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Why Public Opinion of the Criminal Justice System is Important

Wood, Jane L. (2009) Why Public Opinion of the Criminal Justice System is Important. In: Public Opinion and Criminal Justice. Willan, pp. 33-48. ISBN 978-1-84392-401-2.


Allusions to public opinion and its influence in a democratic society are common. Media assumptions of what the public wants in a whole host of areas permeate our daily reading. But the question that few seem to give any consideration to is why public opinion is important? The answer lies at the heart of our democratic structure: we elect officials to represent us and as such, we expect them to bear our opinions in mind as they structure policies that guide the way we live. Of course there will be areas that the public take less interest in and areas that interest the public more. The purpose of this chapter is to outline the influence that public opinion seems to have on some of the key areas in the justice system. It also examines the effects of ignoring public opinion, whether public opinion has a justified place in the formation of political policies and does public opinion adequately summarise people’s thoughts on criminal justice issues.

Item Type: Book section
Uncontrolled keywords: Public opinion criminal justice
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Centre of Research & Education in Forensic Psychology
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Jane Wood
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2017 09:57 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 19:56 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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