Essay about Student 's Perception And Attitudes Of The Criminal Justice System

Essay about Student 's Perception And Attitudes Of The Criminal Justice System

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America’s political ideas have altered in the recent decade; creating a conservative movement (Tajalli, 2013). Due to this movement America’s prison population has increased transforming the criminal justice system (Tajalli, 2013). There is an effort to understand a person’s thought process to the question; why do we punish? Some individuals within society believe that offenders should be harshly punished while others would like to see them rehabilitate the offender and often try to bring the offender back into society. Courtright and Mackey (2004), suggest that punitiveness is a lack of concern for offender rehabilitation. The idea of rehabilitation is to become a contributing member of society after the sentences. When connecting public opinion, beliefs, and attitudes to punishment there are common themes in these studies involving race, gender, religious views, education and morality (Mears, 2014). Students are a key point when it comes to public opinion on attitudes about crime and corrections. Education can have an important effect on a student’s perception and attitudes on social issues. Criminology and sociology majors are expected to have a more punitive view on crime and punishment due to their exposure and information (Hensley, 2002). Over the last decade much research has been done on the topic of criminology students and non-criminology major students’ attitudes towards the criminal justice system and the issues surrounding (Hensley, 2002).
The independent variable throughout this study has been theories of crime and these theories were adapted from Sims 2003 scale, “The impact of causal attribution on correctional ideology”. There were several different theories within the scale that can explain an individual’s attit...


... middle of paper ...


... in urban environments; results may become significant.
The ensuing study was conducted to prove the two hypotheses, person’s theory of crime or causal attribution will influence punitiveness and that criminology and sociology majors will be more punitive than non-majors. However, after running a Spearman correlation and a factorial ANOVA, the tests failed to find support for both of the research hypotheses. The only variable that showed significance was labeling theory; which was one of the theories inside the causal attributions. For any future studies within the topic of punitiveness, social theories and majors, the researcher should involve more participants from various demographics and backgrounds. Diving more into the labeling theory to observe why this was the only significant variable within the whole study would be great step to take with further research.

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