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NCJ Number: 51871 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: PEORIA (ILL) - STUDY OF STUDENT OPINIONS AND KNOWLEDGE OF CRIMINAL LAW AND SANCTIONS - REPORT TO THE PEORIA SCHOOLS
Author(s): E HANDLER
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 12
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: ANONYMOUS QUESTIONNAIRES WERE ADMINISTERED TO 765 STUDENTS IN FOUR PEORIA, ILL., HIGH SCHOOLS TO ASSESS PERCEPTIONS AND KNOWLEDGE OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM.
Abstract: APPROXIMATELY 75 PERCENT OF THE STUDENTS WERE WHITE, AND THE AVERAGE AGE WAS 16.8 YEARS. OVER HALF REPORTED THEY HAD NEVER BEEN ARRESTED OR COMMITTED ANY ACT FOR WHICH THEY COULD HAVE BEEN ARRESTED. MORE THAN 25 PERCENT INDICATED THEY HAD NEVER BEEN ARRESTED BUT HAD COMMITTED ONE OR MORE ACTS FOR WHICH THEY COULD HAVE BEEN ARRESTED. AROUND 13.2 PERCENT REPORTED HAVING BEEN ARRESTED, AND 2 PERCENT ADMITTED THEY HAD BEEN REMOVED FROM HOME BECAUSE OF DELINQUENT ACTIVITIES. LESS THAN HALF OF THE STUDENTS EXPECTED THAT THEY WOULD BE ARRESTED FOR COMMITTING SUCH ACTS AS GAMBLING, VANDALISM, OR REPORTING A FALSE FIRE ALARM, ACTS FOR WHICH THE PROBABILITY OF ARREST IS LOW. VIRTUALLY ALL EXPECTED THAT THEY WOULD BE ARRESTED FOR SUCH CRIMES AS ARSON, BREAKING AND ENTERING, OR FORGERY, SERIOUS COMMON LAW OFFENSES FOR WHICH THE LIKELIHOOD OF ARREST IS VERY HIGH ONCE DETECTION OCCURS. WITH REGARD TO THE EXPECTED SEVERITY OF SANCTIONS, LOW AVERAGE SCORES WERE ASSIGNED TO GAMBLING, MAKING A FALSE FIRE ALARM, DRINKING, AND CARRYING A CONCEALED WEAPON. SERIOUS COMMON LAW OFFENSES RATED HIGH IN TERMS OF EXPECTED SANCTIONS AND ALSO RATED HIGH IN TERMS OF IDEAL SANCTIONS. DRUG CRIMES (POSSESSION AND SELLING) WERE NOT ACCORDED HIGH AVERAGE IDEAL SCORES, ALTHOUGH THEY DID RECEIVE HIGH SCORES IN TERMS OF EXPECTED SANCTIONS. NEARLY ONE-THIRD OF THE STUDENTS THOUGHT NOTHING SHOULD HAPPEN TO MARIHUANA SMOKERS. IT APPEARED THAT THE STUDENTS WERE NAIVE AND LACKED ACCURATE INFORMATION ABOUT SANCTIONING AND THAT DRUG EDUCATION PROGRAMS HAD NOT CONVINCED STUDENTS TO SUPPORT STRONG SANCTIONS AGAINST THOSE WHO COMMIT DRUG-RELATED ACTS. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EXPECTED AND IDEAL SANCTIONS INDICATED THAT EXPECTED SANCTIONS WERE NOT SUFFICIENTLY HARSH FOR THEFT, EXTORTION, AND PICKPOCKETING, ALL RELATIVELY MINOR PROPERTY CRIMES. THE DATA OFFERED LITTLE EVIDENCE FOR THE HYPOTHESIS OF YOUTHFUL ALIENATION BUT, WITH THE SINGLE EXCEPTION OF DRUG CRIMES, SEEMED TO INDICATE THAT STUDENTS SUPPORT THE ESTABLISHED SYSTEM OF HANDLING CRIMINAL PENALTIES. THE STUDY METHODOLOGY IS NOT DESCRIBED, AND THE QUESTIONNAIRE IS NOT INCLUDED. SUPPORTING DATA ARE TABULATED. (DEP)
Index Term(s): Citizen legal knowledge; Illinois; Perception; Students
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51871

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