Journal of Public Management & Social Policy


Police body-worn cameras (BWC) emerged on state policy agendas to improve public accountability and mitigate social equity concerns in the wake of a national debate on police violence. Some, but not all, states adopted BWC, suggesting several state-level factors determined the policy making process. We develop a two-step political model of state criminal justice policy (adoption and implementation) that incorporates three distinct political actors: law enforcement groups; traditional advocates for civil rights/liberties; and new advocates for social equity/justice. We find that in the first step (policy adoption) traditional civil rights groups are not statistically related to a state adopting a BWC policy, but new groups, like those connected to BLM movement, are significantly related. However, in the second step (policy implementation) new groups are less influential, while traditional civil rights groups, and advocates for law enforcement, are. We surmise that protest and media strategies of new social equity advocates are highly effective during the salient policy adoption step, but rendered less successful during the pedestrian implementation step. We believe there are lessons for other efforts to mitigate social equity, such as the ways new advocacy groups need to master outsider strategies and insider legal and budgetary strategies appropriate for implementation.



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