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NCJ Number: 199899 Find in a Library
Title: Attitudes to Punishment in the U.S.: Punitive and Liberal Opinions (From Changing Attitudes to Punishment: Public Opinion, Crime and Justice, P 148-162, 2002, Julian V. Roberts, and Mike Hough, eds., -- See NCJ-199891)
Author(s): John Doble
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Willan Publishing
Portland, OR 97213-3644
Sale Source: Willan Publishing
c/o ISBS, 5804 N.E. Hassalo Street
Portland, OR 97213-3644
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Book (Hardbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter discusses the gap between punitive and liberal opinions of punishment in the United States.
Abstract: Over the past 15 years, two shifts in public opinion about crime and criminal justice have occurred. The first led to a host of punitive measures such as mandatory minimum sentencing. The second led to public support for more progressive ideas such as treatment instead of incarceration for low-level drug offenders that are addicts. Americans are almost equally divided in their responses to the question of whether to take a pre-emptive approach to crime reduction by addressing underlying causes, or whether to focus on deterrence through stricter sentencing. The public has a different conceptualization of the issue from that of the criminal justice experts. There is evidence that the views of the experts are fundamentally inconsistent with the framework employed by the public. The public favors multiple sentencing goals, and a balanced approach that includes being tough with the most violent and dangerous offenders while simultaneously increasing the effort to rehabilitate those offenders the public believes can be turned around without serious risk to the community. The gap between politicians and the public brings a different set of priorities to bear on this issue. Political leaders that support alternative sanctions were concerned about prison overcrowding and the cost of incarceration. They feel the public would favor using alternatives for the same reason. But the public favored alternative sanctions because they made sense to them. 1 figure, 5 tables, 2 notes, 14 references
Main Term(s): Public Opinion of Corrections; Rehabilitation
Index Term(s): Attitude measurement; Attitudes; Community-based corrections (adult); Community-based corrections (juvenile); Corrections policies; Public Attitudes/Opinion
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