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NCJ Number: 158155 Find in a Library
Title: Public Knowledge of Crime and Justice: An Inventory of Canadian Findings
Author(s): J V Roberts
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 84
Sponsoring Agency: Canada Department of Justice
Ottawa ON K1A 0H8, Canada
Publication Number: TR1994-15e
Sale Source: Canada Department of Justice
Justice Bldg. Kent St., at Wellington St.
Ottawa ON K1A 0H8,
Type: Literature Review
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: Focusing on the knowledge base underlying public attitudes, this report reviews the research literature on public knowledge of crime and the criminal justice system in Canada and focuses on all major topics relating to crime and criminal justice that have been explored by pollsters.
Abstract: Results revealed that the public overestimates the proportion of crime that involves violence. Victimization surveys also reveal a clear gap between public perception and reality; almost half the national sample incorrectly believed that crime had increased since 1988. Another widespread misperception is that the incidence of crimes involving firearms has increased recently. The public also mistakenly believe that crime is committed by a small, easily identifiable number of people. Public knowledge of the nature and extent of sexual assault has increased significantly over the last decade. Public awareness of wife assault also appears to have increased. Knowledge of the structure of the criminal justice system is poor; less than one-fourth of the population know that provinces are responsible for the administration of criminal justice. Another important misperception is that the Canadian criminal justice system is very lenient in its treatment of convicted offenders, particularly in the area of youth crime. Public legal education that addresses these misperceptions are likely to increase public confidence in and support for the criminal justice system. 194 references and appended discussion of research approaches
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Public Opinion of Corrections; Public Opinion of Crime; Public Opinion of Juveniles; Public Opinion of the Courts
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