“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.

Reform or Punish: Americans' Views of the Correctional System

Reform or Punish: Americans' Views of the Correctional System

Reform or punish: Americans' views of the correctional system

More than a decade ago, a colleague and I reviewed research and commentary concerning public opinion and prison policy (Flanagan & Caulfield, 1984). We observed that Americans’ opinions about correctional policy and practices were much less fully developed than views about law enforcement or other components of the criminal justice system. We concluded that the cardinal function that the public assigns to the correctional system is the same as that expected of the larger criminal justice system: social defense or societal protection (p. 41). There was wide variation in support for specific programs and policies in corrections, but this variation was consistent with the perceived linkage between the ...

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