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Face‐ing the Offender: Examining Public Attitudes Towards Young Offenders 1

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This study examines public ratings of youthful offenders based upon varying descriptions of their apparent age and maturity. The premise for this study rests on the assumption that the public will respond more favorably, and therefore, less punitively to the most ‘youthful' characterization of an offender. Findings indicate that in general, having any information about a youth offender, regardless of the qualitative details of that information, resulted in more favorable ratings by the public. The results are considered in relation to the movement toward community involvement in the sanctioning of youth.

Keywords: Age and maturity; Community‐based Sentencing; Restorative Justice; Young Offenders; Youth policy and legislation

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2006-06-01

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