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Punitiveness versus Child-saving: How much are we willing to pay?

Miller, Jesika Leigh Louise (2014) Punitiveness versus Child-saving: How much are we willing to pay? Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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This thesis examines the public perceptions of the goals of the criminal justice system and attitudes towards juvenile delinquency. Public attitudes and criminal justice policies towards juvenile delinquents have continued to cycle between a rehabilitative and punitive response. These changes to policies have raised the question of whether the community continues to support the idea of saving young offenders or whether we should increase the length of sentences for juvenile offenders. Additionally, this study compared the relationship between socio-demographic variables and a child-saving attitude. Based on previous methodology used in the United States this study uses a contingent variable methodology to compare community attitudes towards rehabilitation and incarceration. The results indicate that that respondents are willing to spend as much on rehabilitation of juvenile offenders as they are on the incarceration of juvenile delinquents. Furthermore, participants in this study provided support for rehabilitative and utilitarian goals within the criminal justice system. The findings of this thesis suggest that the ideal of child-saving has persisted within the community and that policies should include rehabilitative and prevention intervention programmes for juvenile offenders.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Law
Supervisor(s): Hall, Guy
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