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NCJ Number: 228007 Find in a Library
Title: Public Confidence in the New South Wales Criminal Justice System
Author(s): Craig Jones; Don Weatherburn; Katherine McFarlane
Date Published: August 2008
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research
Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Publication Number: ISBN 978-1-921306-27-3
Sale Source: New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research
Level 8, St James Centre
111 Elizabeth Street
Sydney NSW 2000,
Type: Survey
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This bulletin presents the methodology and findings of a survey of public attitudes toward sentencing levels under the New South Wales (NSW) criminal justice system (Australia), as well as public attitudes regarding whether the NSW criminal justice system is achieving its various goals.
Abstract: Consistent with previous research, a high proportion (66 percent) of respondents perceived that sentences for convicted offenders were either “a little too lenient” or “much too lenient.” Most respondents were either “very” or “fairly” confident that the NSW criminal justice system respects the rights of accused persons (72 percent) and treats them fairly (75 percent); however, smaller percentages were “very” or “fairly” confident that the criminal justice system brings people to justice (54.8 percent), deals with cases efficiently (43.7 percent), deals with cases promptly (29.7 percent), or meets the needs of victims (34.7 percent). Confidence in the criminal justice system was generally more prevalent among younger respondents, those who were better educated, and those with higher incomes. Confidence in the NSW criminal justice system was also stronger among respondents who drew their information about the justice system from broadsheet newspapers, government publications, the Internet, or educational institutions. The survey results support previous research that has found the NSW public to be generally poorly informed about crime and criminal justice. All too often media reporting of crime and justice is distorted, selective, and sensationalist, which gives consumers of the media mistaken views of the nature and prevalence of various types of crime and their risk of victimization. Also, acquittals that are perceived to be unwarranted or sentences that are perceived to be unduly lenient make the news. The public may generalize from these anecdotal events to conclude that this reflects the general practice of the NSW criminal justice system. 9 tables, 6 notes, and 21 references
Main Term(s): Criminal justice statistics
Index Term(s): Foreign criminal justice research; Foreign criminal justice systems; Foreign police/community relations; New South Wales; Public Opinion of the Courts
Note: Crime and Justice Bulletin, Number 118, August 2008.
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