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NCJ Number: 51870 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: CHAMPAIGN (ILL) - STUDY OF STUDENT OPINIONS AND KNOWLEDGE OF CRIMINAL LAW AND SANCTIONS - REPORT TO THE CHAMPAIGN SCHOOLS
Author(s): E HANDLER
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: 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
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: RESPONSES WERE OBTAINED FROM 345 STUDENTS IN TWO ILLINOIS HIGH SCHOOLS IN 1976 TO EVALUATE THEIR PERCEPTIONS AND KNOWLEDGE OF CRIMINAL LAW AND SANCTIONS.
Abstract: MOST OF THE STUDENTS WERE WHITE, AND THE AVERAGE AGE WAS SLIGHTLY OVER 16 YEARS. OF THIS GROUP SEVENTEEN PERCENT ADMITTED THAT THEY HAD BEEN ARRESTED AND/OR PLACED ON COURT PROBATION AT LEAST ONCE. ABOUT 2 PERCENT HAD BEEN DETAINED BECAUSE OF DELINQUENCY IN EITHER A LOCAL OR STATE DETENTION FACILITY. ALMOST HALF CLAIMED THEY HAD NEITHER EXPERIENCED ARREST NOR COMMITTED ANY LAW VIOLATION, AND ABOUT A THIRD REPORTED THEY HAD COMMITTED ACTS FOR WHICH THEY COULD HAVE BEEN ARRESTED BUT WERE NOT. LESS THAN HALF THE STUDENTS EXPECTED THAT THEY WOULD BE ARRESTED FOR COMMITTING SUCH ACTS AS GAMBLING, CARRYING A CONCEALED WEAPON, PICKING SOMEONE'S POCKET, OR VANDALISM, ALL LEGALLY MINOR ACTS. OVER 90 PERCENT EXPECTED THAT THEY WOULD BE ARRESTED FOR SUCH CRIMES AS ARSON, FORGERY, OR BREAKING AND ENTERING, ALL MAJOR PROPERTY CRIMES. OFFENSES EXHIBITING A LOW LEVEL OF EXPECTED SANCTIONS INCLUDED VICTIMLESS OFFENSES AND RELATIVELY MINOR PROPERTY OFFENSES, I.E., GAMBLING, DRINKING, CARRYING A CONCEALED WEAPON, PICKPOCKETING, AND EXTORTION. THE OFFENSES WITH A RELATIVELY HIGH LEVEL OF EXPECTED SANCTION WERE MAJOR PROPERTY AND DRUG-RELATED INCIDENTS, SPECIFICALLY FORGERY, ARSON, BREAKING AND ENTERING, AND POSSESSION AND SALE OF DRUGS. ON A LIST OF IDEAL SANCTION LEVELS, MARIHUANA SMOKING APPEARED IN THE LOW CATEGORY. ACTS WHICH IDEALLY SHOULD RECEIVE HIGH LEVELS OF SANCTION INVOLVED MAJOR PROPERTY OFFENSES, INCLUDING THEFT. FOR NEARLY HALF OF THE LISTED OFFENSES, THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EXPECTED AND IDEAL SANCTION LEVELS WERE MINOR. THE STUDENTS SEEMED TO APPRECIATE THE FACT THAT THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM HAS A PROTECTIVE FUNCTION AND DOES NOT EXIST TO HARRASS THEM. QUESTIONS ABOUT THE EFFECTIVENESS OF DRUG EDUCATION PROGRAMS OFFERED IN SCHOOLS ARE RAISED BY THE STUDY FINDINGS, WITH DRUG OFFENSES REFLECTING THE GREATEST DIFFERENCES OF OPINION AMONG THE STUDENTS. SUPPORTING DATA AND THE QUESTIONNAIRE ARE INCLUDED. THE STUDY METHODOLOGY IS NOT DESCRIBED. (DEP)
Index Term(s): Criminal codes; Illinois; Offenses; Perception; Sentencing/Sanctions; Students; Youth (Under 15)
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51870

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