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The greatest gaps between knowledge and opinion arise when the public perception is related to a populist ideology. Thus in the area of sentencing, most Americans believe that sentences are too lenient. Nowhere is this more true than in the area of sentencing. Many members of the public feel that the sentencing process is responsible for containing or even reducing crime rates across the nation, and that if crime is escalating, then sentencing should be harsher. It the public are not made more aware of the true state of affairs in the area of punishment, the result will be the passage of more repressive legislation. Thirty years ago, a Presidential Commission concluded that: The Commission believes that there is a clear public responsibility to keep citizens fully informed of the facts about crime so that they will have facts to go on when they decide what the risks are and what kinds and amounts of precautionary measures they should take.