Sentencing and public confidence in Australia: The dynamics and foci of small group deliberations

Stobbs, Nigel, Mackenzie, Geraldine, & Gelb, Karen (2015) Sentencing and public confidence in Australia: The dynamics and foci of small group deliberations. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 48(2), pp. 219-237.

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Abstract

This study is the first of its kind in Australia to use the deliberative small group methodology to explore participants’ deeper, nuanced thoughts on specific criminal justice issues in order to gain insight into the underlying beliefs that influence people’s opinions on sentencing. The use of small group discussions allows an analysis of the dynamics of people’s interactions and the potential of these to elicit deeper, more thoughtful deliberation. Participants’ comments around two policy areas – mandatory sentencing and the use of alternatives to imprisonment – were founded on concerns about the need for judges to tailor the sentence to fit the specific circumstances of each case. The methodology itself has shown that people may change their initial opinions on complex issues when given the opportunity to discuss and reflect on their beliefs.

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ID Code: 75570
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Published online before print June 25, 2014
Keywords: deliberative groups, mandatory sentences, public confidence, sentencing
DOI: 10.1177/0004865814537652
ISSN: 1837-9273
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200) > Courts and Sentencing (160203)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Crime & Justice Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Funding:
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 The Author(s)
Deposited On: 27 Aug 2014 22:41
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2016 06:55

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