Throughout the western world public opinion has played an important role in shaping criminal justice policy. At the same time opinion polls repeatedly demonstrate that the public knows little about crime and justice, and holds negative views of the criminal justice system. This book, consisting of chapters from leading authorities in the field, is concerned to address this problem, and draws upon research in a number of different countries to address the issues arising from this state of affairs. Its main aims are:
to explore the changing and evolving nature of public attitudes to sentencing
to examine the factors that influence public opinion and to bring together recent international research which has demonstrated ways in which public attitudes can be changed
to propose specific strategies to respond to the crisis in public confidence in criminal justice.