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NCJ Number: 65746 Find in a Library
Title: EVALUATING CRIME-FIGHTING POLICIES - MEDIA IMAGES AND PUBLIC PERSPECTIVE (FROM EVALUATING ALTERNATIVE LAW-ENFORCEMENT POLICIES, 1979, BY RALPH BAKER AND FRED A MEYER, JR - SEE NCJ-65735)
Author(s): D A GRABER
Corporate Author: Lexington Books
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: Lexington Books
New York, NY 10022
University of Illinois, Chicago Circle
Chicago, IL 60680
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: STUDIES INDICATE THAT THE MEDIA PRESENT AN UNFAVORABLE VIEW OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, ESPECIALLY COURTS AND CORRECTIONS, BUT CITIZENS REPORT THAT THE MEDIA DOES NOT FORM THEIR OPINIONS OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE.
Abstract: ALTHOUGH THE PUBLIC IS GREATLY CONCERNED ABOUT CRIME, ITS CAUSES, AND PREVENTION, CRIME RESEARCH PAYS LITTLE ATTENTION TO THE PUBLIC'S VIEWS OR HOW THEY GET THEM. ACCORDINGLY, 4 PANELS OF 48 REGISTERED VOTERS FROM DIFFERENT AMERICAN CITIES WERE INTERVIEWED ABOUT THEIR ATTITUDES TOWARD CRIME AND QUESTIONED ABOUT VARIOUS KINDS OF NEWSPAPER AND TELEVISION CRIME. MEDIA STORIES PRESENTED A MIXTURE OF POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE EVALUATIONS OF COURTS, CORRECTIONS, AND POLICE AND COURTS AND CORRECTIONS FARED WORST. THE STORIES GENERALLY IMPLIED THAT CRIMINAL SENTENCES ARE TOO LIGHT AND CRIME TRENDS ARE WORSENING. AMONG THE CITIZENS INTERVIEWED, HOWEVER, MOST USED PERSONAL EXPERIENCE RATHER THAN THE MEDIA TO EVALUATE PUBLIC CRIME FIGHTING. MOST JUDGED MEDIA CRIME COVERAGE ACCURATE, ALTHOUGH OVER HALF CLAIMED TO PAY LITTLE ATTENTION TO IT. FIFTY-SEVEN PERCENT OF THE INTERVIEWEES GAVE THE POLICE A GOOD RATING, BUT 65 PERCENT RATED THE CORRECTION SYSTEM POORLY, AS UNABLE TO PREVENT RECIDIVISM, LACKING DIRECTION, AND HAVING BAD FACILITIES; 42 PERCENT GAVE THE COURT SYSTEM A POOR EVALUATION. THE MOST COMMON OBJECTIONS ABOUT COURTS CONCERNED LAXNESS WITH CRIMINALS, LENGTHY TRIALS, AND CORRUPTION. MOST INTERVIEWEES BLAMED FAULTS ON CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND THE CONTROL OF POLICE, COURTS, OR CORRECTIONS, BUT IT IS CLAIMED THAT ONLY MAJOR CHANGES IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM WILL IMPROVE PUBLIC TRUST. NOTES ARE INCLUDED. (PAP)
Index Term(s): Citizen grievances; Citizen satisfaction; Civil disobedience; Correctional reform; Evaluation; Media coverage; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Public education; Public information; Public Opinion of Crime; Reform
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