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Public Opinion Versus Public Judgment About Crime: Correcting the 'Comedy of Errors'

Posted: 29 Feb 2008  

David A. Green

University of Cambridge - Institute of Criminology

Date Written: January 2006

Abstract

This paper builds a case for more defensible assessments of informed public opinion on crime control and penal policy. Mass-mediated portrayals of what the public want and ubiquitous self-selected opinion polls serve as common surrogates for informed public opinion. These highly suspect assessments have gained a level of credence in policy debates that is difficult to justify. Innovations like the Deliberative Poll show promise in facilitating what has been called 'public judgment'-a more reliable and refined state of informed public opinion. Less ambitious remedial proposals, including the public education programmes advocated by some experts and recently embraced by the Home Office, are insufficiently bold to make a significant and lasting impact on public knowledge and attitudes.

Keywords: advertising model, advertising wear out phenomenon, pulsation advertising policy, linear programming

Suggested Citation

Green, David A., Public Opinion Versus Public Judgment About Crime: Correcting the 'Comedy of Errors' (January 2006). The British Journal of Criminology, Vol. 46, Issue 1, pp. 131-154, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=905676 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azi050

David A. Green (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Institute of Criminology

7 West Road
Cambridge, England
United Kingdom

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