Compelling participation in trials Why might someone chose not to press charges? Good? Bad?
Attitudes to criminal justice • Broadcast and tabloid media provide the major source of information for most members of the public about crime and justice. Almost 80 percent of respondents rate TV, radio and newspapers as fairly or very important sources of information.
The proportion of Australians who agree that stiffer sentences are needed has gradually declined from a peak of 84.8 percent in 1987 to 71.7 percent in 2007.
The majority of Australians have little or no confidence in the prison system to rehabilitate prisoners (87.7%), as a form of punishment (59.2%), in deterring future offending (84.7%) or in teaching prisoners skills (63.8%).
The desire for harsher sentences was significantly positively associated with the self-rated importance of television and radio, for informing views of crime. The relationship between desire for stiffer sentences and beliefs about crime trends over the past two years was also examined using Spearman’s rho correlations. The desire for stiffer sentences was significantly positively associated with beliefs that crime was increasing (rho=.35, p<.001) and perceptions of the number of crimes reported to the police that involved violence (rho=.30, p<.001).