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NCJ Number: 114406 Find in a Library
Title: Conflict and Consensus About Criminal Justice in Maryland (From Public Attitudes to Sentencing, P 16-55, 1988, Nigel Walker and Mike Hough, eds. -- See NCJ-114405)
Author(s): S D Gottfredson; B D Warner; R B Taylor
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 40
Sponsoring Agency: Avebury Publishing Co
Brookfield, VT 05036
Sale Source: Avebury Publishing Co
Old Post Road
Brookfield, VT 05036
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter addresses the controversy between conflict and consensus theories of criminal behavior in a series of surveys conducted in Maryland.
Abstract: A survey of 110 students, 74 State police officers, 120 correctional officers, 23 judges, 41 defense and prosecuting attorneys, and 74 incarcerated felons indicates a clear cut 6-dimensional structure underlies people's judgments of offense seriousness. These dimensions include victimless/vice offenses, bodily harm/interpersonal confrontation, property loss or damage, tertiary victimization, fraud, and serious drug offenses. Further, large differences were found in perceived seriousness across groups. A second study, involving telephone interviews with the general public and in-person interviews with correctional policymakers in Maryland, indicated considerable divergence between the attitudes of the public and of policymakers to four possible correctional reforms. The majority of the sample was very interested in correctional issues, were aware of major problems facing the system, and stressed utilitarian (i.e., deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation) rather than punitive goals. The majority of the public favored reform strategies emphasizing rehabilitation and localization and felt more facilities are needed. While policymakers generally agreed with the general public on these issues, they had severe misconceptions about the public will on these same issues. 5 tables, 89 figures, 17 notes, and 44 references.
Main Term(s): Public Opinion of Corrections
Index Term(s): Correctional personnel attitudes; Maryland; Public Opinion of Crime
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