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NCJ Number: 76779 Find in a Library
Title: Criminal Justice System and the Public in the Scandinavian Countries (From American Correctional Association - Proceedings, P 85-94, 1981, Barbara Hadley Olsson and Ann Dargis, ed. - See NCJ-76771)
Author(s): O Ingstrup
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: American Correctional Assoc
Alexandria, VA 22314
Sale Source: American Correctional Assoc
206 N. Washington St., Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Presented at the 110th Congress of Correction of the American Correctional Association, this paper reviews factors affecting public opinion and suggests ways in which corrections officials can improve public opinion, with special emphasis on corrections in Denmark.
Abstract: Public opinion cannot be quantified or identified as a single entity. Corrections officials can best examine public opinion by determining what different groups think about different topics. Mass media have a significant effect on public opinion about corrections but, unfortunately, few reporters are thoroughly familiar with corrections activities, and most media outlets are willing to provide coverage only of dramatic corrections incidents or of isolated news stories on specific topics. Little coverage is given to ongoing activities. Generally, public opinion about corrections in Scandinavia is positive; however, negative reactions have occurred. In one Danish town, local media coverage highlighted the incidence of crime and linked it to escapes from nearby prisons, and attempts to prove that the crime rate was no higher than in other Danish cities were ineffective. Using corrections officials to provide positive information to the public through informal contacts, assisting crime victims, and using volunteers are all methods for improving public opinion about the corrections system. In Scandinavia, a taxpayer's mentality (which leads citizens to believe that services should be provided by, but not the government) might limit the effectiveness of volunteers. Volunteers have been used more extensively in the United States than in Scandinavian countries.
Index Term(s): Media coverage; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Public education; Public information; Public Opinion of Corrections; Scandinavia; United States of America; Volunteers
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