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NCJRS Abstract

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  NCJ Number: NCJ 241048     Find in a Library
  Title: Changing Attitudes Toward the Criminal Justice System: Results of an Experimental Study
  Author(s): Carrie L. Tanasichuk ; J. Stephen Wormith
  Journal: Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice  Volume:54  Issue:4  Dated:October 2012  Pages:415 to 441
  Date Published: 10/2012
  Page Count: 27
  Annotation: This article examines the changing public attitudes towards the criminal justice system in Canada.
  Abstract: Polls have suggested that fewer than half of Canadians have confidence in the criminal justice system (CJS) as a whole. Low levels of confidence are problematic, as the CJS relies on public support to function effectively. Previous research has found that attitudes toward the CJS are typically based on misperceptions and misinformation, with the public being unaware of the functioning of the CJS as well as of crime trends. Therefore, it seems logical to posit that providing the public with factual information about crime and criminal justice may lead to increased confidence. Past studies have shown that, in general, public education can lead to increased confidence; however, questions pertaining to the mode of delivery have been raised, particularly in regards to how ‘active’ the individual should be in the learning process. The present study was conducted to assess the influence of mode of delivery on CJS knowledge and attitudes. As has been found in past research, participants who received CJS information had a higher level of knowledge than did controls, who received information about Canada's health care system. Interestingly, the type of learning (active vs. passive) did not have an effect on CJS knowledge; however, an effect was observed in regards to confidence and satisfaction: Participants who received CJS information through active learning were more confident in the CJS and had a higher level of satisfaction. These results have important implications for real world interventions. (Published Abstract)
  Main Term(s): Public Attitudes/Opinion
  Index Term(s): Attitudes toward authority ; Public Opinion of the Police ; Public Opinion of Crime ; Criminal justice ideologies ; Foreign criminal justice systems ; Public Opinion of the Courts ; Criminal justice system effectiveness ; Attitude measurement ; Canada
  Publisher URL: 
  Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
  Country: Canada
  Language: English
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:

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