Taking on one of the most popular issues of the day—crime and the way we make sense of it—Julian Roberts and Loretta Stalans reveal the mismatch between the public perception of crime and the reality of crime statistics. Discussing such issues as public knowledge of crime, sources of crime information, information processing by the public, public attitudes about crime, and the effectiveness of punishment, this book considers the role that public opinion plays in the politics of criminal justice issues. Based on extensive data from the United States, with comparisons with Canada and the United Kingdom, Roberts and Stalans reveal the truth behind how the public perceives crime and how this perception compares to actual criminal activity.

chapter 4|21 pages

Crime Seriousness

chapter 6|19 pages

Origins of Crime and Crime Prevention

chapter 7|28 pages

Evaluating the Police and the Courts

chapter 10|28 pages

Sentencing and Parole

chapter 11|22 pages

The Death Penalty

chapter 12|18 pages

Privacy and Free Speech

chapter 13|12 pages

Juvenile Crime and Juvenile Justice

chapter 14|13 pages

Gun Control

chapter 15|6 pages

Drawing Conclusions