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Perceptions of Incarcerated Youth About Police Violence and Legitimacy in Trinidad and Tobago

  • Nikolaos StamatakisEmail author
Article

Abstract

This study was focused on the youth’s perceptions in Trinidad and Tobago, a developing Caribbean nation. It describes their personal experiences with and perceptions of police misbehavior or excessive use of force on juveniles and young adults held in the two reformatory institutions, as well as in the country’s only juvenile facility. The main objective of the present empirical research was to explore the diachronic conceptual relationship between violence and the levels of police legitimacy as perceived or experienced by the youth from 13 to 23 years old. Short questionnaires were used to capture the youth’s opinions on institutional violence, a distinct and long-lasting phenomenon in the region. Multivariate analyses of the quantitative data also examined the role of trust as an influencing factor for police legitimacy (and legitimation), being previously evaluated in terms of efficiency and equality. Although most of the research participants had a bad impression about the police, overall, whether the police operations were efficient or their procedures fair had no impact or influence on the particular sample’s levels of trust and general perceptions of the TTPS. Finally, recommendations on changes in the police’s administrative procedures were made along with a shift in organizational culture, and the promotion of community policing.

Keywords

Youth Police violence Legitimacy Incarceration Trinidad and Tobago 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that he has no competing interests.

Ethical Approval

The research has been granted relevant approval from the UTT Research Ethics Committee, as well as permission to enter the custodial settings for research purposes from the TT Prison Service.

Informed Consent

All participating prisoners were given an informed consent form to sign prior filling in the questionnaire.

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Copyright information

© Society for Police and Criminal Psychology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUnited Arab Emirates UniversityAl AinUnited Arab Emirates

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