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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 47903 Find in a Library
Title: PUBLIC IMAGE OF CORRECTIONS
Journal: CALIFORNIA YOUTH AUTHORITY QUARTERLY  Volume:31  Issue:1  Dated:(SPRING 1978)  Pages:2-17
Author(s): R BERGER
Corporate Author: California Dept of the Youth Authority
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: California Dept of the Youth Authority
Sacramento, CA 95823
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: TO EXAMINE THE PUBLIC IMAGE OF CORRECTIONS, INHOME INTERVIEWS WERE CONDUCTED WITH A CROSS-SECTIONAL SAMPLE OF THE CALIFORNIA GENERAL PUBLIC: 811 INTERVIEWEES WERE 18 OR OVER, 126 WERE ADOLESCENTS 14 TO 17 YEARS OLD.
Abstract: THE SURVEY WAS INTENDED TO PROVIDE DATA WHICH ARE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE STATE POPULATION AT LARGE AND THUS INCLUDED A PROPORTIONATE NUMBER OF INDIVIDUALS REPRESENTING ALL SOCIOECONOMIC LEVELS, AGES, AND RACES. ON A 7-POINT RATING SCALE, THE POLICE RECEIVED THE HIGHEST JOB PERFORMANCE RATINGS: THEY WERE RATED 5.26 WITH 5 FOR A GOOD JOB AND 6 FOR A VERY GOOD JOB PERFORMANCE. PUBLIC DEFENDERS, JUDGES, DISTRICT ATTORNEYS, PROBATION OFFICERS, AND PAROLE OFFICERS WERE RATED BETWEEN 4.45 AND 4.28 INDICATIVE OF FAIRLY NEUTRAL ATTITUDES. CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS RECEIVED THE LOWEST RATING, 3.98, EXPRESSING AN ATTITUDE BETWEEN NEUTRAL AND POOR JOB PERFORMANCE. A COMPARISON BY AGE GROUP OF ATTITUDES TOWARD JOB PERFORMANCE OF PROBATION, PAROLE, AND CORRECTIONS OFFICERS INDICATED THAT MEAN RATINGS BY TEENAGERS WERE HIGHER FOR ALL THREE THAN WERE MEAN RATINGS BY ADULTS. A BREAKDOWN OF ATTITUDINAL DATA ACCORDING TO SOCIODEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS PERMITS A NUMBER OF GENERALIZATIONS. PAROLE AND PROBATION OFFICERS RECEIVE A DISPROPORTIONATE AMOUNT OF CRITICISM FROM YOUNGER, UPPER CLASS, WELL-EDUCATED PEOPLE; WHILE RECEIVING ABOVE AVERAGE SUPPORT FROM LOWER CLASS LESS WELL-EDUCATED PEOPLE. IN GENERAL, BLACKS ARE MORE CRITICAL OF PAROLE OFFICERS, THAN OF PROBATION OFFICERS, ARE LESS CRITICAL OF PROBATION OFFICERS THAN OTHER GROUPS, AND ARE THE GROUP MOST CRITICAL OF CORRECTIONS OFFICERS. WHILE HISPANICS ARE GENERALLY NEUTRAL TOWARD CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS, THEIR ATTITUDES TEND TO BE MORE FAVORABLE THAN ANY OTHER GROUP AND THEIR ATTITUDES TOWARD PROBATION AND PAROLE OFFICERS ARE GENERALLY QUITE FAVORABLE. THE ATTITUDES OF WHITES EXHIBIT BOTH MODERATE PRAISE AND MODERATE CRITICISM TOWARDS EACH OF THE SEVEN COMPONENTS OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. INTERESTINGLY, WHILE INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE BEEN IN JAIL ARE LIKELY TO BE SLIGHTLY MORE CRITICAL OF PROBATION OFFICERS THAN THOSE WHO HAVE NOT, THE SEVEREST CRITICISMS OF PROBATION OFFICERS COME FROM RELATIVES OR PERSONAL FRIENDS OF THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN IN JAIL. IN GENERAL, BOTH PROBATION AND PAROLE OFFICERS WERE SEEN AS BEING TOO READY TO REVOKE PROBATION OR PAROLE. PROBATION OFFICERS WERE VIEWED AS BEING SOMEWHAT OVERCONCERNED WITH RACIAL DISCRIMINATION PROBLEMS AND TENDED TO BE PREOCCUPIED WITH EFFORTS TO INCREASE PUBLIC ACCEPTANCE OF PROBATIONERS. IN GENERAL THEN, THE SURVEY SHOWS THAT PUBLIC ATTITUDES ARE MORE NEUTRAL THAN NEGATIVE. WORD-OF-MOUTH, PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, AND THE MEDIA ARE SEEN AS MAJOR SHAPERS OF PUBLIC ATTITUDE. A LIST OF 21 STRATEGIES THAT MAY BE USED TO IMPROVE PUBLIC ATTITUDES TOWARD THE CORRECTIONS COMPONENT OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IS PRESENTED AND 6 AREAS IN WHICH INDICATORS OF PUBLIC ATTITUDE CHANGE TOWARD CORRECTIONS PERSONNEL MIGHT BE GAUGED ARE OUTLINED. THESE INCLUDE THOSE IN THE AREA OF LEGISLATION, THE MEDIA, PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIP, COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT, AND WITHIN OTHER CRIMINAL JUSTICE AGENCIES AND CORRECTIONAL AGENCIES. A LIST OF MEMBERS OF THE RESEARCH COMMITTEE IS PROVIDED. (JAP)
Index Term(s): California; Correctional personnel; Probation or parole officers; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Public relations programs; Research
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=47903

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