skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 199903 Find in a Library
Title: Privileging Public Attitudes to Sentencing? (From Changing Attitudes to Punishment: Public Opinion, Crime and Justice, P 215-228, 2002, Julian V. Roberts, and Mike Hough, eds., -- See NCJ-199891)
Author(s): Rod Morgan
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 14
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 importance of public confidence in regard to sentencing and refers to two major British reports on criminal justice.
Abstract: The first report regarded raising public confidence in criminal justice as one of the core aims of the review of sentencing. The review commissioned a survey of public opinion that showed that levels of public confidence in the adequacy of punishment and awareness of the actual levels of punishment were low. There was evidence that fear of crime promoted the desire for more punitive sentencing. The other report undertook a broad review of the criminal courts and drew different conclusions. It was dismissive about public opinion on the grounds that people were mostly ignorant or inconsistent in their views. It agreed that public confidence in the working of the criminal courts was desirable, but did not consider expressions of public opinion to be the foundation on which to build that confidence. Generally, public attitudes are complex and multidimensional in nature. It shouldn’t be assumed that those doing the sentencing are aware of the nature of public attitudes. The judiciary needs educating about the range and complexity of community sentences. The relative cost of sanctions is an important consideration, but not a good selling point. Advancing community penalties requires a proactive media strategy. Public ignorance of criminal justice is unsurprising and unlikely to change. Increasing public knowledge may not always increase public confidence. 23 references
Main Term(s): Citizen satisfaction; Public Opinion of Corrections
Index Term(s): Citizen grievances; Corrections; Corrections-media relations; Fear of crime; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Public education
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.