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Sentencing and public confidence : results from a national Australian survey on public opinions towards sentencing

Mackenzie, Geraldine Isabel, Spiranovic, Caroline, Warner, Kate, Stobbs, Nigel, Gelb, Karen, Indermaur, David, Roberts, Lynne, Broadhurst, Rod, & Bouhours, Thierry (2012) Sentencing and public confidence : results from a national Australian survey on public opinions towards sentencing. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 45(1), pp. 45-65.

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Abstract

This paper examines the critical issue of public confidence in sentencing, and presents findings from Phase I of an Australia-wide sentencing and public confidence project. Phase I comprised a nationally representative telephone survey of 6005 participants. The majority of respondents expressed high levels of punitiveness and were dissatisfied with sentences imposed by the courts. Despite this, many were strongly supportive of the use of alternatives to imprisonment for a range of offences. These nuanced views raise questions regarding the efficacy of gauging public opinion using opinion poll style questions; indeed the expected outcome from this first phase of the four phase sentencing and public confidence project. The following phases of this project, reported on elsewhere, examined the effects of various interventions on the robustness and nature of these views initially expressed in a standard ‘top of the head’ opinion poll.

Impact and interest:

3 citations in Scopus
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3 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 53261
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: courts and sentencing, confidence in sentencing, public opinion, punitiveness, criminal justice
DOI: 10.1177/0004865811431328
ISSN: 0157-1532
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200) > Courts and Sentencing (160203)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 The Authors
Deposited On: 23 Aug 2012 08:04
Last Modified: 29 Aug 2012 20:46

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