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NCJ Number: 51031 Find in a Library
Title: PUBLIC PERCEPTIONS OF RULE BREAKING AND THE TREATMENT OF CRIMINAL OFFENDERS
Author(s): B R WEST
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 162
Sponsoring Agency: UMI Dissertation Services
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
Sale Source: UMI Dissertation Services
300 North Zeeb Road
P.O. Box 1346
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
United States of America
Type: Thesis/Dissertation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: TO INVESTIGATE PUBLIC ATTITUDES TOWARDS COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS AND EX-OFFENDERS, OPEN-ENDED INTERVIEWS WERE HELD WITH 266 ADULTS IN MANKATO, MINN. RESPONSES SHOWED LESS STEREOTYPING THAN THE RESEARCHERS EXPECTED.
Abstract: PREVIOUS REPORTS IN THE LITERATURE HAVE FREQUENTLY ATTRIBUTED FAILURE OF COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS AND EX-OFFENDER REHABILITATION PROGRAMS TO NEGATIVE PUBLIC ATTITUDES. TO INVESTIGATE THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF CRIMINAL LABELING, A RANDOM SAMPLE OF 400 PERSONS IN THE MANKATO AREA WAS SELECTED FOR OPEN-ENDED INTERVIEWS. RESPONSES WERE OBTAINED FROM 231 PERSONS. THE SURVEY CONSISTED OF A SERIES OF QUESTIONS CONCERNING PREFERENCES WITH RESPECT TO THE ISOLATION OR COMMUNITY TREATMENT OF LABELED RULE-BREAKERS, CONCEPTUALIZATIONS OF CONVICTS AS PERSONALITY TYPES, AND PERCEPTIONS OF THE MOTIVATIONS OF LAW VIOLATORS. THERE WAS WIDE VARIATION IN ATTITUDES, OPINIONS, AND CONCEPTS REGARDING EX-OFFENDERS. COMMENTS WERE GENERALLY MORE POSITIVE AND LESS STEREOTYPED THAN LABELING THEORY INDICATES, HOWEVER, 10 PERCENT GAVE DEFINITE EXCLUSIONARY RESPONSES. RESPONDENTS WERE VERY WILLING TO WORK WITH AN EX-OFFENDER: 84 PERCENT WERE IN FAVOR OF THE IDEA, COMPARED TO 11.5 PERCENT OPPOSED, AND 4.8 PERCENT UNDECIDED; 69.7 WOULD HIRE AN EX-OFFENDER; AND 74 PERCENT APPROVED OF THE CONCEPT OF COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS. ONLY 48.5 PERCENT, HOWEVER, FAVORED THE OPENING OF A HALFWAY HOUSE FOR ADULTS IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD; AND ONLY 61.5 PERCENT WOULD APPROVE OF A GROUP HOME FOR TEENAGERS IN THEIR AREA. YOUNGER PERSONS WITH HIGHER EDUCATION AND INCOME WERE THE STRONGEST SUPPORTERS OF COMMUNITY-BASED TREATMENT. CHURCH ATTENDANCE WAS ALSO SIGNIFICANTLY RELATED TO POSITIVE RESPONSES. OTHER SIGNIFICANT FACTORS AFFECTING ATTITUDES WERE THE BELIEF THAT THE LOCAL ECONOMY WOULD IMPROVE OVER THE NEXT 5 YEARS, SEX (WOMEN WERE MORE LIBERAL THAN MEN), POSSESSION OF A SAVINGS ACCOUNT (WHICH BECAME SIGNIFICANT AS PART OF THE TOTAL CORRELATION), AND NUMBER OF CHILDREN (WHICH BECAME SIGNIFICANT AS PART OF THE TOTAL CORRELATION). THE IMPLICATIONS OF THESE FINDINGS ON POLICY IS DISCUSSED. CHARTS AND TABLES PRESENT THE SURVEY RESULTS AND THE REGRESSION ANALYSIS. THE MASTER INTERVIEW SCHEDULE, THE RAW DATA, TYPICAL RESPONSES TO THE OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS, AND A BIBLIOGRAPHY ARE APPENDED.
Index Term(s): Community-based corrections (adult); Community-based corrections (juvenile); Ex-offenders; Labeling theory; Minnesota; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Surveys
Note: UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA - DOCTORAL DISSERTATION
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51031

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