Public Confidence Within The Criminal Justice System

2199 Words9 Pages
In many western democratic countries, maintaining public confidence in judicial administration is regarded as a critical issue across the whole of government, especially in the criminal justice system. The judiciary consists of many organizations, such as police, the courts, prison service and correlations, that is centrally concerned with controlling crime and protecting community by the exercise of power (Snowball & Jones, 2012). However, a system fails to command public trust may also fail to establish its legitimacy and function effectively (Hough & Roberts, 2004 cited in Jones et al., 2008). For witnesses or victims, they might not report crimes to polices if they feel that their report will not be acted upon or solved quickly. Accordingly, improving public confidence in the criminal justice system is seen to be one of the ongoing priorities and goals of the NSW 2021 Plan. Prior research It is indicated by Roberts (et al., 2003) that most research discussed public confidence through social attitudes of sentencing, while sentencing appropriately is only one of the public expectation. Publics also expect the government to deal with their matters expeditiously and reduce the crime rate and prevent re-offending. Australian studies It is indicated by Gelb (2011) that little research examines the problem of confidence in the courts in Australia. The Australian Survey of Social Attitudes becomes the main national source of information, which is a biennial survey that asks respondents their confidence levels they have in ‘the police’ and ‘the courts’. The first study was conducted in 2003 by Indermaur and Roberts (2005). They found that 70 per cent of respondents reported that they had ‘a great deal’ or ‘quite a lot’ of confidence ... ... middle of paper ... ... media, public’s perception of crime trends may bring negative impacts on confidence level in the criminal justice system (Gelb, K 2006, cited in Bulter 2009). The publics in society believe that criminal behaviours are escalating, while these perceptions are misguided. It is necessary and important for news media to take some responsibility to redress the current trends of confidence. By addressing the lack of understanding and promoting the knowledge about crime, the measures developed by government, such as improving access to justice information and improving the relationship between media and the judiciary, might help to improve the public confidence. My research only refers to two of the factors that might affect the public confidence, which is also not accurate and detailed enough. It’s better to provide more combinations of data and develop more correlations.
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