A number of good articles up at Justice Quarterly (h/t Psychology and Crime News), including a bunch of stuff we don't cover much here on juvenile offenders, but here are abstracts of three articles that seem to have direct relevance:
"A Liberal Is Someone Who Has Not Been Mugged": Criminal Victimization and Political Beliefs
James D. Unnever; Francis T. Cullen; Bonnie S. Fisher
Justice Quarterly, Volume 24, Issue 2 June 2007 , pages 309 - 334
An often-repeated claim by conservative commentators attributes continuing liberal beliefs to the fact that progressives "have not been mugged." This claim thus portrays leftist views on public policy, including crime, as utopian, if not disingenuous - as held by people who have not had to face harsh realities. Using national-level data from the General Social Survey that span two decades, we test this "mugging thesis." Controlling for an array of predictors of public opinion, we find no discernible relationship between being a crime victim and having a conservative worldview, support for conservative social policies, or punitiveness toward crime as measured by support for the death penalty and for harsher courts. These results question the validity of the "mugging thesis" and, more generally, of attempts to use slogans to undermine progressive political agendas.
Crime Volume and Law and Order Culture
Steven Stack; Liqun Cao; Amy Adamzyck
Justice Quarterly, Volume 24, Issue 2 June 2007 , pages 291 - 308
The literature on public opinion about crime and justice has neglected the exploration of macro- or community-level influences on individual-level attitudes. A key macrofactor that may be related to individual level attitudes is the volume of violent crime. High crime rates can facilitate the development of a culture of "law and order," a response that may be a practical or instrumental attempt to control crime. The present paper tests the hypothesis that persons residing in nations marked by a high volume of crime will be more likely to adhere to elements of a law and order culture. It employs data from the International Social Science Program (N = 15,024). Controls are taken from major theoretical perspectives on public opinion about crime as well as demographic factors. The results from a hierarchical linear model support the hypothesis that individuals residing in nations with high crime rates are more likely than others to support law and order ideologies. The findings extend the support for this relationship from research based on the US alone to other industrialized societies.
The Correctional Experiences of Youth in Adult and Juvenile Prisons
Justice Quarterly, Volume 24, Issue 2 June 2007 , pages 247 - 270
This article analyzes data from interviews with inmates to examine the correctional experiences of young men incarcerated through criminal (adult) courts in a large Northeastern state. The sample (N = 95) includes respondents from five correctional institutions; some of these inmates have been sentenced to adult department of corrections facilities, and some to juvenile facilities operated by the state's children's services bureau. Relative to the adult facilities, the juvenile facilities are smaller, have much lower inmate-to-staff ratios, and they place greater emphasis (in their official guidelines) on treatment, counseling, education, and mentoring of inmates. As a result, one might expect juvenile-facility inmates to report a relatively more supportive, mentoring-focused style of staff-inmate interactions than adult-facility inmates. Yet surprisingly, inmates in adult facilities report better access to education and treatment/counseling services offered in their facilities.