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NCJ Number: 168481 Find in a Library
Title: Evaluations of Institutional Legitimacy and Court System Fairness: A Study of Gender Differences
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:25  Issue:2  Dated:1997  Pages:141-154
Author(s): T E Fossati; J W Meeker
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 14
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: To explain whether the relationships between experience and evaluations of court-system fairness and institutional legitimacy are different across gender, separate models for females and males were analyzed.
Abstract: Data for this study were collected in September and October 1992 for the Commission on the Future of the California Courts (1993). The survey was administered to a random sample of 1,506 Californians. The survey involved oversampling for two special subpopulations not included in this analysis. In addition, corrections for response bias and missing data reduced the sample to 931. Latent variable structural equation models were used to illustrate the relationship between experience, evaluations of court system fairness, institutional legitimacy, and how these relationships vary across gender. The models show major gender differences on experience, with indirect court experience being the most important for females and direct court experience being the most important for males. The models developed in this study are consistent with Sarat's suggestions that peoples' idealized views of the court system are a source of disappointment when individuals learn of actual court process. The comparison of the mean differences between females and males on the individual items of system fairness and institutional legitimacy are similar to the findings of other studies. The findings from this study suggest that future approaches should not be content with simply reporting whether different groups have different mean values and only including the group variable as an independent factor. It is also important to analyze systematically whether the same latent models fit different groups when exploring the effects of group influences on institutional fairness and legitimacy. 2 tables, 3 figures, 16 notes, and 43 references
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): Gender issues; Perception; Right to fair trial; Sex discrimination
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