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NCJ Number: 140437 Find in a Library
Title: Impact of Demographic Variables on Public Opinion Regarding Juvenile Justice: Implications for Public Policy
Journal: Crime & Delinquency  Volume:39  Issue:1  Dated:special issue (January 1993)  Pages:5-28
Author(s): I M Schwartz; S Guo; J J Kerbs
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 24
Sponsoring Agency: Annie E. Casey Foundation
Baltimore, MD 21202
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using data from a 1991 public opinion survey of attitudes toward juvenile crime and juvenile justice, the authors explore the relation between demographic variables and opinions toward trying juveniles in adult courts, giving them adult sentences, and sentencing them to adult prisons.
Abstract: The Survey Research Center of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor collected data for the study. Dependent variables addressed attitudes toward trying juveniles accused of serious crimes in adult criminal courts, giving juveniles the same sentences as adults, and sentencing juveniles to adult prisons. Independent variables included age, education, employment status, ethnicity, fear of being victimized by a violent crime, gender, and parental status. Of 1,000 respondents, 53 percent were female and 47 percent were male; 82 percent were white, 10 percent were black, 5 percent were Hispanic, 1 percent were Native American, and 2 percent were from Asian or other ethnic groups. Most respondents favored trying juveniles in adult courts for serious felonies. Punitive attitudes toward juveniles decreased up to about 50 years of age and then increased. Black parents were more supportive of punitive juvenile justice policies than other racial/ethnic groups, with and without children. In general, however, public opinion did not favor giving juveniles the same sentences as adults or sentencing them to adult prisons. Policy implications of the survey findings are discussed. 37 references, 3 notes, and 4 tables
Main Term(s): Public Opinion of Juveniles
Index Term(s): Demography; Juvenile Corrections/Detention; Juvenile sentencing; Michigan; Public Opinion of Corrections; Public Opinion of Crime
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