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NCJ Number: 229125 Find in a Library
Title: Confidence in the Criminal Justice System
Author(s): David Indermaur; Lynne Roberts
Date Published: November 2009
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Institute of Criminology
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Sale Source: Australian Institute of Criminology
GPO Box 2944
Canberra ACT, 2601,
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This paper examines the nature of public confidence in the criminal justice system in Australia.
Abstract: In increasing public confidence in the criminal justice system focus should be turned on the police and courts, as these agencies have the highest public profile. Public information should focus on the key areas of sentencing, improvements in services to victims, and citizen-focused policing. Several major initiatives to increase public confidence in the courts have been undertaken in Australia. Three major points clarified in this paper are important to understanding and addressing confidence in criminal justice as a concept and as a measure. First, criminal justice or the criminal justice system should not be the subject of investigations. Second, understanding the evaporation effect whereby confidence dries up moving from the police, to courts, to prisons relies on an interpretation of what each of these means to the individual respondent. Third, the best way to improve the confidence of the public within the criminal justice system is to enhance and optimize the perception that the institution is acting on behalf of citizens and representing their interests. Public confidence is fundamental to the operation of the criminal justice system. Using the results of the latest Australian Survey of Social Attitudes, this paper examines how confidence in the criminal justice system needs to be understood as a multidimensional construct with distinct differences in levels of confidence between the three major components: police, courts, and corrections. Figures and references
Main Term(s): Public Opinion of Crime
Index Term(s): Australia; Criminal justice system effectiveness; Police community relations; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Public Opinion of Corrections; Public Opinion of the Courts; Public Opinion of the Police
Note: AIC Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, No. 387, November 2009
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