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Punishment Severity and Confidence in the Criminal Justice System

NCJ Number
Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice Volume: 55 Issue: 2 Dated: April 2013 Pages: 279-292
Jane B. Sprott; Cheryl Marie Webster; Anthony N. Doob
Date Published
April 2013
14 pages
This study examined the relationship between punishment severity and the public's perception of the criminal justice system's response to crime and criminals.
It is frequently suggested that Canadians would have more confidence in the courts, in criminal sentences, and in the justice system more generally if sentences were harsher. Taking advantage of the fact that there is variation across provinces in sentencing practices, this paper demonstrates that there is essentially no relationship between the punitiveness of a province's courts and that province's residents' views of courts, sentences, and the justice system. (Published Abstract)