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NCJ Number: 220304 Find in a Library
Title: Individual Differences in Public Opinion About Youth Crime and Justice in Swansea
Journal: The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:46  Issue:4  Dated:September 2007  Pages:338-355
Author(s): Kevin Haines; Stephen Case
Date Published: September 2007
Page Count: 18
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article presents the results of a public opinion survey on youth crime and justice that involved a sample of 496 people in Swansea, Wales.
Abstract: The public sample, particularly the older respondents, overestimated the increase in youth crime in Swansea. Females, younger respondents, and respondents who had been victims of crime overestimated the proportion of violent and theft-related crimes committed by Swansea youth. Regarding attitudes toward sentencing for juvenile offenders, respondents favored both punitive sentences and sentences designed to change offending behaviors. Respondents supported prevention measures and individualized sentencing tailored to the needs of each youth; however, the respondents also believed that youth should experience some adverse consequences of their offending by including punitive conditions in their sentencing. The findings suggest that juvenile justice professionals in Swansea must educate the public about data on the nature and prevalence of youth crime in their city and present findings on the effects of specific prevention and corrections measures on youth offending. For 10 years, Swansea has adopted a distinctive approach to young offenders based on prevention and attention to their rights and needs. This has had a major impact upon reducing levels of official and self-reported youth crime locally. Whether this trend has impacted public opinion about youth crime and the official response to it was to be determined by this survey. The survey was administered to an opportunity sample of 500 people between the ages of 18 and 64, which yielded 496 legible questionnaires. Respondents were instructed to base their answers only on youth offending in Swansea. Questions elicited demographic information and public opinion regarding knowledge of and attitudes toward youth crime and justice, particularly sentencing. 3 figures and 41 references
Main Term(s): Public Opinion of Juveniles
Index Term(s): Foreign juvenile justice systems; Public Opinion of Corrections; Public Opinion of Crime; Wales
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