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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 48679 Find in a Library
Title: IMAGE AND ATTITUDE OF YOUNG PEOPLE TOWARDS THE POLICE
Journal: INTERNATIONAL CHILD WELFARE REVIEW  Issue:30-31  Dated:(SEPTEMBER/ DECEMBER 1976)  Pages:94-105
Author(s): C TISSEYRE
Corporate Author: International Union for Child Welfare
Switzerland
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: International Union for Child Welfare
1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Switzerland
Annotation: THE IMAGE OF POLICE IS CONSIDERED IN GENERAL, AND AMONG YOUNG PEOPLE SPECIFICALLY. A STUDY DONE IN BELGIUM ON YOUTH ATTITUDES TOWARDS POLICE IS DISCUSSED.
Abstract: ALTHOUGH THE GENERAL PUBLIC ADMITS TO THE NECESSITY OF THE POLICE INSTITUTION, THERE IS A REPROVAL OF THE USE MADE OF THE INSTITUTION BY AUTHORITIES HOLDING ECONOMIC OR POLITICAL POWER, AND RESENTMENT OF THE MANNER IN WHICH POLICE OFTEN USE THEIR POWER AND INCONSIDERATELY TREAT INDIVIDUALS. IN GENERAL, THE POLICE IMAGE TENDS TO DETERIORATE AMONG PEOPLE WITH LITTLE EDUCATION AND AMONG THE YOUNG. AMERICAN STUDIES SHOW THAT THE NEGATIVE POLICE IMAGE AMONG CERTAIN YOUNG PEOPLE IS RELATED TO THEIR CONDEMNATION OF THE ECONOMIC SYSTEM WHICH OFTEN DISCRIMINATES AGAINST OR CONSTRAINS THEM. THE NEGATIVE ATTITUDE OF DELINQUENTS IS A RESULT OF PERCEIVING THE POLICE FORCE AS AN OBSTACLE TO THE ATTAINMENT OF THEIR GOALS. AMONG DELINQUENTS, THE CONDUCT OF THE POLICE AT THE TIME OF THE ARREST AND DURING QUESTIONING, INFLUENCES IMAGES OF POLICE. ON THE OTHER HAND, THE CONDUCT OF THE YOUNG OFFENDER IN THE PRESENCE OF POLICE IS AN IMPORTANT FACTOR AND OFTEN DETERMINES WHETHER OR NOT THE YOUTH WILL BE ARRESTED AND CHARGED. THERE ARE THREE STAGES OF DETERIORATION REGARDING THE POLICE IMAGE FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF YOUNG DELINQUENTS: (1) THE CHILDHOOD IMAGE, SHAPED BY HIS FAMILY AND SURROUNDINGS; (2) THE IMAGE AT THE TIME OF ARREST, INFLUENCED BY THE CONDUCT OF THE POLICE; AND (3) THE IMAGE AT THE TIME OF ADJUDICATION. A SURVEY OF NORMAL BELGIAN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WAS TAKEN ON THIS VERY SUBJECT. RESULTS INDICATED THAT THE IMAGE OF POLICE AMONG THE YOUTHS WAS THE SAME AS FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC; HOWEVER, THE SAMPLE WAS SMALL AND THEREFORE INCONCLUSIVE. IN THE SECOND PHASE OF THE STUDY, THE ATTITUDES OF JUVENILE DELINQUENTS WERE SURVEYED. THE SAMPLE CONSISTED OF 60 YOUTHS, 16 YEARS OF AGE, WHO HAD COMMITTED ONE OR MORE SERIOUS OFFENSES AND HAD GONE THROUGH THE COURT PROCESS AND BEEN SENTENCED TO AN INSTITUTION. SURVEY RESULTS SHOW THAT THE SUBJECTS WERE WELL ACQUAINTED WITH VARIOUS POLICE DIVISIONS, AND THEY WERE UNAWARE THAT SPECIAL JUVENILE DIVISIONS EXISTED. MOST JUVENILES TENDED TO EXCUSE THEIR CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR AND DID NOT CONSIDER THEMSELVES COMPLETELY GUILTY OF THEIR ACTS. THEY FELT THAT THEY HAD BEEN UNJUSTLY TREATED AT THE TIME OF ARREST. TWO NOTICEABLE ATTITUDES WERE THAT YOUNG OFFENDERS FELT THAT YOUTHS WERE SUBJECTED TO EXAGGERATED SURVEILLANCE, AND THE POLICE ARE INEFFICIENT IN THEIR PURSUIT AND ARREST OF OFFENDERS. THE CHIEF COMPLAINTS AGAINST THE POLICE MADE BY THE DELINQUENTS ARE LISTED. NOTES ARE PROVIDED. (DAG)
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Attitudes toward authority; Belgium; Police juvenile relations; Public Attitudes/Opinion
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=48679

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