Attitudes and public punishment preferences: Finnish results of Scandinavian sense of justice research

Tutkimustuotos: ArtikkelijulkaisuArtikkeliTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu


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
LehtiJournal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - 3 elok. 2018
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä, vertaisarvioitu


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