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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 135982 Find in a Library
Title: Punishing Criminals: The People of Delaware Consider the Options
Author(s): J Doble; S Immerwahr; A Richardson
Corporate Author: Public Agenda
United States of America
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 111
Sponsoring Agency: Edna McConnell Clark Foundation
New York, NY 10177
Public Agenda
New York, NY 10016
Sale Source: Edna McConnell Clark Foundation
250 Park Avenue
Room 900
New York, NY 10177
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This survey of 432 Delaware citizens analyzes public attitudes on topics of crime and punishment. The Public Agenda Foundation conducted public opinion research on issues of corrections, intermediate sanctions, and alternatives to incarceration.
Abstract: Delawareans representing a cross-section of the population attended sessions where their views were assessed before and after an educational discussion. Using questionnaires, the representatives sentenced 23 offenders, with crimes ranging in severity, to either jail or probation. After watching a video on alternatives to prison and meeting in small groups with a moderator, they responded to a second questionnaire sentencing the same hypothetical cases. In the first questionnaire, only two sentencing options were given; the majority of respondents wanted to incarcerate the offenders. Support for alternatives was demonstrated in the second questionnaire after the respondents had their educational session. Though using alternatives would be less expensive, this was a secondary consideration. The group felt alternatives would be better for the community and would offer a better chance for rehabilitation. Community service, boot camp, and restitution were popular choices for alternatives to prisons. Each involved a work component that appealed to the respondents. The consensus of opinion was, however, that violent offenders need to be incarcerated. 9 charts and 53 tables
Main Term(s): Public Opinion of Crime
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Delaware; Public education
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