantly related to higher levels of perceived procedural justice. Implications for theory, research, and policy are discussed.