“This book should be made a part of any college level library that features holdings in social sciences. … Americans View Crime and Justice presents a national public opinion survey and its results on the issues. These edited results of a survey conducted in 1995 examine such issues as gun control, capital punishment, and juvenile crime, offering public opinion along with the analyses of a panel of criminologists.” –The Midwest Book Review Readable and carefully edited, Americans View Crime and Justice reports and analyzes results from the recent National Crime and Justice Survey (NCJS), the richest and most wide-ranging investigation of public opinion on crime and justice issues in more than a decade. Conducted in June 1995, the survey features responses from 1,000 adults in the United States on now-volatile issues such as fear of crime, gun control, capital punishment, juvenile crime, and additional related topics of national concern. A distinguished panel of criminologists analyzes the collected data in this volume to present a comprehensive report on the development and current status of public opinion on these timely issues. Divided into three sectionscontext and framework; findings; and opinion, policy, and science—this authoritative volume also analyzes the implications of the survey data. Providing interesting insights and timely quantification of Americans' view of crime and justice, this volume offers a unique view of public opinion particularly important to the work of researchers, law enforcement personnel, policy makers, public officials, and students of criminology and criminal justice, law, and political science.

Public Opinion on Crime and Justice: History, Development, and Trends

Public Opinion on Crime and Justice: History, Development, and Trends

Public opinion on crime and justice: History, development, and trends

The idea that public sentiment about political, social, and economic issues should be taken into account by governing officials has been a mainstay of citizen expectations in democracies for centuries. This view is summarized in the observation that

the general public is especially competent, probably more competent than any other group—elitist, expert or otherwise—to determine the basic ends of public policy, to choose top policy makers, to appraise the results of public policy, and to say what, in the final analysis, is fair, just, and moral. (Childs, 1965, p. 350)

This faith in the judgment and temperament of the people assumes that political, social, economic, and moral issues ...

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