Myths and misconceptions: public opinion versus public judgment about sentencing

2 Oct 2006

As part of its mandate to gauge public opinion, the Council initiated a year-long project to ascertain and analyse the current state of knowledge about public opinion on sentencing on both a national and international level. This project is designed to examine and critically evaluate both the substantive issues in the area (what we know about public opinion on sentencing) and the methodological issues in this field (how we measure public opinion on sentencing). The ultimate goal of the project is the creation of a suite of methodological tools that can be used to gauge public opinion on the wide range of issues that form the work of the Council. This paper presents the findings of this project. In particular, analyses of both the substantive and methodological issues in the field are presented, with discussion of the way to progress the capacity of the Council to gauge public opinion on sentencing in Victoria.

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