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Public Perceptions of the Criminal Courts - The Role of Demographic and Related Attitudinal Variables

NCJ Number
Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency Volume: 22 Issue: 1 Dated: (February 1985) Pages: 66-82
T J Flanagan; E F McGarrell; E J Brown
Date Published
17 pages
From many perspectives, public perceptions of the criminal courts are critical to the maintenance and operation of the judicial system.
Despite their importance, few attempts have been made to examine these perceptions. This article reviews the previous work on public perceptions and support for criminal courts, and further examines this issue with nationwide survey data. Unlike previous studies, our findings indicate that demographic characteristics of respondents are significant correlates of public perceptions of courts. However, the influence of these demographic characteristics is outweighed by the effect of related social attitudes. Implications for the further study of perceptions of the courts, as well as for judicial policymakers are discussed. (Author abstract)