Attitudes and public punishment preferences

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Kääriäinen , J T 2018 , ' Attitudes and public punishment preferences : Finnish results of Scandinavian sense of justice research ' Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention , vol. 19 , no. 2 , pp. 152-169 . https://doi.org/10.1080/14043858.2018.1502946

Title: Attitudes and public punishment preferences;
Finnish results of Scandinavian sense of justice research
Author: Kääriäinen, Juha Tapio
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Research Units of Faculty of Social Sciences
Belongs to series: Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention
ISSN: 1404-3858
Abstract: Opinion polls have repeatedly shown that populations favour severe penalties for offenders. However, surveys using a case vignette method, where the attributes of the case described to the respondents are varied, produce more versatile results. Such research gives a nuanced picture of punitive attitudes. In this study, the sentence decisions of laypeople who are informed about the offender’s criminal history, ethnic background, gender, social issues and substance abuse were examined. A representative mail survey collected in Finland as part of Scandinavian sense of justice research was used as empirical data. Respondents were presented with six criminal cases and asked to determine sentences for them. All respondents received the same vignettes, but the background attributes of the offenders varied randomly. This study showed that all the background attributes had a clear connection to the sentence decisions. Considering these results, the idea of a ‘general punitive attitude’, which is commonly used in academic literature, appears to be too simple of a way to look at the relationship between attitudes and punishment decisions.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/270213
Date: 2018-08-03
Subject: 5141 Sociology
attitudes
punishment preferences
factorial survey
sentencing
Finland
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